Latest News

Moi's paper on adaptation to climate change on bioRxiv

Posted on March 20, 2017

On the potential of Arabidopsis to adapt in situ to #climatechange (with many helpers) read more

Genomic basis and evolutionary potential for extreme drought adaptation in Arabidopsis thaliana

Expósito Alonso, M., Vasseur, F., Ding, W., Wang, G., Burbano, H. A., Weigel, D.

Because earth is currently experiencing unprecedented climate change, it is important to predict how species will respond to it. However, geographically-explicit predictive studies frequently ignore that species are comprised of genetically diverse individuals that can vary in their degree of adaptation to extreme local environments; properties that will determine the species ability to withstand climate change. Because an increase in extreme drought events is expected to challenge plant communities with global warming, we carried out a greenhouse experiment to investigate which genetic variants predict surviving an extreme drought event and how those variants are distributed across Eurasian Arabidopsis thaliana individuals. Genetic variants conferring higher drought survival showed signatures of polygenic adaptation, and were more frequently found in Mediterranean and Scandinavian regions. Using geoenvironmental models, we predicted that Central European populations might lag behind in adaptation by the end of the 21st century. Further analyses showed that a population decline could nevertheless be compensated by natural selection acting efficiently over standing variation or by migration of adapted individuals from populations at the margins of the species distribution. These findings highlight the importance of within-species genetic heterogeneity in facilitating an evolutionary response to a changing climate.


Congrats Karsten Borgwardt – Full Professor ETH

Posted on March 10, 2017

We congratulate former WeigelWorld member Karsten Borgwardt read more

Prof. Dr. Karsten M. Borgwardt (*1980), currently Associate Professor at ETH Zurich, has been appointed as Full Professor of Data Mining at ETH. Karsten is a highly renowned scientist who works on one of the key problems for the modern life sciences – efficient computer-based searches in fast-growing datasets. Congratulations, Karsten!


March for Science - Earth Day April 22

Posted on February 17, 2017

Around the world - and also in Tübingen. read more

Genomics of rapid Evolution in Novel Environments network

Posted on February 13, 2017

Today, on Charles Darwin's 208th birthday, we announce the launch of GrENE-net read more

Today, on Charles Darwin’s 208th birthday, we announce the launch of GrENE-net. A coordinated distributed global evolution experiment to study the Genomics of rapid Evolution in Novel Environments, that will give clues about plant adaptation in a rapidly changing world.

In brief, the idea is to sow seed mixtures of ca. 200 Arabidopsis thaliana ecotypes (previously sequenced in the 1001 genomes project and phenotypically characterized) in a large number of sites around the globe, starting in autumn 2017. Participants will collect plant material during subsequent flowering seasons for pool sequencing to assess allele frequency changes genome-wide. This will be used to investigate rapid evolution by natural selection across space. Combining this data with previous knowledge of phenotypes as well as with records of environmental variables will help to understand natural selection in an ecological context.

You can also find more detailed information, including the latest version of the experimental protocol, on our project website on

PhD opening to work on grain amaranths

Posted on February 06, 2017

Joint project with Karl Schmid, Univ. of Hohenheim ... read more

Research Associate (TV-L E13 65%)
Population and quantitative genomics of heterosis in cultivated Amaranth

The three species of grain amaranth are ancient crops whose grains have a high nutritional value. Their domestication history is characterized by hybridization and gene flow. Amaranth species are annual plants with small genomes and a short generation time, which makes them attractive model organisms for lab and field experiments. Based on genomic data sets and phenotypic data from intra- and interspecific segregating populations the specific project goals are to (1) identify genomic regions with high diversity and footprints of gene flow between species (2) investigate the effects of interspecific vs. intraspecific heterosis on phenotypic traits and environmental stability a nd (3) map heterosis-associated genomic regions.
We are looking for a highly motivated and creative Ph. D. student with a strong background in population genetics, quantitative genetics, bioinformatics, evolutionary biology or plant breeding to work on this project. The student will be co-advised by Dr. Karl Schmid (University of Hohenheim; and Dr. Detlef Weigel (MPI of Developmental Biology;
The project is part of the Hohenheim-Tübingen Regio Alliance, which offers very good opportunities for interaction and further training. The position is available immediately and is funded for three years according to the E13 TV-L government salary scale (65% part-time). Registration for the Ph.D. program of the Faculty of Agriculture to obtain a Ph.D. degree is expected. The University of Hohenheim is an equal opportunity employer. Women and members of minority groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

Application deadline: 21.02.2017

Please attach the following documents to your application: Please upload your application material (Cover letter, CV, publications, a short letter of motivation and research interests, addresses of at least two references) as a single PDF.

The University of Hohenheim accepts applications via a secure internet site. To the application

Offer to temporary bench or desk space

Posted on February 02, 2017

We are offering scientists temporary bench or desk space ... read more

We are offering scientists temporary bench or desk space, library access and will help with finding accommodation for US-based scientists who are stranded abroad due to the White House Executive Order 13769 "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States" of 27 January, 2017.


Upcoming Events


MiKo Talk Pascale Cossart


MiKo Talk Ada Yonath

April 5, 3 pm
MPH Lecture Hall

Title: "TBA"


MiKo Talk Ed Green