The Historic Seed Group investigates genetic relationships and traits of historical crop plants. The plant materials come from a wide range of sources: gene banks, feral or cultivated relict plants and historical specimens from herbaria and seed collections.
To learn more about the genetic compositions and dynamics of landrace populations we are studying historical and extant Swedish landrace populations of barley and pea with microsatellite markers. The data can be used both to analyze both genetic diversity, geographic structure and the effects of different preservation methods.The genetic diversity in vegetatively propagated landrace crops is also much unknown and is of interest for conservation efforts. We are currently investigating hops and potato onion clones with microsatellites.
By SNP genotyping of landrace populations of barley, oats and rye we hope to learn more about the geographic structure of these crops in Northern Europe and to understand the role of different introduction routes of crops in Fennoscandia. Functional markers can be genotyped to allow analysis of traits of historical crops. We are currently studying genes involved in flowering time in pea and barley and genes for nutrient content in wheat. These investigations aim to identify old crop materials with useful genotypes to be used in plant breeding.
We have several ideas for suitable student degree projects (exjobb, see descriptions here). If you're interested in doing a degree project with the HSG, contact us for suggestions of projects or to discuss your own ideas. So far a very high proportion of the students working with us has continued their careers as PhD students. From time to time there are possibilities for motivated students to join the HSG as a PhD student or Postdocs. Our contact information can be found here.
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