Origins of polyploid Arabidopsis species associate with recent glaciation maxima
Center for Plant Systems Biology, VIB, Ghent, Belgium
Polyploidy may provide adaptive advantages and is considered to be important in evolution and speciation . Polyploidy events are found throughout the evolutionary history of plants, however they are not uniformly distributed along the time axis. For example, many of the detected ancient whole-genome duplications (WGDs) tend to cluster around K/Pg boundary (~ 65 Mya) , which corresponds to a drastic climate change event and a mass extinction. Here we discuss recent polyploidy events using Arabidopsis as the most developed plant model on the level of the entire genus . I will review the history of origin and potential adaptive advantages of allotetraploid species A. suecica, A. kamchatica and tetraploid lineages of A. lyrata, A. arenosa and A. thaliana species. There is a striking association between recent glacial maxima and estimated times of origins of polyploidy in Arabidopsis. This association further supports the link between polyploidy and environmental challenges, which now has been observed on different time-scales: for ancient and recent polyploids. I will also talk about future perspectives of whole-genome sequencing of Eastern Russia Arabidopsis herbaria samples (plant.depo.msu.ru), including A. lyrata ssp. septentrionalis  - most probably independently originated Arabidopsis lyrata tetraploid distributed around Lena river in Siberia.
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