Environmental isolation shapes genetic diversity in Brachypodium

During the last decade Brachypodium distachyon (L.) P. Beauv. has become one of the most important model systems for functional genomic studies of temperate cereals and forage grasses and for bioenergy crops. However, despite all genomic progresses in B.
distachyon and the fact that it is widely spread across the Mediterranean area, information about its natural genetic diversity remains scarce.

Our recent publication funded by our People Programme (Marie Curie Actions) of the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme has revealed the existence of at least three genetic clusters providing additional evidence for the existence of a significant genetic structure in the Iberian Peninsula and supporting this geographical area as an important genetic reservoir. Populations growing on basic soils were significantly more diverse than those growing in acidic soils. A partial Mantel test confirmed a statistically significant Isolation-By-Distance (IBD) among all studied populations, as well as a statistically significant Isolation-By-Environment (IBE) revealing the presence of environmental-driven isolation as one explanation for the genetic patterns found in the Iberian Peninsula.

Read our full article here: https://bmcevolbiol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12862-017-0996-x

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