Local adaptation in Swedish beach populations of A. thaliana
Beaches are marginal environments for plants, as they tend to have low nutrient sandy soil and poor water availability, as well as other physical stresses like salt spray and wind. Populations of Arabidopsis growing on gravelly beaches on the Baltic coast display different, more extreme phenotypes than inland conspecifics. The project focuses on quantifying phenotypic differences in a panel of Swedish accessions including beach lines and identifying genes underlying these differences. Studies of this type provide insight into plant adaptation to specific local conditions across their range. Additionally, the physical stressors on beaches are similar to those faced by plants in marginal agricultural environments, thus, adaptation to such environments may involve the same genes.