Selection by climatic regime and neutral evolutionary processes in holocentric chromosomes (Carex gr. laevigata: Cyperaceae): A microevolutionary approach

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The holocentric structure promotes chromosome rearrangements by fission, fusion, translocation, and inversion, which have been thought to promote differentiation and speciation. The Carex laevigata group (Cyperaceae) comprises four species: two restricted endemics from the western Mediterranean (Carex camposii, 2n = 72, and Carex paulo-vargasii, 2n = 74–75), and two more widespread species, found mostly in Western Europe (C. laevigata, 2n = 69–84, and Carex binervis, 2n = 72–74). We tested the selection for chromosome number by climatic variables by controlling for the non-independence of the data using generalized linear mixed model (GLMM). We obtained chromosome counts as well as DNA sequences for the 5 trnK intron and the trnV-ndhC intergenic spacer in the chloroplast genome from 181 individuals from 53 populations representing these four species. We also climatically characterized the sites where the 53 populations were found using the WorldClim database. Our results show that the best predictor of chromosome number variation is the climatic environment rather than neutral evolutionary processes like founder events and migration patterns. These results support the adaptive value of the holocentric chromosomes and their role in promoting differentiation and eventually speciation.
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info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/MICINN//CGL2009-09972/ES/Filogenia Y Evolucion De Las Tribus Cariceae Y Bisboeckelereae (Cyperaceae)/
This manuscript was supported by the Spanish Government (CGL2009-09972 to ML (IP) and ME) and the MEC-Fulbright fellowship (FU2009-0946 to ME).
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Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, vol. 15, p. 118-129.
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