Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Genetic and epigenetic changes during the upward expansion of Deyeuxia angustifolia Kom. in the alpine tundra of the Changbai mountains, China.

Abstract

Ecological adaptation plays an important role in the process of plant expansion, and genetics and epigenetics are important in the process of plant adaptation. In this study, genetic and epigenetic analyses and soil properties were performed on D. angustifolia of 17 populations, which were selected in the tundra zone on the western slope of the Changbai Mountains. Our results showed that the levels of genetic and epigenetic diversity of D. angustifolia were relatively low, and the main variation occurred among different populations (amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP): 95%, methylation sensitive amplification polymorphism (MSAP): 87%). In addition, DNA methylation levels varied from 23.36% to 35.70%. Principal component analysis (PCA) results showed that soil properties of different populations were heterogeneous. Correlation analyses showed that soil moisture, pH and total nitrogen were significantly correlated with genetic diversity of D. angustifolia, and soil temperature and pH were closely related to epigenetic diversity. Simple Mantel tests and partial Mantel tests showed that genetic variation significantly correlated with habitat or geographical distance. However, the correlation between epigenetic variation and habitat or geographical distance was not significant. Our results showed that, in the case of low genetic variation and genetic diversity, epigenetic variation and DNA methylation may provide a basis for the adaptation of D. angustifolia.