Coping with alpine habitats: genomic insights into the adaptation strategies of Triplostegia glandulifera (Caprifoliaceae)

作  者:Zhang J#, Dong KL#, Ren MZ#, Wang ZW#, Li JH, Sun WJ, Zhao X, Fu XX, Ye JF, Liu B, Zhang DM, Wang MZ, Zeng G, Niu YT, Lu LM, Su JX, Liu ZJ, Soltis PS, Soltis DE*, Chen ZD*
刊物名称:Horticulture Research
卷:11  期:5  页码:uhae077


How plants find a way to thrive in alpine habitats remains largely unknown. Here we present a chromosome-level genome assembly for an alpine medicinal herb, Triplostegia glandulifera (Caprifoliaceae), and 13 transcriptomes from other species of Dipsacales. We detected a whole-genome duplication event in T. glandulifera that occurred prior to the diversification of Dipsacales. Preferential gene retention after whole-genome duplication was found to contribute to increasing cold-related genes in T. glandulifera. A series of genes putatively associated with alpine adaptation (e.g. CBFs, ERF-VIIs, and RAD51C) exhibited higher expression levels in T. glandulifera than in its low-elevation relative, Lonicera japonica. Comparative genomic analysis among five pairs of high- vs low-elevation species, including a comparison of T. glandulifera and L. japonica, indicated that the gene families related to disease resistance experienced a significantly convergent contraction in alpine plants compared with their lowland relatives. The reduction in gene repertory size was largely concentrated in clades of genes for pathogen recognition (e.g. CNLs, prRLPs, and XII RLKs), while the clades for signal transduction and development remained nearly unchanged. This finding reflects an energy-saving strategy for survival in hostile alpine areas, where there is a tradeoff with less challenge from pathogens and limited resources for growth. We also identified candidate genes for alpine adaptation (e.g. RAD1, DMC1, and MSH3) that were under convergent positive selection or that exhibited a convergent acceleration in evolutionary rate in the investigated alpine plants. Overall, our study provides novel insights into the high-elevation adaptation strategies of this and other alpine plants.