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Réponse à court terme des populations de blé européens aux conditions agro-climatiques contrastées : analyse génétique et première étape vers le développement de marqueurs épigénétiques dans les gènes précoces VRN-A1

Abstract : Biodiversity provides the raw material for evolution and adaptation of populations and species. In agricultural biodiversity, the within-population genetic diversity is of major importance. On one hand, it can provide a buffering effect against the year-to-year variation of climate or biotic pressures and on the other hand diversity serves as a resource for the population to respond to selective pressures due to specific local conditions, thus allowing for local adaptation, particularly in the case where a population is introduced into a new location. Due to its wide geographic distribution indicating a high adaptiveotential and its socio-economic importance, wheat was chosen as model crop in this study. Flowering time is a major adaptive trait which has allows wheat to grow over a wide range of ecological and climatic conditions. This PhD study was designed to gain insights about the influence of within population diversity on the short term response of populations to contrasting agro-climatic conditions by studying the genetic, epigenetic and phenotypic variation. But due to the lack of prior existence of epigenetic markers, this thesis study is divided of two parts: In the first part, European wheat populations coming from a set of seven farmer and one modern varieties, each of which was grown on seven farms (distributed across Europe) for three years, were used to study their short term response to contrasting agro-climatic conditions in Europe by analysing their phenotypic and genotypic variations. For the second part the effect of vernalization on the DNA methylation profile of theVRN-A1 gene in winter wheat was studied as a first step towards the development for the epigenetic marker in this gene.The results from the first part of the study revealed that conservation history of these farmer varieties strongly influenced the genetic diversity and fine genetic structure. Ex situ conserved farmer varieties showed low genetic diversity and simpler structure whereas in situ conserved farmer varieties and mixtures revealed higher level of genetic diversity and complex genetic structure. Genetic and phenotypic spatio-temporal differentiation depending upon the level of diversity and structural complexity of the farmer variety was observed. The traditional varieties tend to become more differentiated than the modern variety arguing in favour of use of these diverse traditional (farmer) varieties in organic and low input agriculture systems. Interestingly, a significant phenotypic differentiation for varieties with very low genetic diversity has also been observed in this study, which gives indication of a possible role of epigenetic variation in the process of evolution.From the second part of the study (effect of vernalization on the DNA methylation profile of the VRN-A1 gene), it was found that in addition to the detection of gene body methylation across the VRN-A1 gene, we identified a region within intron 1 that shows significant increase in DNA methylation in response to vernalization treatment that is positively correlated with the gene expression. Although the role of this shift in gene regulation is still unclear due to time limitations in the thesis and the small number of genotypes analysed, this study will provide a good material towards future identification of new epialleles and the development of epigenetic markers to study the epigenetic variability of these populations.This study at large provides useful knowledge on the understanding of farmers' varieties evolutionary response to be used in the development of different breeding and conservation approaches for organic agriculture, taking into consideration of the importance of within population diversity, to satisfactorily address the problems of organic agriculture.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - 4:36:13 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-00980832, version 1

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Abdul Rehman Khan. Réponse à court terme des populations de blé européens aux conditions agro-climatiques contrastées : analyse génétique et première étape vers le développement de marqueurs épigénétiques dans les gènes précoces VRN-A1. Sciences agricoles. Université Paris Sud - Paris XI, 2013. Français. ⟨NNT : 2013PA112116⟩. ⟨tel-00980832⟩

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