Genetic architecture of plastic methyl jasmonate responses in Arabidopsis thaliana.
The ability of a single genotype to generate different phenotypes in disparate environments is termed phenotypic plasticity, which reflects the interaction of genotype and environment on developmental processes. However, there is controversy over the definition of plasticity genes. The gene regulation model states that plasticity loci influence trait changes between environments without altering the means within a given environment. Alternatively, the allelic sensitivity model argues that plasticity evolves due to selection of phenotypic values expressed within particular environments; hence plasticity must be controlled by loci expressed within these environments. To identify genetic loci controlling phenotypic plasticity and address this controversy, we analyzed the plasticity of glucosinolate accumulation under methyl jasmonate (MeJa) treatment in Arabidopsis thaliana. We found genetic variation influencing multiple MeJa signal transduction pathways. Analysis of MeJa responses in the Landsberg erecta x Columbia recombinant inbred lines identified a number of quantitative trait loci (QTL) that regulate plastic MeJa responses. All significant plasticity QTL also impacted the mean trait value in at least one of the two "control" or "MeJa" environments, supporting the allelic sensitivity model. Additionally, we present an analysis of MeJa and salicylic acid cross-talk in glucosinolate regulation and describe the implications for glucosinolate physiology and functional understanding of Arabidopsis MeJa signal transduction.
Kliebenstein, DJ; Figuth, A; Mitchell-Olds, T
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