Natural variation in GA1 associates with floral morphology in Arabidopsis thaliana


Author for correspondence:
Marcus T. Brock
Tel: +1 307 766 6378


  • The genetic architecture of floral traits is evolutionarily important due to the fitness consequences of quantitative variation in floral morphology. Yet, little is known about the genes underlying these traits in natural populations. Using Arabidopsis thaliana, we examine molecular variation at GIBBERELLIC ACID REQUIRING 1 (GA1) and test for associations with floral morphology.
  • We examined full-length sequence in 32 accessions and describe two haplotypes (comprising four nonsynonymous polymorphisms) in GA1 that segregate at intermediate frequencies. In 133 A. thaliana accessions, we test for genotype–phenotype associations and corroborate these findings in segregating progenies.
  • The two common GA1 haplotypes were associated with the length of petals, stamens, and to a lesser extent style-stigma length. Associations were confirmed in a segregating progeny developed from 19 accessions. We find analogous results in recombinant inbred lines of the Bayreuth × Shahdara cross, which differ only at one of 4 SNPs, suggesting that this SNP may contribute to the observed association.
  • Assuming GA1 causally affects floral organ size, it is interesting that adjacent petal and stamen whorls are most strongly affected. This pattern suggests that GA1 could contribute to the greater strength of petal–stamen correlations relative to other floral-length correlations observed in some Brassicaceous species.