Dhaka, Dec. 2013. Scientists from Michigan State University (MSU) and collaborators from Colorado and Uppsala University have found that plant adaptation to different environments involves tradeoffs in performance. The MSU plant biologist, Douglas Schemske and Jon Agren from Uppsala University in their 5-year study of Arabidopsis plant populations in Sweden and Italy observed that in direct competition, the home plants do better than the visitors, supporting the notion that home populations are adapted to their local conditions. The long-held view they dispelled, however, was that it takes many genes to enhance the adaptations that allow plants to thrive in different climates. Even though the environments of Sweden and Italy are vastly different, Schemske found that the genes resident on only 15 % genomes of the plant are involved in adaptation” The paper published in the December issue of PNAS describes the phenomenon in a greater detail. The results shed light on processes governing the evolution of biological diversity and the potential for adaptive evolution in response to environmental change.