Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2017, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (3): 359-368.doi: 10.17521/cjpe.2015.0257

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Phenotypic plasticity and genetic differentiation of quantitative traits in genotypes of Leymus chinensis

Xue YANG, Jun-Fang SHEN, Nian-Xi ZHAO*(), Yu-Bao GAO   

  1. College of Life Sciences, NanKai University, Tianjin 300071, China
  • Online:2017-04-12 Published:2017-03-10
  • Contact: Nian-Xi ZHAO E-mail:zhaonianxi@nankai.edu.cn
  • About author:

    KANG Jing-yao(1991-), E-mail: kangjingyao_nj@163.com

Abstract:

Aims Adaptation mechanisms of plants to environment can be classified as genetic differentiation and phenotypic plasticity (environmental modification). The strategy and mechanism of plant adaptation is a hot topic in the field of evolutionary ecology. Leymus chinensis is one of constructive species in the Nei Mongol grassland. Particularly, Leymus chinensis is a rhizomatous and clonally reproductive grass, a genotype that can play an important role in the community. In this study, we aimed to (1) investigate the phenotypic plasticity of L. chinensis under different conditions, and (2) test the genetic differentiation and reaction norms (the relationship between the environment and the phenotype of an individual or a group of individuals) under four environmental conditions among different genotypes of L. chinensis. Methods Ten genotypes of L. chinensis were randomly selected. Under the control condition, we studied the effects of genotype, defoliation, drought and their interactions on 11 quantitative traits of growth (8 traits including photochemical efficiency of photosystem II, maximum net photosynthetic rate, transpiration rate, specific leaf area, relative growth rate, the number of tillers increased, aboveground and underground biomass growth), defense (total phenol concentration of leaf) and tolerance (non-structural carbohydrate content of root, root/shoot ratio) of L. chinensis. We studied the phenotypic plasticity, genetic differentiation and reaction norms mainly through tested the effect of environment and genotype on these traits. Important findings First, all 11 traits showed obvious phenotypic plasticity (i.e., significant effect of drought, defoliation and their interactions). The expression of 10 genotypes of L. chinensis was divergent under different environmental conditions. Interactions of genotype and environment significantly affected the maximum net photosynthetic rate, transpiration rate, specific leaf area, relative growth rate, total phenolic concentration of leaf, and total non-structural carbohydrate content of root. This indicated that the phenotypic plasticity of these five traits exhibited genetic differentiation. Second, the increase of number of tillers, belowground biomass and non-structural carbohydrate content of root did not show genetic differentiation under the same condition. The other eight traits showed significantly genetic differentiation, and the heritabilities (H2) of six traits related to growth were higher than 0.5. The leaf total phenol concentration and root/shoot ratio showed genetically differentiation only under the drought and defoliation condition, with the heritabilities being 0.145 and 0.201, respectively. These results explained why L. chinensis widely distributed in the Nei Mongol grassland, and provided genetic and environmental basis for related application and species conservation in this grassland ecosystem.

Key words: Leymus chinensis, genotype, adaptation, genetic differentiation, phenotypic plasticity, reaction norm

Table 1

Multivariate analysis of variance for genotype and phenotypic variations and interactions of genotype and treatments in Leymus chinensis"

性状 Traits 基因型
Genotype (G)
刈割
Defoliation (De)
干旱
Drought (Dr)
De × Dr 基因型×刈割
G × De
基因型×干旱
G × Dr
基因型×
刈割×干旱
G × De × Dr
F p F p F p F p F p F p F p
光系统II光化学效率 Photochemical efficiency of photosystem II 19.47 <0.001 2.649 0.105 17.19 <0.001 0.476 0.491 1.064 0.391 0.912 0.516 1.824 0.066
最大净光合速率 Maximum net photosynthetic rate 41.08 <0.001 315.7 <0.001 7.305 0.007 0.023 0.879 9.143 <0.001 1.385 0.197 1.353 0.212
蒸腾速率 Transpiration rate 4.878 <0.001 4.979 0.027 2.226 0.137 1.764 0.186 3.817 <0.001 2.805 0.004 0.881 0.543
比叶面积 Specific leaf area 3.781 <0.001 34.3 <0.001 2.916 0.089 11.62 0.001 1.231 0.278 2.207 0.023 1.843 0.063
相对生长速率 Relative growth rate 2.829 0.006 1 765 <0.001 212.8 <0.001 115.1 <0.001 6.55 <0.001 3.071 0.003 4.847 <0.001
分蘖增长数 The number of tillers increased 1.842 0.073 4.488 0.037 30.15 <0.001 24.72 <0.001 1.061 0.401 1.5 0.162 0.848 0.574
地上生物量 Aboveground biomass 1.454 0.167 0.007 0.933 69.06 <0.001 28.66 0.001 1.116 0.353 1.848 0.062 0.635 0.767
地下生物量 Belowground biomass 2.249 0.021 1.221 0.27 21.93 <0.001 11.07 0.001 0.527 0.854 1.644 0.105 0.664 0.741
叶总酚浓度 Total phenolic concentration of leaf 1.624 0.111 30.62 <0.001 0.002 0.962 48.21 <0.001 1.978 0.044 2.321 0.017 0.957 0.477
根非结构性碳水化合物总量 Total non-structural carbohydrates content of root 1.480 0.157 11.09 0.001 47.13 <0.001 16.21 <0.001 1.938 0.049 2.462 0.011 1.76 0.078
根冠比 Root/shoot ratio 0.976 0.461 0.099 0.753 6.005 0.015 0.479 0.49 1.099 0.365 0.855 0.567 1.093 0.369

