The research group Domestication Genomics studies domestication and adaptation processes and their interaction with genetic diversity in crops and their wild relative. Research is mainly focused on the temperate cereals barley, wheat and rye, for which a large number of wild and domesticated accessions are maintained in the IPK genebank. The main research goals are:
- Elucidating the relationship between crops and their extant wild relatives and progenitors;
- Tracing the demographic development and adaptation of cereal crops as they expanded their range from the initial site of domestication in the Fertile Crescent into Europe;
- Understanding the molecular consequences of domestication on patterns of nucleotide diversity, gene expression and gene regulation.
Towards these aims, we apply methods of population genetics, genome informatics and gene expression analysis to genome-wide sequence, genetic marker and transcriptome datasets. We are also involved in the development of genomic sequence and map resources to enable the unbiased assessment of genetic variation in highly diverse germplasm collections and facilitate the genomic contextualization of sequence data.