Grunelius Möllgaard Labor
Heike Kappes, Dr. Christian Printzen and Dr. Juraj Paule at Grunelius-Möllgaard Laboratory

Molecular Evolution of Plants


Research of the section “Molecular Evolution of Plants” is focused on microevolutionary processes that provide and enable population and lineage diversification with a specific interest in interspecific hybridization and polyploidisation, mechanisms representing particularly important means of speciation in plants.

Further focus is in differentiation and shift in reproductive modes of plants. The research falls into the field “Biodiversity, Systematics and Evolution” and partially into “Biodioversity and Climate“.

Current Research Projects

Drivers of evolution in Bromeliaceae

Within several projects dealing with the neotropical family Bromeliaceae, drivers and processes forming a vast diversity of this family are identified. Apart from phylogenetic approaches also population genetics as well as ploidy and genome size estimations are applied.
(with E. M. C Leme, A. M. Benko-Iseppon, K. Weising, G. Zizka)

Evolutionary origin and speciation in agamospermic species complexes in the genus Potentilla

Hybridisation, often followed by polyploidisation or introgression, is an important mechanism in the speciation and evolution of higher plants. The genus Potentilla is used as a model system for studying these phenomena as it is morphologically extensively variable, exclusively polyploid and expresses apomixis.
(with T. Gregor, C. Dobeš)

Phylogeography of Carpinus betulus and Carpinus orientalis with the focus on Carpathian and Balkan Mountains

Investigation of hornbeam species is very important due to a unique episode in the forest history in Europe defined by a hornbeam layer between oak and spruce forest. It is specific for Carpathian and Balkan Mountains and constitute one of the regional differences between the postglacial vegetation history of Balkans and Western Europe.
(with L. Paule, P. Zhelev, D. Postolache, F. Popescu)

Evolution, systematics and taxonomy of central European polyploid complexes

Ploidy variation of several central European species complexes (e. g. Sorbus, Ranunculus) is studied in order to elucidate the underlying evolutionary scenarios and draw taxonomic conclusions.
(with T. Gregor)