Understanding how genetic variation at individual loci contributes to adaptation of populations to different local environments is an important topic in modern evolutionary biology. To date, most evidence has pointed to conditionally neutral quantitative trait loci (QTL) showing fitness effects only in some environments, while there has been less evidence for single-locus fitness trade-offs. At QTL underlying local adaptation, alleles from the local population are expected to show a fitness advantage. Cytoplasmic genomes also can have a role in local adaptation, but the role of cytonuclear interactions in adaptive differentiation has remained largely unknown. We mapped genomic regions underlying adaptive differentiation in multiple fitness components and flowering time in diverged populations of a perennial plant Arabidopsis lyrata. Experimental hybrids for this purpose were grown in natural field conditions of the parental populations in Norway and North Carolina (NC), USA, and in the greenhouse. We found QTL where high fitness and early flowering were associated with local alleles, indicating a role of different selection pressures in phenotypic differentiation. At two QTL regions, a fitness component showing local adaptation between the parental populations also showed signs of putative fitness trade-offs. Beneficial dominance effects of conditionally neutral QTL for different fitness components resulted in hybrid vigour at the Norwegian site in the F2 hybrids. We also found that cytoplasmic genomes contributed to local adaptation and hybrid vigour by interacting with nuclear QTL, but these interactions did not show evidence for cytonuclear coadaptation (high fitness of local alleles combined with the local cytoplasm).
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