Research topics and projects

Our group is interested in characterizing patterns and processes of genetic variation in crop plants and their relatives using population genetic, quantitative genetic, bioinformatics and related approaches.

Plant genetic resources contribute to future plant breeding in a rapidly changing world. We investigate genetic and phenotypic diversity of wild and exotic germplasm to identify useful genetic variation by investigating the history of domestication and their adaptation to different environments. We use population genetic and quantitative genetic approaches and plant breeding to investigate these questions and to develop new approaches for the utilization of PGR in breeding modern varieties.

Ongoing projects involve barley, soybean, maize, quinoa and amaranth:

  • Genetic variation and pre-breeding in wild and cultivated barley
  • Identification of adaptive genes in genetic resources of soybean using landscape genomics
  • Large scale phenotyping using deep learning and genotyping of maize genetic resources from Peru and Switzerland
  • Genetic and phenotypic diversity of quinoa and development of breeding programs in Peru und Central Europe
  • Flowering time variation in genetic resources of amaranth

For more information about the projects, please check out our recent publications.

Funding sources

  • Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
  • German Ministry of Science and Research (BMBF)
  • German Ministry of Agriculture (BMEL)
  • AiF