DOI: 10.1101/452581Oct 25, 2018Paper

Comprehensive understanding of population structure and adaptation through graphical representation of gene–environment–trait associations

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Reiichiro NakamichiHirohisa Kishino


A variable environment affects the physiological states of individuals and, in the long run, modifies their shapes. These changes, together with geographic barriers, generate population structure. Here, we propose a graphical representation of significant associations between genes, environments, and traits. A unique feature of the graph is the node of genome F ST. The subnetwork around this node suggests the cause and the effects of population structure and segregation. A global structure of the graph enables to grasp a comprehensive picture of adaptation to the environment. Focused look at the neighbors of the environmental factors identifies the adaptive traits and the genetic background that supported the adaptation of the traits. Isolated nodes express genetic differentiations that are not explained by the population structure, implying the presence of some unrecognized environmental factor. We show the potential usefulness of our graphical representation by a detailed analysis of public dataset of wild poplar.

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