Latest News

Congratulations, Dr. Clemens Weiss!

Posted on July 05, 2019

Clemens successfully defended his PhD thesis on the use of ancient DNA from plants and microbes for evolutionary inference. read more

Congratulations, Clemens!

Genome Editing – Chancen und Risiken

Posted on July 05, 2019

Public lecture on genome editing as part of the Studium Generale read more

Detlef spoke about "How common are spontaneous mutations in plants - and how do they compare to genome editing?"

Last year, the European Court of Justice decided that the EU Directive on the release of genetically modified organisms should also be applied to genome edited plants and animals. Detlef explained what mutations are all about and how the Court arrived at its decision. His slides (in German) can be accessed on figshare.

Congratulations, Dr. Julian Regalado!

Posted on July 04, 2019

Julian successfully defended his PhD thesis on the use of whole genome shotgun sequencing in microbiome studies. read more


Congratulations, Julian!

Nat Ecol Evol: The mashed-up origin of European potatoes

Posted on June 24, 2019

The origins and adaptation of the modern European potato have been unveiled using historical herbarium genomes. read more

The origins and adaptation of European potatoes reconstructed from historical genomes

Gutaker, R.M., Weiß, C.L., Ellis, D., Anglin, N.L., Knapp, S., Fernández-Alonso, J.L., Prat, S., Burbano H.A.

Nat. Ecol. Evol.

Potato, one of the most important staple crops, originates from the highlands of the equatorial Andes. There, potatoes propagate vegetatively via tubers under short days, constant throughout the year. After their introduction to Europe in the sixteenth century, potatoes adapted to a shorter growing season and to tuber formation under long days. Here, we traced the demographic and adaptive history of potato introduction to Europe. To this end, we sequenced 88 individuals that comprise landraces, modern cultivars and historical herbarium samples, including specimens collected by Darwin during the voyage of the Beagle. Our findings show that European potatoes collected during the period 1650–1750 were closely related to Andean landraces. After their introduction to Europe, potatoes admixed with Chilean genotypes. We identified candidate genes putatively involved in long-day pre-adaptation, and showed that the 1650–1750 European individuals were not long-day adapted through previously described allelic variants of the CYCLING DOF FACTOR1 gene. Such allelic variants were detected in Europe during the nineteenth century. Our study highlights the power of combining contemporary and historical genomes to understand the complex evolutionary history of crop adaptation to new environments.


Biennial WeigelWorld Retreat Bad Urach 2019

Posted on May 30, 2019

Focus: Local adaptation of hosts and their pathogen read more

Over two days, we discussed strategies how to best learn the scale of local adaptation in host-pathogen interactions, and how to understand its evolutionary and molecular foundations. Central focus was our Pathodopsis project launched last year. Fun and games and hikes further stimulated our discussions!



Tübinger Fenster für Forschung, May 24

Posted on May 24, 2019

Detlef to speak about genome editing in plants read more

The Tübinger Fenster für Forschung (TÜFFF) will offer insights into local cutting edge research. It's open to all members of the public, and all ages. We'll participate with hands-on demonstrations and a public lecture on genome editing in plants.

More information here.




Upcoming Events


MiKo Talk Christian Sohlenkamp


Genome Editing with CRISPR Conference

September 4-6
Humboldt Uni, Berlin

Detlef speaking about "Epistasis, the spice of life: Lessons from the study of the plant immune system"


Wissenschaft im Sauriersaal

Museum of Natural History in Berlin, 7:30 pm

Detlef discussing (in German): "Revolution in der Genomeditierung- Wo sind die Grenzen?"