Research Group (DGBPF GF) - Studying genes: function, expression, trace.
The objective of the functional genomics research group is the rapid identification of genes of agricultural importance in fruit trees. Beside classical gene expression studies we use high throughput techniques for genome wide analysis of genes epigenetically regulated by DNA and histone methylation as well as genes regulated post-transcriptionally by small RNAs.
We study epigenetic mechanisms in apple (Malus domestica) and grapevine (Vitis vinifera). Of particular interest are the mechanisms of endogenous small RNA-mediated degradation of transcripts that control fruit development and stress response in perennial trees. The understanding of RNA silencing mechanisms in perennial trees will help design innovative highthroughput RNA interference (RNAi) platform for fruit crops. We also study other aspects of epigenetic mechanisms in perennial trees and their role in response to environmental factors.
Using RNAi we aim to identify genes involved in resistance towards both biotic and abiotic stresses. Those loci will be further used for marker-assisted breeding of new varieties of apple and grape resistant to important plant pathogens. Our goal is the development of novel environmentally safe strategies for pest control.