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Using cis-regulatory mutations to highlight polygenic adaptation in natural plant systems

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "AdaptoSCOPE" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: KOELN
postcode: 50931

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Germany [DE]
 Total cost 1˙683˙120 €
 EC max contribution 1˙683˙120 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-CoG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-09-01   to  2020-08-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITAET ZU KOELN DE (KOELN) coordinator 1˙683˙120.00


 Project objective

The goal of this project is to demonstrate that novel aspects of the molecular basis of Darwinian adaptation can be discovered if the polygenic basis of adaptation is taken into account. This project will use the genome-wide distribution of cis-regulatory variants to discover the molecular pathways that are optimized during adaptation via accumulation of small effect mutations. Current approaches include scans for outlier genes with strong population genetics signatures of selection, or large effect QTL associating with fitness. They can only reveal a small subset of the molecular changes recruited along adaptive paths. Here, instead, the distribution of small effect mutations will be used to make inferences on the targets of polygenic adaptation across divergent populations in each of the two closely related species, A. thaliana and A. lyrata. These species are both found at diverse latitudes and show sign of local adaptation to climatic differences. Mutations affecting cis-regulation will be identified in leaves of plants exposed to various temperature regimes triggering phenotypic responses of adaptive relevance. Their distribution in clusters of functionally connected genes will be quantified. The phylogeographic differences in the distribution of the mutations will be used to disentangle neutral from adaptive clusters of functionally connected genes in each of the two species. This project will identify the molecular pathways subjected collectively to natural selection and provide a completely novel view on adaptive landscapes. It will further examine whether local adaptation occurs by convergent evolution of molecular systems in plants. This approach has the potential to find broad applications in ecology and agriculture.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Juliette de Meaux
Cis -regulatory variation in plant genomes and the impact of natural selection
published pages: , ISSN: 0002-9122, DOI: 10.1002/ajb2.1180
American Journal of Botany 2019-07-25
2017 Jinyong Hu, Li Lei, Juliette de Meaux
Temporal fitness fluctuations in experimental Arabidopsis thaliana populations
published pages: e0178990, ISSN: 1932-6203, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0178990
PLOS ONE 12/6 2019-07-25
2018 Hannes Dittberner, Arthur Korte, Tabea Mettler-Altmann, Andreas P. M. Weber, Grey Monroe, Juliette de Meaux
Natural variation in stomata size contributes to the local adaptation of water-use efficiency in Arabidopsis thaliana
published pages: 4052-4065, ISSN: 0962-1083, DOI: 10.1111/mec.14838
Molecular Ecology 27/20 2019-07-25
2018 Ulrike Göbel, Agustin L Arce, Fei He, Alain Rico, Gregor Schmitz, Juliette de Meaux
Robustness of Transposable Element Regulation but No Genomic Shock Observed in Interspecific Arabidopsis Hybrids
published pages: 1403-1415, ISSN: 1759-6653, DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evy095
Genome Biology and Evolution 10/6 2019-07-25
2018 Shirin Glander, Fei He, Gregor Schmitz, Anika Witten, Arndt Telschow, Juliette de Meaux
Assortment of Flowering Time and Immunity Alleles in Natural Arabidopsis thaliana Populations Suggests Immunity and Vegetative Lifespan Strategies Coevolve
published pages: 2278-2291, ISSN: 1759-6653, DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evy124
Genome Biology and Evolution 10/9 2019-07-25
2016 Fei He, Agustin L. Arce, Gregor Schmitz, Maarten Koornneef, Polina Novikova, Andreas Beyer, Juliette de Meaux
The Footprint of Polygenic Adaptation on Stress-Responsive Cis -Regulatory Divergence in the Arabidopsis Genus
published pages: 2088-2101, ISSN: 0737-4038, DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msw096
Molecular Biology and Evolution 33/8 2019-07-25

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