Research teams

Adaptive Genetics and Genomics

AGG 2 members

The Adaptive Genomics and Genetics group is interested in identifying and characterizing genes involved in plant adaptation or domestication. In order to do this, we use a combination of bioinformatics, molecular biology and genetics in plant model systems like Arabidopsis and tomato.
Biological Question
How can some plants grow in sea water? What allows plants to thrive in deserts?
In our team, we are interested in understanding how plants have evolved to adapt to all these different environments. This interest has practical implications: if we ever need to grow crops in extreme conditions, we better start by understanding how the plants that are already growing in those environments do it, so we can later use this knowledge to breed new crops that can do the same.

Models, tools and methods
In order to identify and characterize the molecular mechanisms involved in plant adaptation to diverse environments, the AGG team uses a combination of genomics, genetics and molecular biology. In particular, we specialize in modern technologies that can efficiently extract vast amounts of information about an organism, such as its genome sequence (high throughput sequencing), the genes that are active (transcriptomics), the compounds in its cells (metabolomics) or its detailed growth patterns (phenomics).

Our lab uses the plant Arabidopsis as a model to study adaptation, because it is a species that has spread all over the world and can be found in very different environments, from cities to the highest mountains to remote islands.
However, the plant we are more excited about is tomato. In this species, we want to understand the process of domestication: How did our ancestors transform wild tomatoes, local plants from South America with very small and tasty fruits, into the fast-growing crop with large and tasteless fruits that are now grown worldwide?
Fruits from a wild tomato
Tomato leaves
Adaptive Genetics and Genomics