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Genetic adaptation of Tibetan poplar (Populus szechuanica var. tibetica) to high altitudes on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau
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  • Chenfei Zheng,
  • Lizhi Tan,
  • mengmeng Sang,
  • Meixia Ye,
  • Rongling Wu
Chenfei Zheng
Beijing Forestry University
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Lizhi Tan
Beijing Forestry University
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mengmeng Sang
Beijing Forestry University
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Meixia Ye
Beijing Forestry University
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Rongling Wu
Beijing Forestry University
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Abstract

Plant adaptation to high altitudes has long been a substantial focus of ecological and evolutionary research. However, the genetic mechanisms underlying such adaptation remain poorly understood. Here, we address this issue by sampling, genotyping, and comparing populations of Tibetan poplar, Populus szechuanica var. tibetica, distributed from low (~2000 m) to high altitudes (~3000 m) of Sejila Mountain on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Population structure analyses allow clear classification of two groups according to their altitudinal distributions. However, in contrast to the genetic variation within each population, differences between the two populations only explain a small portion of the total genetic variation (3.64%). We identified asymmetrical gene flow from high- to low-altitude populations. Integrating with population genomic and landscape genomic manner, we detected a hot spot region containing ten genes under natural selection and associated with five environmental factors. These genes participate in abiotic stress resistance and regulating the reproductive process. Our results provide insight into the genetic mechanisms underlying high-altitude adaptation in Tibetan poplar.

Peer review status:ACCEPTED

28 Jan 2020Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
29 Jan 2020Submission Checks Completed
29 Jan 2020Assigned to Editor
04 Feb 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
13 Feb 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
18 Feb 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
27 Apr 20201st Revision Received
28 Apr 2020Assigned to Editor
28 Apr 2020Submission Checks Completed
28 Apr 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
05 May 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
14 May 20202nd Revision Received
15 May 2020Submission Checks Completed
15 May 2020Assigned to Editor
15 May 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
28 May 2020Editorial Decision: Accept