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Genetic divergence and local adaptation of Liriodendron driven by heterogeneous environments

Cite this dataset

Shen, Yufang et al. (2021). Genetic divergence and local adaptation of Liriodendron driven by heterogeneous environments [Dataset]. Dryad.


Ecological adaptive differentiation alters both the species diversity and intraspecific genetic diversity in forests, thus affecting the stability of forest ecosystems. Therefore, knowledge of the genetic underpinnings of the ecological adaptive differentiation of forest species is critical for effective species conservation. In this study, single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from population transcriptomes were used to investigate the spatial distribution of genetic variation in Liriodendron to assess whether environmental variables can explain genetic divergence. We examined the contributions of environmental variables to population divergence and explored the genetic underpinnings of local adaptation using a landscape genomic approach. Niche models and statistical analyses showed significant niche divergence between L. chinense and L. tulipifera, suggesting that ecological adaptation may play a crucial role in driving interspecific divergence. We detected a new fine-scale genetic structure in L. chinense, and divergence of the six groups occurred during the late Pliocene to early Pleistocene. Redundancy analysis (RDA) revealed significant associations between genetic variation and multiple environmental variables. Environmental association analyses identified 67 environmental association loci (EALs; nonsynonymous SNPs) that underwent interspecific or intraspecific differentiation, 28 of which were associated with adaptive genes. These 28 candidate adaptive loci provide substantial evidence for local adaptation in Liriodendron. Our findings reveal ecological adaptive divergence pattern between Liriodendron species and provide novel insight into the role of heterogeneous environments in shaping genetic structure and driving local adaptation among populations, informing future L. chinense conservation efforts. 

Usage notes


The set of all 16,592 SNPs for 80 individuals in PLINK.tped format.


The .tfam file, in PLINK format, that corresponds to SNPcalling_result_16592.tped. This file has the sample names for 80 individuals from Liriodendron.


The 12 environmental variables used in this study.


R scripts used in redundancy analysis (RDA).


The filtered 601 occurrence records used to generate niche models.


National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 31770718

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 31470660