Research – Overview
The long-term goal of our research is to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying adaptive traits. The focus of the Weigel group today is mostly on genetic diversity, which is being studied on several different levels. In addition to forward genetic analyses of wild Arabidopsis thaliana strains, we are examining sequence variation and its impact on a spectrum of phenotypes, including hybrid performance, on a whole-genome, whole-species scale. Such studies benefit tremendously from knowledge about the genomes of other species, and we have taken the lead in assembling genome sequences for several A. thaliana relatives. These projects are flanked by efforts in the group of Hernán A. Burbano, who is applying ancient DNA methods to unlock the knowledge stored in herbaria.
In all of these areas, second-generation sequencing is playing a major role. The department has been at the forefront of developing bioinformatic methods for the analysis of Illumina data, and has been using these for a range of applications, from sequencing A. thaliana strains to mapping of transcription factor binding sites and one-step mutation identification.
For additional information, please follow the links on the left to the individual projects. If you are interested in joining the department, please contact the individual project leaders highlighted above.