Analysis of morphological and phenological responses of diploid vs. tetraploid Arabidopsis thaliana to zinc toxicity
whole genome duplication
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology Undergraduate Research Theses; 2020
The importance of understanding the fundamental consequences of polyploidy has been underscored by the progress made in our understanding of its prevalence in the evolutionary history of angiosperms and perhaps its acute ecological influence. Polyploidization is accompanied by a complex suite of morphological and physiological changes; in Arabidopsis thaliana it has previously been shown to confer enhanced tolerance to abiotic stressors such as salinity and drought. The aim of this study was to compare diploid and tetraploid A. thaliana individuals and identify any ploidy-linked differential responses to toxic concentrations of the micronutrient zinc. Diploid and polyploid accessions of the A. thaliana ecotypes Col-0 and Ler-0, 79 individuals in total, were grown hydroponically at one of five zinc concentrations ranging from sufficiency at 10 µM Zn to 200 µM. Morphological and phenological traits were compared at the onset of flowering with a combination of dose-response curve models and linear models. Significant ploidy-linked differences in trait means were detected in preliminary analyses between Col-0 accessions, primarily at low concentrations and diminishing as concentration increased, but not significantly between Ler-0 accessions. Limited sample size precluded definitive claims regarding zinc tolerance, but the asymmetry between ecotypes in their responses suggests that any adaptive changes connected to polyploidization may be less than universal.
Academic Major: Evolution and Ecology
UR&CI Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program
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