Whole genome duplication (polyploidization) is a dramatic genome-wide mutation whose ubiquity across eukaryotes suggests an adaptive benefit, though no mechanism has been identified. In the project, the successful applicant will be testing if WGD leads to phenotypic change that may confer adaptation in natural plant populations. To move beyond correlative studies, the work will combine field surveys, population ecology/genetics and targeted transplant experiments towards model stress environment (naturally toxic soil). The project will address the adaptive consequences of WGD over a hierarchy of levels: phenotype, population and species. To isolate the net effect of WGD, we will manipulate the mutation itself via synthesis of neo-polyploid lineages and complement the results by screen of adaptive potential of natural polyploid lineages using comparative niche modeling. We will build on our previous experimental and population genomic research in wild Arabidopsis, however, the PhD project will extend beyond this system to additional model plants in order to discern generality. The student will join an established international team of Ecological Genomics at the Department of Botany and their position will be funded by a new ERC Starting Grant DOUBLE ADAPT.

Five relevant publications of the research group: 

Wos G, Bohutínská M, Nosková M, Mandáková T, Kolář F (2020): Parallelism in gene expression between foothill and alpine ecotypes in Arabidopsis arenosa. – The Plant Journal doi: 10.1111/tpj.15105

Wos G, Mořkovská J, Bohutínská M, Šrámková G, Knotek A, Lučanová M, Španiel S, Marhold K, Kolář F (2019): Role of ploidy in colonization of alpine habitats in natural populations of Arabidopsis arenosa – Annals of Botany, doi 10.1093/aob/mcz070 link

Monnahan P*, Kolář F*, Baduel P*, Sailer C, Koch J, Horvath R, Laenen B, Schmickl R, Paajanen P, Šrámková G, Bohutínská M, Arnold B, Weismann C, Marhold K, Slotte T, Bomblies K, Yant L (2019): Pervasive population genomic consequences of genome duplication in Arabidopsis arenosa. – Nature Ecology and Evolution, doi 10.1038/s41559-019-0807-4. *equal contribution

Čertner M, Sudová R, Weiser M, Suda J, Kolář F (2018): Ploidy-altered phenotype interacts with local environment and may enhance polyploid establishment in Knautia serpentinicola (Caprifoliaceae). – New Phytologist, 221:1117–1127.

Kolář F, Čertner M, Suda J, Schönswetter P, Husband BC (2017): Mixed-ploidy species: progress and opportunities in polyploid research. – Trends in Plant Science, 22:1041-1055.

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