This research area aims to identify molecular and chemical mechanisms underlying organismal diversity, interaction networks and (co-)evolutionary processes that lead to local adaptation, population differentiation and speciation. This includes the functioning of complex organismal communities, such as micro- and holobiomes.
Which chemicals drive organismal interactions and adaptation to environmental change?
Chemicals are important for communication between plants, microbes and animals. Tapping into this chemical communication is essential to understand how biodiversity emerges and is maintained.
Computer-assisted approaches for metabolite identification reveal novel chemical cues in intraspecific communication and multitrophic networks (Complexity, Functions). Novel plant metabolites may be used for sustainable resistance in agro-ecosystems (Society).
What are the molecular mechanisms underlying functional links in highly diverse microbiomes and their hosts?
Microbial communities are important drivers of ecosystem functioning as well as the performance of macro-organisms.
Molecular tools help to identify microbial communities, their interactions and their functions (Complexity, Functions). iDiv reserachers will integrate ecological concepts and holobiome data with information on human microbiomes to better understand how complex microbiomes can be maintained under environmental change (Society).
How does environmental change impact the evolutionary processes underpinning local adaptation, population structure and speciation?
Organisms adapt to environmental change, which leads to population-genetic divergence and speciation.
Genomic analyses reveal the evolutionary consequences of global change on local adaptation, speciation and population differentiation (Complexity). Local adaptation and eco-evolutionary processes influence how populations respond to global change (Change).
Holzmeyer, L., ..., Muellner-Riehl, A. N., ..., and Schnitzler, J. (2020). Evaluation of Plant Sources for Antiinfective Lead Compound Discovery by Correlating Phylogenetic, Spatial, and Bioactivity Data. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1915277117
Prada‐Salcedo, L. D., ..., Heintz‐Buschart, A., Reitz, T., ..., and Buscot, F. (2020). Fungal guilds and soil functionality respond to tree community traits rather than to tree diversity in European forests. Molecular Ecology, DOI: 10.1111/mec.15749
Tehel, A., …, and Paxton, R.J. (2020). Experimental Infection of Bumblebees with Honeybee-Associated Viruses: No Direct Fitness Costs but Potential Future Threats to Novel Wild Bee Hosts. Royal Society Open Science 7, DOI: 10.1098/rsos.200480
Volf, M., Weinhold, A., …, Uthe, H., ...., Richter, R., …, Wirth, C. and van Dam, N. M. (2020). Branch-localized induction promotes efficacy of volatile defences and herbivore predation in trees. Journal of Chemical Ecology, DOI: 10.1007/s10886-020-01232-z