The genome of a cave plant, Primulina huaijiensis, provides insights into adaptation to limestone karst habitats.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Although whole genome duplication (WGD) has been suggested to facilitate adaptive evolution and diversification, the role of specific WGD events in promoting diversification and adaptation in angiosperms remains poorly understood. Primulina, a species-rich genus with > 180 species associated with limestone karst habitat, constitutes an ideal system for studying the impact of WGD events on speciation and evolutionary adaptation. We sequenced and assembled a chromosome-level genome of the cave-dwelling species P. huaijiensis to study gene family expansion and gene retention following WGDs. We provide evidence that P. huaijiensis has undergone two WGDs since the γ triplication event shared by all eudicots. In addition to a WGD shared by almost all Lamiales (L event), we identified a lineage-specific WGD (D event) that occurred in the early Miocene around 20.6-24.2 Myr ago and that is shared by almost the entire subtribe Didymocarpinae. We found that gene retentions following the D event led to gene family proliferation (e.g. WRKYs) that probably facilitated adaptation to the high salinity and drought stress in limestone karst. Our study highlights the role of lineage-specific WGD in species diversification and adaptation of plants from special habitats.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Feng, C; Wang, J; Wu, L; Kong, H; Yang, L; Feng, C; Wang, K; Rausher, M; Kang, M

Published Date

  • August 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 227 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 1249 - 1263

PubMed ID

  • 32274804

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1469-8137

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0028-646X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/nph.16588


  • eng