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Böndel, Katharina B.; Nosenko, Tetyana and Stephan, Wolfgang (2018): Signatures of natural selection in abiotic stress-responsive genes of Solanum chilense. In: Royal Society Open Science, Vol. 5, No. 1, 171198

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Environmental conditions are strong selective forces, which may influence adaptation and speciation. The wild tomato species Solanum chilense, native to South America, is exposed to a range of abiotic stress factors. To identify signatures of natural selection and local adaptation, we analysed 16 genes involved in the abiotic stress response and compared the results to a set of reference genes in 23 populations across the entire species range. The abiotic stress-responsive genes are characterized by elevated nonsynonymous nucleotide diversity and divergence. We detected signatures of positive selection in several abiotic stress-responsive genes on both the population and species levels. Local adaptation to abiotic stresses is particularly apparent at the boundary of the species distribution in populations from coastal low-altitude and mountainous high-altitude regions.

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