Lund University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology
We seek a PhD student for a project:
Ecotype differentiation in plants – a first step towards speciation?
– Scorzoneroides (= Leontodon) autumnalis as a model to link phenotypic expression and genomic differentiation with ecotype specialization, phylogeographic history and taxonomic complexity
Short project description
Scandinavia has been recolonized by plants after the last glaciation and only a few species are endemics. On the other hand, several groups of plants have developed more or less distinct ecotypes. These may represent a first step towards speciation, initiated after post-glacial migration. They may alternatively represent older lineages that have different immigration histories, which have arrived from different directions or at different times. Differentiation may thus have originated at one or several occasions and the future development is dependent on local selection pressures, gene flow among ecotypes and eventual development of sterility barriers. The Asteraceae family belong to the crown of the angiosperm phylogenetic tree, representing one of the fastest radiating families during the recent millions of years. We aim to understand what traits have made this plant family successful through studies of Scorzoneroides autumnalis.
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