Genomic insights into present local adaptation and future climate change vulnerability of a keystone forest tree species in East Asian
Pär K Ingvarsson,
Posted 04 Apr 2022
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2022.04.04.486908
Posted 04 Apr 2022
Despite rapid global climate change is posing a huge threat to biodiversity, assessment of the adaptive capacity for most taxa is usually performed as a whole, but lacks to incorporate intraspecific adaptive variation that may play a fundamental role to buffer against future shifting climates. Here we first generated a chromosome-scale genome assembly for Populus koreana, a pioneer and keystone tree species in East Asia temperate forests. We further obtained whole-genome sequences of 230 individuals collected from 24 natural populations, among which we inferred population structure and demographic history of this species. An integration of population genomics and environmental variables was then performed to reveal the genomic basis of local adaptation to diverse climates, and we identify a set of climate-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), insertions-deletions (Indels) and structural variations (SVs), especially numerous adaptive non-coding variants across the genome. We incorporated these variants into the environmental modelling to predict the spatiotemporal responses of P. koreana under climate change. Our results uncover that the southeastern populations near the Korean Peninsula are likely to be most vulnerable to future climates and need further conservation concerns. Collectively, this work improves our understanding of adaptive variation along environmental gradients and adds information on candidate genes that will be useful for future studies of adaptation to extreme environments and for use in breeding programs. The findings highlight the insights that integration of genomic and climate data can shed on future evolutionary adaptive capacities to changing environmental conditions.
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