Evolution and ecology meet molecular genetics: adaptive phenotypic plasticity in two isolated Negev desert populations of Acacia raddiana at either end of a rainfall... Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract Background and Aims The ecological, evolutionary and genetic bases of population differentiation in a variable environment are often related to the selection pressures that plants experience. We compared differences in several growth-and defence-related traits in two isolated populations of Acacia raddiana trees from sites at either end of an extreme environmental gradient in the Negev desert. Methods We used random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) to determine the molecular differences between populations. We grew plants under two levels of water, three levels of nutrients and three levels of herbivory to test for phenotypic plasticity and adaptive phenotypic plasticity. Key Results The RAPD analyses showed that these populations are highly genetically differentiated. Phenotypic plasticity in various morphological traits in A. raddiana was related to patterns of …

publication date

  • October 27, 2011