Genetic differentiation of high-temperature tolerance in the kelp Undaria pinnatifida sporophytes from geographically separated populations along the Pacific coast of Japan

Xu Gao, Hikaru Endo, Kazuya Taniguchi, Yukio Agatsuma

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    28 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The kelp Undaria pinnatifida has a widespread latitudinal range in Japan, with populations exposed to very different temperature regimes. To test the hypothesis that U. pinnatifida exhibits genetic differentiation in its temperature response, juvenile sporophytes from a warmer location (Naruto, southern Japan) and two colder locations (Okirai Bay and Matsushima Bay, northern Japan) were collected and transplanted to long lines, cultivated under the environmental conditions in Matsushima Bay. These plants were bred using successive self-crossing methods for three generations and the characteristics of photosynthesis, growth, survival, and nitrogen contents of the third-generation juvenile sporophytes (2-3 cm) then were measured and compared. The plants from Naruto showed significantly higher photosynthetic activities and respiration than those from the northern populations at warmer temperatures of 20-35°C. The juvenile sporophytes from all three locations had similar growth rates below 18°C, but significant differences were observed at 18-24°C. The optimum temperatures for growth were 14-16°C in plants that originated from Okirai Bay and Matsushima Bay and 18°C in plants that originated from Naruto. These results reflected the differences in latitude. Dead plants were observed at high temperatures of 22 and 24°C in the northern population plants, whereas no plants from Naruto died. Juvenile sporophytes from Naruto exhibited the greatest capacity to accumulate high nitrogen reserves. These results suggest that the differences in high-temperature tolerance in juvenile U. pinnatifida sporophytes from geographically separated populations are due to genetic differentiation rather than phenotypic plasticity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)567-574
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Applied Phycology
    Volume25
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jan 1

    Keywords

    • Ecotype
    • Growth
    • High temperature tolerance
    • Nitrogen content
    • Survival
    • Undaria pinnatifida Phaeophyta

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Aquatic Science
    • Plant Science

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