Research

We are carrying out research in the field of comparative and evolutionary plant cytogenetics and cytogenomics. Our commitment is to get new insights into the mechanisms and constraints of chromosome and karyotype evolution in plants, and to amalgamate comparative plant cytogenetics, genomics and phylogenetics.

Genome evolution in crucifers (Brassicaceae) is our leading research theme. Among other topics we are analysing the incidence, mechanisms and rate of chromosome rearrangements, sequence structure of chromosome breakpoints, modes of centromere repositioning and elimination, reconstructing ancestral genomes and pathways of genome evolution, and testing causal links between whole-genome duplication events (paleo- and mesopolyploidy), karyotypic variation and speciation. Although genome evolution in the mustard family is our prime research focus, research projects on chromosome and karyotype evolution in gingers and bananas, grasses or Boraginaceae are also ongoing.

In the lab we are employing three main methodological approaches:

(i) comparative and evolutionary cytogenetics and cytogenomics,

(ii) comparative analysis of next-generation sequence data (repeatomes),

(iii) multi-gene phylogenetics.

We are collaborating with a number of world-leading scientists and research groups in the field of comparative plant genomics and phylogenetics, e.g. I. A. Al-Shehbaz (Missouri Botanical Garden), M.S. Barker (U Arizona), G. Coupland, K. Schneeberger (MPI Cologne), J. Dolezel, A. Pecinka (IEB Olomouc), M. Koch (U Heidelberg), A. Kovarik (IBP Brno), K. Marhold (Charles U, Prague), K. Mummenhoff (U Osnabrück), M. Nordborg (GMI Vienna), Ch. Parisod (U Neuchatel), E. Schranz (U Wageningen), I. Schubert (IPK Gatersleben), T. Mitchell-Olds, M. Windham (Duke U) etc.