Spatial genetic and epigenetic structure of Thlaspi arvense (field pennycress) in China.


Guan Y(1)(2), Qu P(2), Lu S(2), Crabbe MJC(3)(4)(5), Zhang T(6), Geng Y(2).
Author information:
(1)School of Life Sciences, Yunnan University.
(2)Institute of Ecology and Geobotany, School of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Yunnan University.
(3)Wolfson College, Oxford University.
(4)School of Life Sciences, Shanxi University.
(5)Institute of Biomedical and Environmental Science and Technology, University of Bedfordshire.
(6)College of Chinese Material Medica, Yunnan University of Chinese Medicine.


Thlaspi arvense (field pennycress) is widespread in temperate regions of the northern hemisphere. We estimated the genetic and epigenetic structure of eight T. arvense populations (131 individuals) in China using amplified fragment length polymorphism and methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism molecular-marker techniques. We detected low diversity at both genetic (mean = 0.03; total = 0.07) and epigenetic (mean = 0.04; total = 0.07) levels, while significant genetic (FST = 0.42, P < 0.001) and epigenetic (FST = 0.32, P < 0.001) divergence was found across the distribution range. Using Mantel testing, we found spatial genetic and epigenetic differentiation, consistent with isolation-by-distance models. We also identified a strong correlation between genetic and epigenetic differentiation (r = 0.7438, P < 0.001), suggesting genetic control of the epigenetic variation. Our results indicate that mating system, natural selection and gene flow events jointly structure spatial patterns of genetic and epigenetic variation. Moreover, epigenetic variation may serve as a basis of natural selection and ecological evolution to enable species to adapt to heterogeneous habitats. Our study provides novel clues for the adaptation of T. arvense.