Discovering variation of secondary metabolite diversity and its relationship with disease resistance in Cornus florida L.

Full Title: Discovering variation of secondary metabolite diversity and its relationship with disease resistance in Cornus florida L.

Journal: Ecology and Evolution

Year of Publication: 2018

PHHI Author(s): Xu “Sirius” Li
Publication Author(s): Andrew L. Pais, Xu Li, Qui-Yun (Jenny) Xiang

Abstract:

Understanding intraspecific relationships between genetic and functional diversity is a major goal in the field of evolutionary biology and is important for conserving bio -diversity. Linking intraspecific molecular patterns of plants to ecological pressures and trait variation remains difficult due to environment-driven plasticity. Next- generation sequencing, untargeted liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC- MS) profiling, and interdisciplinary approaches integrating population genomics,metabolomics, and community ecology permit novel strategies to tackle this prob -lem. We analyzed six natural populations of the disease-threatened Cornus florida L. from distinct ecological regions using genotype- by- sequencing markers and LC- MS- based untargeted metabolite profiling. We tested the hypothesis that higher geneticdiversity in C. florida yielded higher chemical diversity and less disease susceptibility(screening hypothesis), and we also determined whether genetically similar subpopu-lations were similar in chemical composition. Most importantly, we identified me -tabolites that were associated with candidate loci or were predictive biomarkers of healthy or diseased plants after controlling for environment. Subpopulation cluster -ing patterns based on genetic or chemical distances were largely congruent. While differences in genetic diversity were small among subpopulations, we did observe notable similarities in patterns between subpopulation averages of rarefied-allelic and chemical richness. More specifically, we found that the most abundant com -pound of a correlated group of putative terpenoid glycosides and derivatives was correlated with tree health when considering chemodiversity. Random forest bio -marker and genomewide association tests suggested that this putative iridoid gluco-side and other closely associated chemical features were correlated to SNPs under selection.

Link to Article: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/ece3.4090