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The anchoring effect-long-term dormancy and genetic population structure

Journal article
Authors Lisa Sundqvist
Anna Godhe
Per R. Jonsson
Josefin Sefbom
Published in Isme Journal
Volume 12
Issue 12
Pages 2929-2941
ISSN 1751-7362
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of marine sciences
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Tjärnö Marine Biological Laboratory
Pages 2929-2941
Language en
Keywords nitzschia-pungens bacillariophyceae, alexandrium-fundyense cysts, fresh-water zooplankton, marine diatom, genotypic diversity, bloom, development, local adaptation, spring bloom, seed banks, egg banks, Environmental Sciences & Ecology, Microbiology, ates of america, v108, p4252
Subject categories Environmental Sciences, Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources


Understanding the genetic structure of populations is key to revealing past and present demographic and evolutionary processes in a species. In the past decade high genetic differentiation has been observed in many microbial species challenging the previous view of cosmopolitan distribution. Populations have displayed high genetic differentiation, even at small spatial scales, despite apparent high dispersal. Numerous species of microalgae have a life-history strategy that includes a long-term resting stage, which can accumulate in sediments and serve as refuge during adverse conditions. It is presently unclear how these seed banks affect the genetic structure of populations in aquatic environments. Here we provide a conceptual framework, using a simple model, to show that long-term resting stages have an anchoring effect on populations leading to increased genetic diversity and population differentiation in the presence of gene flow. The outcome that species with resting stages have a higher degree of genetic differentiation compared to species without, is supported by empirical data obtained from a systematic literature review. With this work we propose that seed banks in aquatic microalgae play an important role in the contradicting patterns of gene flow, and ultimately the adaptive potential and population dynamics in species with long-term resting stages.

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