We seek to address two fundamental questions in biology: how do biological forms develop and what is the basis for their diversity? To address these questions we first aim to elucidate how genotypes are translated into organismal forms through the process of morphogenesis. Secondly, we seek to conceptualize how the balance of conservation versus divergence in morphogenetic regulatory networks yields different organismal forms during evolution. We approach these problems using genetics, while also employing biological imaging, genomics and computational modelling and we are currently investigating diversification of different aspects of shoot and leaf morphology. Our research is empowered by the use of Cardamine hirsuta an A.thaliana relative we developed into a model system for studying evolution of plant form.
Department of Comparative Development and Genetics
Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research