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Research in the Plant Reproduction Lab

We study flowering in the genus Chenopodium (goosefoot) and cytoplasmic male sterility in bladder campion (Silene vulgaris) - two interesting aspects of plant reproduction.

  1. The genus Chenopodium contains both short-day and long-day plant species. Tetraploid Chenopodium rubrum (now Oxybasis rubra) has been a traditional model studied at the Institute of Experimental Botany for a long time. A surprising feature of short-day C. rubrum is its sensitivity to photoperiodic induction at seedling stage. Another interesting species is Chenopodium ficifolium, diploid relative of the important crop Chenopodium quinoa. We are using advanced tools of transcriptomics to decipher gene regulatory circuits controlling floral induction, focusing on the members of the FT/TFL family, particularly FLOWERING LOCUS T, and on the COL (CONSTANS like) family.

  2. The second topic of our interest is cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) in Silene vulgaris. CMS is encoded by mitochondrial DNA, which is extremely diverse in this species. This genomic diversity enables the identification of regulatory elements in mitochondrial genome and also the nuclear proteins which recognize them. Silene vulgaris offers an exceptional opportunity to integrate structural and functional investigation of plant mitochondrial genome with the ultimate goal to clarify its evolution in angiosperms.