Population genomic scans suggest novel genes underlie convergent flowering time evolution in the introduced range of Arabidopsis thaliana.
A long-standing question in evolutionary biology is whether the evolution of convergent phenotypes results from selection on the same heritable genetic components. Using whole-genome sequencing and genome scans, we tested whether the evolution of parallel longitudinal flowering time clines in the native and introduced ranges of Arabidopsis thaliana has a similar genetic basis. We found that common variants of large effect on flowering time in the native range do not appear to have been under recent strong selection in the introduced range. We identified a set of 38 new candidate genes that are putatively linked to the evolution of flowering time. A high degree of conditional neutrality of flowering time variants between the native and introduced range may preclude parallel evolution at the level of genes. Overall, neither gene pleiotropy nor available standing genetic variation appears to have restricted the evolution of flowering time to high-frequency variants from the native range or to known flowering time pathway genes.