J Syst Evol ›› 2022, Vol. 60 ›› Issue (2): 386-397.DOI: 10.1111/jse.12699

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Landscape genomics reveals genetic evidence of local adaptation in a widespread tree, the Chinese wingnut (Pterocarya stenoptera)

Lin-Feng Li1,2, Samuel A. Cushman3, Yan-Xia He4, Xiao-Fei Ma5, Xue-Jun Ge6, Jia-Xin Li1, Zhi-Hao Qian1, and Yong Li1*   

  1. 1 Innovation Platform of Molecular Biology, College of Landscape and Art, Henan Agricultural University, Zhengzhou 450046, China
    2 Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Biodiversity Science and Ecological Engineering, School of Life Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200438, China
    3 U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, 2500S. Pine Knoll Dr., Flagstaff, Arizona, USA
    4 School of Life Sciences, Henan University, Kaifeng 475001, Henan, China
    5 Key Laboratory of Stress Physiology and Ecology in Cold and Arid Regions, Department of Ecology and Agriculture Research, Northwest Institute of Eco‐Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
    6 South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650, China

    *Author for correspondence.
    E‐mail: liyongrui1@126.com; Tel./Fax: 86‐371‐63558070.
  • Received:2020-08-04 Accepted:2020-10-18 Online:2020-10-29 Published:2022-03-01


Understanding the genetic basis underpinning local adaptation is one of the fundamental issues in ecological and evolutionary biology. In this study, we investigated the genomic basis underlying local adaptation of the Chinese wingnut (Pterocarya stenoptera C. DC). Our population genomic analyses revealed nine spatial genetic clusters across the current distribution range of this species. Based on the assessment of genetic–environment association, we found that adaptive divergence of the P. stenoptera populations were mainly shaped by solar radiation during fruit development, temperature seasonality, annual temperature, precipitation, and air humidity. In particular, our genome-wide scanning identified a total of 801 candidate single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that are highly correlated with diverse environmental factors. Further functional annotation of the SNPs identified some candidate genes that are involved into temperature, water, and light adaptation. Taken together, our results suggest that natural selection during local adaptation has contributed to the success of survival to diverse heterogenous environmental conditions. Our study provides important insights into the fundamental knowledge of the genetic basis underlying the local adaptation of non-model species.

Key words: environmental association analysis, genomic scans, landscape genomics, local adaptation, Pterocarya stenoptera, SLAF sequencing