Microgeographic genome size differentiation of the carob tree, Ceratonia siliqua, at 'Evolution Canyon', Israel

Petr Bureš, Tomáš Pavlíček, Lucie Horová, Eviatar Nevo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


• Background and Aims: We tested whether the local differences in genome size recorded earlier in the wild barley, Hordeum spontaneum, at 'Evolution Canyon', Mount Carmel, Israel, can also be found in other organisms. As a model species for our test we chose the evergreen carob tree, Ceratonia siliqua. • Methods: Genome size was measured by means of DAPI flow cytometry. • Key Results: In adults, significantly more DNA was recorded in trees growing on the more illuminated, warmer, drier, microclimatically more fluctuating 'African' south-facing slope than in trees on the opposite, less illuminated, cooler and more humid, 'European' north-facing slope in spite of an interslope distance of only 100 m at the canyon bottom and 400 m at the top. The amount of DNA was significantly negatively correlated with leaf length and tree circumference. In seedlings, interslope differences in the amount of genome DNA were not found. In addition, the first cases of triploidy and tetraploidy were found in C. siliqua. • Conclusions: The data on C. siliqua at 'Evolution Canyon' showed that local variability in the C-value exists in this species and that ecological stress might be a strong evolutionary driving force in shaping the amount of DNA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-535
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Botany
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Israel Discount Bank Chair of Evolutionary Biology, the Ancell-Teicher Research Foundation for Genetics and Molecular Evolution, and the Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic (research project MSM 143100010 Spatial and Temporal Biodiversity Dynamics in Ecosystems of Central Europe). Our thanks go to Professor A. B. Korol for help with the permutation test and to Mr Rosovsky and Robin Permut for editing.


  • 'Evolution Canyon'
  • Carob
  • Ceratonia siliqua
  • DNA content
  • Flow cytometry
  • Genome size

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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