Dr. Markus Stetter

Research focus

Crops and their domestication are an ideal model to study the genomic signatures of adaptation as adaptive traits are known and different plant species show varying levels of domestication. We study the incomplete domestication of the South American pseudo-cereal, amaranth, and the domestication and cultivation history of maize. To understand how complex traits adapt to changing environments, we combine population and quantitative genetic methods with molecular experiments. With our work we aim to understand how wild plants became crops and how these crops spread across the globe.

The five most important publications

  1. Lozano R, Gazave E, Dos Santos JPR, Stetter MG, Valluru R, Bandillo N, Fernandes SB, Brown PJ, Shakoor N, Mockler TC, Cooper EA, Taylor Perkins M, Buckler ES, Ross-Ibarra J, Gore MA (2021) Comparative evolutionary genetics of deleterious load in sorghum and maize. Nat Plants 7(1):17-24. doi: 10.1038/s41477-020-00834-5.
  2. Stetter MG, Vidal-Villarejo M, Schmid KJ (2020) Parallel Seed Color Adaptation during Multiple Domestication Attempts of an Ancient New World Grain. Mol Biol Evol 37(5):1407-1419. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msz304.
  3. Stetter MG, Thornton K, Ross-Ibarra J (2018) Genetic architecture and selective sweeps after polygenic adaptation to distant trait optima. PLoS Genet 14(11):e1007794. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1007794.
  4. Stetter MG, Gates DJ, Mei W, Ross-Ibarra J (2017) How to make a domesticate. Curr Biol 27(17):R896-R900. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.06.048.
  5. Stetter MG, Schmid KJ (2017) Analysis of phylogenetic relationships and genome size evolution of the Amaranthus genus using GBS indicates the ancestors of an ancient crop. Mol Phylogenet Evol 109:80-92. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2016.12.029.


Dr. Markus Stetter

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Botanical Institute, Cologne Biocenter
University of Cologne