Evolutionary dynamics of an Arabidopsis insect resistance quantitative trait locus.
Glucosinolate profiles differ among Arabidopsis thaliana ecotypes, caused by the composition of alleles at several glucosinolate biosynthetic loci. One of these, GS-Elong, harbors a family of methylthioalkylmalate synthase (MAM) genes that determine the side chain length of aliphatic glucosinolate structures. Fine mapping reveals that GS-Elong constitutes an insect resistance quantitative trait locus, caused by variation in glucosinolate profiles conferred by polymorphism of MAM alleles in this region. A sequence survey of randomly chosen ecotypes indicates that GS-Elong is highly variable among A. thaliana ecotypes: indel polymorphisms are frequent, as well as gene conversion events between gene copies arranged in tandem. Furthermore, statistical methods of molecular population genetics suggest that one of the genes, MAM2, is subject to balancing selection. This may be caused by ecological tradeoffs, i.e., by contrasting physiological effects of glucosinolates on generalist vs. specialist insects.
Kroymann, J; Donnerhacke, S; Schnabelrauch, D; Mitchell-Olds, T
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