11 March 2020

A phylogenomic approach reveals a low somatic mutation rate in a long-lived plant

Adam J. Orr, Amanda Padovan, David Kainer, Carsten Külheim, Lindell Bromham, Carlos Bustos-Segura, William Foley, Tonya Haff, Ji-Fan Hsieh, Alejandro Morales-Suarez, Reed A. Cartwright and Robert Lanfear - Evolution Letters, 2020


Somatic mutations can have important effects on the life history, ecology, and evolution of plants, but the rate at which they accumulate is poorly understood and difficult to measure directly. Here, we develop a method to measure somatic mutations in individual plants and use it to estimate the somatic mutation rate in a large, long-lived, phenotypically mosaic Eucalyptus melliodora tree. Despite being 100 times larger than Arabidopsis, this tree has a per-generation mutation rate only ten times greater, which suggests that this species may have evolved mechanisms to reduce the mutation rate per unit of growth. This adds to a growing body of evidence that illuminates the correlated evolutionary shifts in mutation rate and life history in plants.

Read the entire publication

Share this:

Receive updates from the Crop Science Centre

Thanks! We’ve received your email.

Sorry, something went wrong.

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: The Crop Science Centre, Lawrence Weaver Rd, Cambridge, CB3 0LE, GB. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact.