Comparative genomic analysis of three co-occurring annual Asteraceae along micro-geographic fragmentation scenarios

Christina M. Müller, Burkhard Linke, Marc Strickert, Yaron Ziv, Itamar Giladi, Birgit Gemeinholzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This is the first population genomic analysis that examines micro-evolutionary changes in co-occurring plant species, in fragmented habitats, along a precipitation gradient. We applied Genotype-by-Sequencing (GBS) on three different annual Asteraceae on the same sites that share similar life history strategies, but different pollination and dispersal strategies (Catananche lutea, Geropogon hybridus, Urospermum picroides). We tested if the genetic diversity for all species correlates with effective population sizes along the precipitation gradient and whether therefore genetic drift drives evolution at range edges. However, our results support this hypothesis for only one species (C. lutea) but refute it for the other two. Potential genomic signals of adaptation to the high precipitation gradient were found only in one species (U. picroides). We also tested if species with complex pollination and diversified dispersal strategies are less affected by small scale habitat fragmentation, but the opposite is true. Biological differences between the species studied (pollination and dispersal) explain population genetic differences along the precipitation gradient at range edges rather than environmental filters. Pairwise correlation analyses showed no or only weak similarities in the accumulation of mutations in the different species. Our results suggest that the processes driving evolution in different co-occurring species are different, so that most genomic similarities in our investigations may only represent temporary stages in evolution.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number125486
JournalPerspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2020


  • Environmental gradient
  • Genomic signals of adaptation
  • Genotype by sequencing (GBS)
  • Habitat fragmentation
  • Range edge

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparative genomic analysis of three co-occurring annual Asteraceae along micro-geographic fragmentation scenarios'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this