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Mechanisms of Life History EvolutionThe Genetics and Physiology of Life History Traits and Trade-Offs$
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Thomas Flatt and Andreas Heyland

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199568765

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199568765.001.0001

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The genetics and evolution of flowering time variation in plants: Identifying genes that control a key life history transition

The genetics and evolution of flowering time variation in plants: Identifying genes that control a key life history transition

Chapter:
Chapter 9 The genetics and evolution of flowering time variation in plants: Identifying genes that control a key life history transition
Source:
Mechanisms of Life History Evolution
Author(s):

Joshua A. Banta

Michael D. Purugganan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199568765.003.0009

The ecologically appropriate timing of flowering is a crucial life history in plants, and marks the transition from vegetative to reproductive stages in the life cycle. This chapter discusses the evolutionary ecology of flowering time, with emphasis on the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana. It describes the substantial, geographically structured variation in the timing of flowering in natural populations of this species, and the role of natural selection in the pattern of flowering time variation. The chapter presents the molecular mechanisms that control this life history transition, as well as methods for detecting genetic polymorphisms accounting for flowering time variation, including association mapping and QTL analyses. Finally, it focuses on the genes that have been identified through these approaches and discusses their effects on flowering time, and the molecular signatures of selection on these loci.

Keywords:   Arabidopsis thaliana, epistasis, forward genetic screens, flowering time, Oryza sativa, pleiotropy

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