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Mechanisms of parallel adaptation towards recurrent environmental triggers

Organisms often adapt towards a changing environment multiple times across their native ranges forming similar phenotypes. But how often such evolutionary processes do repeat themselves at a genomic level? Wild relatives of the plant model Arabidopsis thaliana, that recurrently colonized various challenging environments such as alpine stands, ruderal habitats and toxic substrates, provide a unique opportunity for studying the molecular basis of parallelism in nature. We address questions about the mechanisms of adaptation towards high-alpine environments and hostile serpentine soils using multiple natural populations sampled both on and off the stressful site in multiple species (A. arenosa, A. halleri, Cardamine amara). By coupling genomic scans and demographic history reconstruction with screening of plant phenotypes, both in nature and in common gardens, we ask whether repeated switches in environment may lead to similar responses at level of both genome and phenotype.

Funding: Junior researcher project of Czech Science Foundation (17-20357Y) & Junior group leader research project of Charles University in Prague (Primus/SCI/35)

Key collaborators on this work are

Tanja Slotte (Univ. Stockholm)

Levi Yant (JIC Norwich)