National Research Council of Italy

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IBBR publication #3381

Evolutionary history of the mediterranean Pinus halepensis-brutia species complex using gene-resequencing and transcriptomic approaches

Olsson S, Lorenzo Z, Zabal-Aguirre M, Piotti A, Vendramin GG, González-Martínez SC, Grivet D

Plant Molecular Biology 106 (4-5): 367-380. (2021)
doi: 10.1007/s11103-021-01155-7

Key message: Complementary gene-resequencing and transcriptomic approaches reveal contrasted evolutionary histories in a species complex. Abstract: Pinus halepensis and Pinus brutia are closely related species that can intercross, but occupy different geographical ranges and bioclimates. To study the evolution of this species complex and to provide genomic resources for further research, we produce and analyze two new complementary sets of genetic resources: (i) a set of 172 re-sequenced genomic target loci analyzed in 45 individuals, and (ii) a set of 11 transcriptome assemblies. These two datasets provide insights congruent with previous studies: P. brutia displays high level of genetic diversity and no genetic sub-structure, while P. halepensis shows three main genetic clusters, the western Mediterranean and North African clusters displaying much lower genetic diversity than the eastern Mediterranean cluster, the latter cluster having similar genetic diversity to P. brutia. In addition, these datasets provide new insights on the timing of the species-complex history: the two species would have split at the end of the tertiary, and the changing climatic conditions of the Mediterranean region at the end of the Tertiary--beginning of the Quaternary, together with the distinct species tolerance to harsh climatic conditions would have resulted in different geographic distributions, demographic histories and genetic patterns of the two pines. The multiple glacial-interglacial cycles during the Quaternary would have led to the expansion of P. brutia in the Middle East, while P. halepensis would have been through bottlenecks. The last glaciations, from 0.6 Mya on, would have affected further the Western genetic pool of P. halepensis. - Keywords: Candidate genes, Demographic history, Long-range colonization, Phylogenetic approaches, Transcriptome

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