Rapid and independent evolution of ancestral and novel defenses in a genus of toxic plants (Erysimum, Brassicaceae) [article]

Tobias Züst, Susan R. Strickler, Adrian F. Powell, Makenzie E Mabry, Hong An, Mahdieh Mirzaei, Thomas York, Cynthia K. Holland, Pavan Kumar, Matthias Erb, Georg Petschenka, José-María Gomez (+5 others)
2019 bioRxiv   pre-print
Phytochemical diversity is thought to result from coevolutionary cycles as specialization in herbivores imposes diversifying selection on plant chemical defenses. Plants in the speciose genus Erysimum (Brassicaceae) produce both ancestral glucosinolates and evolutionarily novel cardenolides as defenses. Here we test macroevolutionary hypotheses on co-expression, co-regulation, and diversification of these potentially redundant defenses across this genus. We sequenced and assembled the genome of
more » ... E. cheiranthoides and foliar transcriptomes of 47 additional Erysimum species to construct a highly resolved phylogeny, revealing that cardenolide diversity increased rapidly rather than gradually over evolutionary time. Concentrations, inducibility, and diversity of the two defenses varied independently among species, with no evidence for trade-offs. Closely related species shared similar cardenolide traits, but not glucosinolate traits, likely as a result of specific selective pressures acting on distinct molecular diversification mechanisms. Ancestral and novel chemical defenses in Erysimum thus appear to provide complementary rather than redundant functions.
doi:10.1101/761569 fatcat:5wwqar64v5cqhhh26kxzaedui4