Molecular Biology - Detlef Weigel
There is tremendous phenotypic diversity between and within species. Much of this is thought to reflect adaptation to the environment. Drawing on tools from high-throughput genomics to forward genetics, we are investigating the mechanisms responsible for adaptive variation.
The long-term goal of our research is to understand how adaptive traits evolve and what the underlying molecular mechanisms are. To this end, we are using both phenotype- and genotype-driven approaches to identify genetic and epigenetic variants with a potential role in local, regional, or global adaptation. Such studies have benefitted from knowledge about the genomes of other species, as well from a historical perspective that exploits ancient DNA methods to unlock the knowledge stored in herbaria. One of our lines of research, on the interaction of plants with microbial communities in the field, is being supported through a Synergy grant from the ERC. You can read the grant proposal here.
Apart from scientific discoveries, training the next generation of leaders is very important to us. Many former members have established successful careers in a variety of areas, including academia, foundations, and small and large biotech companies, and several have won major scientific prizes and awards. There is a range of exciting opportunities to perform cutting-edge work in the department, and we are always interested in hearing from undergraduates, prospective doctoral researchers and postdocs who want to be part of our team.
Hajk-Georg Drost's research group develops innovative software solutions for handling large amounts of genomic information.
More details on our research can be found on the departmental web site.