A unique recent origin of the allotetraploid species Arabidopsis suecica: Evidence from nuclear DNA markers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A coalescent-based method was used to investigate the origins of the allotetraploid Arabidopsis suecica, using 52 nuclear microsatellite loci typed in eight individuals of A. suecica and 14 individuals of its maternal parent Arabidopsis thaliana, and four short fragments of genomic DNA sequenced in a sample of four individuals of A. suecica and in both its parental species A. thaliana and Arabidopsis arenosa. All loci were variable in A. thaliana but only 24 of the 52 microsatellite loci and none of the four sequence fragments were variable in A. suecica. We explore a number of possible evolutionary scenarios for A. suecica and conclude that it is likely that A. suecica has a recent, unique origin between 12,000 and 300,000 years ago. The time estimates depend strongly on what is assumed about population growth and rates of mutation. When combined with what is known about the history of glaciations, our results suggest that A. suecica originated south of its present distribution in Sweden and Finland and then migrated north, perhaps in the wake of the retreating ice.


  • Mattias Jakobsson
  • J Hagenblad
  • S Tavare
  • Torbjörn Säll
  • Christer Halldén
  • C Lind-Hallden
  • M Nordborg
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Medicinal Chemistry


  • founders, speciation, polymorphism, polyploidy, Arabidopsis suecica, Arabidopsis thaliana
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1217-1231
JournalMolecular biology and evolution
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Publication categoryResearch