Fig. 1

Reaction norms of traits of 10 Leymus chinensis genotypes under four treatments. De-Dr-, control; De+Dr-, non-arid defoliation; De-Dr+, non-defoliation but drought; De+Dr+, defoliation and drought."

Table 2

ANOVA analysis and the broad-sense heritability (H2) estimates for 10 traits of phenotypic variations under four treatments in Leymus chinensis"

性状 Trait 对照 Control 刈割 Defoliation 干旱 Drought 刈割干旱
Defoliation and drought
H2 p H2 p H2 p H2 p
光系统II光化学效率 Photochemical efficiency of photosystem II 0.000 <0.001 0.000 <0.001 1.000 <0.001 1.000 <0.001
最大净光合速率 Maximum net photosynthetic rate 0.847 <0.001 0.679 <0.001 0.585 <0.001 0.660 <0.001
蒸腾速率 Transpiration rate 0.538 <0.001 - 0.948 0.380 <0.001 0.168 0.029
比叶面积 Specific leaf area 0.221 0.022 - 0.127 0.171 0.022 - 0.061
相对生长速率 Relative growth rate 0.400 0.002 0.727 <0.001 0.625 0.001 0.515 0.006
分蘖增长数 The number of tillers increased - 0.314 - 0.286 - 0.410 - 0.056
地上生物量 Aboveground biomass 0.269 0.007 - 0.787 - 0.752 - 0.075
地下生物量 Belowground biomass - 0.151 - 0.145 - 0.523 - 0.553
叶总酚浓度 Total phenolic concentration of leaf - 0.170 - 0.201 - 0.616 0.145 0.004
根非结构性碳水化合物总量 Total non-structural carbohydrates content of root - 0.201 - 0.062 - 0.550 - 0.951
根冠比 Root/shoot ratio - 0.936 - 0.061 - 0.068 0.202 0.017

Table 3

Function coefficients of canonical discriminant traits of Leymus chinensis for four treatments"

性状 Traits 对照 Control 刈割 Defoliation 干旱 Drought 刈割干旱
Defoliation and drought
函数1
Function 1
函数2
Function 2
函数1
Function 1
函数2
Function 2
函数1
Function 1
函数2
Function 2
函数1
Function 1
函数2
Function 2
光系统II光化学效率 Photochemical efficiency of photosystem II 0.891 0.966 -0.510 -0.191 1.585 0.717 -0.193 0.312
最大净光合速率 Maximum net photosynthetic rate 1.285 -0.462 -0.905 0.865 1.231 -1.609 0.783 -0.672
蒸腾速率 Transpiration rate -0.561 0.125 0.491 -0.213 0.576 -0.827 1.319 0.098
比叶面积 Specific leaf area -0.692 -0.533 0.542 0.219 1.341 -0.835 -0.042 1.452
相对生长速率 Relative growth rate -0.588 0.815 0.962 0.953 1.235 0.236 1.101 0.267
分蘖增长数 The number of tillers increased -0.416 0.347 -0.424 -1.030 -1.365 0.603 -0.079 0.521
地上生物量 Aboveground biomass 1.114 0.571 1.919 2.834 -0.579 3.541 1.323 2.44
地下生物量 Belowground biomass -1.81 0.104 -1.614 -2.049 1.594 -3.385 0.055 -2.852
叶总酚浓度 Total phenolic concentration of leaf 0.126 0.905 -0.714 -0.021 -0.115 0.486 -1.226 -1.07
根非结构性碳水化合物总量
Total non-structural carbohydrates content of root
0.598 -1.076 -0.010 -0.446 -1.058 0.564 -0.129 -0.498
根冠比 Root/shoot ratio 1.174 0.781 1.201 1.319 -0.141 1.039 0.838 2.452
解释的方差 Explained variance (%) 49.8 31.9 44.5 30.2 59.2 20.4 37.3 22.0

Fig. 2

Scatterplot of canonical discriminant of 10 genotypes in Leymus chinensis for four treatments. A, Control. B, Non-arid defoliation. C, Non-defoliation but drought. D, Defoliation and drought."

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