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  1. Abstract

    Low temperatures largely determine the geographic limits of plant species by reducing survival and growth. Inter-specific differences in the geographic distribution of mangrove species have been associated with cold tolerance, with exclusively tropical species being highly cold-sensitive and subtropical species being relatively cold-tolerant. To identify species-specific adaptations to low temperatures, we compared the chilling stress response of two widespread Indo-West Pacific mangrove species from Rhizophoraceae with differing latitudinal range limits—Bruguiera gymnorhiza (L.) Lam. ex Savigny (subtropical range limit) and Rhizophora apiculata Blume (tropical range limit). For both species, we measured the maximum photochemical efficiency of photosystem II (Fv/Fm) as a proxy for the physiological condition of the plants and examined gene expression profiles during chilling at 15 and 5 °C. At 15 °C, B. gymnorhiza maintained a significantly higher Fv/Fm than R. apiculata. However, at 5 °C, both species displayed equivalent Fv/Fm values. Thus, species-specific differences in chilling tolerance were only found at 15 °C, and both species were sensitive to chilling at 5 °C. At 15 °C, B. gymnorhiza downregulated genes related to the light reactions of photosynthesis and upregulated a gene involved in cyclic electron flow regulation, whereas R. apiculata downregulated more RuBisCo-related genes. At 5 °C, both species repressed genes related to CO2 assimilation. The downregulation of genes related to light absorption and upregulation of genes related to cyclic electron flow regulation are photoprotective mechanisms that likely contributed to the greater photosystem II photochemical efficiency of B. gymnorhiza at 15 °C. The results of this study provide evidence that the distributional range limits and potentially the expansion rates of plant species are associated with differences in the regulation of photosynthesis and photoprotective mechanisms under low temperatures.

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  2. Abstract

    The reuse of old genetic variation can promote rapid diversification in evolutionary radiations, but in most cases, the historical events underlying this divergence are not known. For example, ancient hybridization can generate new combinations of alleles that sort into descendant lineages, potentially providing the raw material to initiate divergence. In the Mimulus aurantiacus species complex, there is evidence for widespread gene flow among members of this radiation. In addition, allelic variation in the MaMyb2 gene is responsible for differences in flower color between the closely related ecotypes of subspecies puniceus, contributing to reproductive isolation by pollinators. Previous work suggested that MaMyb2 was introgressed into the red-flowered ecotype of puniceus. However, additional taxa within the radiation have independently evolved red flowers from their yellow-flowered ancestors, raising the possibility that this introgression had a more ancient origin. In this study, we used repeated tests of admixture from whole-genome sequence data across this diverse radiation to demonstrate that there has been both ancient and recurrent hybridization in this group. However, most of the signal of this ancient introgression has been removed due to selection, suggesting that widespread barriers to gene flow are in place between taxa. Yet, a roughly 30 kb region that contains the MaMyb2 gene is currently shared only among the red-flowered taxa. Patterns of admixture, sequence divergence, and extended haplotype homozygosity across this region confirm a history of ancient hybridization, where functional variants have been preserved due to positive selection in red-flowered taxa but lost in their yellow-flowered counterparts. The results of this study reveal that selection against gene flow can reduce genomic signatures of ancient hybridization, but that historical introgression can provide essential genetic variation that facilitates the repeated evolution of phenotypic traits between lineages.

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