Serpentine soil, which is naturally high in heavy metal content and has low calcium to magnesium ratios, comprises a difficult environment for most plants. An impressive number of species are endemic to serpentine, and wide range of non-endemic plant taxa have been shown to be locally adapted to these soils. Locating genomic polymorphisms which are differentiated between serpentine and non-serpentine populations would provide candidate loci for serpentine adaptation. We have used the Arabidopsis thaliana tiling array, which has 2.85 million probes throughout the genome, to measure genetic differentiation between populations of Arabidopsis lyrata growing on granitic soils and those growing on serpentinic soils. The significant overrepresentation of genes involved in ion transport and other functions provides a starting point for investigating the molecular basis of adaptation to soil ion content, water retention, and other ecologically and economically important variables. One gene in particular, calcium-exchanger 7, appears to be an excellent candidate gene for adaptation to low Ca:Mg ratio in A. lyrata. © 2008 Turner et al.
Turner, T. L., von Wettberg, E. J., & Nuzhdin, S. V. (2008). Genomic analysis of differentiation between soil types reveals candidate genes for local adaptation in Arabidopsis lyrata. PLoS ONE, 3(9). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0003183