Genomic adaptation of tropical pine species

SNIC 2018/5-31


SNAC Small

Principal Investigator:

Jie Gao


Umeå universitet

Start Date:


End Date:


Primary Classification:

10615: Evolutionary Biology




The genetic introgression is thought to be ubiquitous in the process of evolution and has important effect on species differentiation and adaptive evolution. However, there is still no clear understanding of the ability of species’ and populations’ to respond to climate change through adaptive introgression. Pinus represents an important group in the world’s forest ecosystems, and the extensive hybrid zones in Pinus with broad climate range and genetic variation making it an ideal group to understand the effect of the adaptive introgression upon species adaptability to climate change. In this study we use three closely related pine species, which cover the climate-space and range of habitats occupied by Pinus. We will use multidisciplinary methods: firstly, using Genotype-by-Sequencing methods on the population level to get a better genetic background of the introgression direction、extent and scale of populations across the hybrid zone; Secondly, apply niche modeling and hindcasting to investigate the ecological niche variation during the past climate change between the taxa and introgressed populations; Thirdly, conduct the reciprocal transplantation experiments in three sites which represented the typical habitat of three species to evaluate the phenotype and fitness differentiation among introgressed populations; Finally, using population transcriptome analysis combining introgressive gene expression variation levels for phenotypic differentiation and environmental factors to explore the ecological evolutionary function of adaptive introgressive genes. Thus, through the “genetic-environment-phenotype-ecological function” multi-level cross validation to provide a fine-scale picture of how the scale and complexity of genetic introgression across this ecological hybrid zone affects their adaptability to climate change, which will provide a model to make the genetic strategy to protect other tree species under the dramatic climate change.