Plant Evol CytoGenomics

Welcome to the lab of Plant Evolutionary CytoGenomics!

This research group was founded in 2016 by Roswitha Schmickl, who initially came to Czech Republic as a postdoctoral researcher of Jan Suda. I did my Ph.D. in plant evolutionary biology in the group of Marcus Koch at the University of Heidelberg, and an internship in the lab of Aaron Liston at Oregon State University during my postdoc was the final trigger for me to set up my own research team.

My lab is interested in why (not) and how differentiation and diversity originate, establish and keep maintained in natural populations and across plant groups. We work on whole genome duplication, hybridization and cytogenomic processes as potential drivers of differentiation and diversity. The model systems of our research are radiating plant groups of various age, mainly southern African Oxalis and the genus Arabidopsis, but also the Campanula rotundifolia agg. and Rosaceae subtribe Malinae. We test our hypotheses using genomic methods (Hyb-Seq, genome sequencing, RADseq), which we combine with flow cytometry, cytology, morphometrics, and ecological experiments.

A strong focus of my lab is phylogenomics. We use hundreds of single-copy nuclear markers and plastid genomes to generate highly resolved phylogenies of radiating groups. We utilize the Hyb-Seq approach, which is a combination of target enrichment and genome skimming, and we gained a strong expertise in probe design, wet lab procedure and data analysis. My lab drives novel ways of Hyb-Seq data analysis forward, including the challenge of whole genome multiplication and hybridity, and we are currently expanding the application of Hyb-Seq towards the population level.