Evolutionary genetics of reproductive isolation
Our long-term research encompasses large-scale sequencing studies to address questions in molecular evolution, demographic history and the impact of mating system differences, using cultivated tomatoes and their wild relatives as a model system (Solanum section Lycopersicon). Moreover, in collaboration with a large network of tomato genome biologists, we have contributed to analyses of the domestication history of the cultivated tomato, a commercially important crop.
We also study postzygotic reproductive isolation among species of wild tomatoes, taking advantage of the variable proportion of hybrid seed failure among different pairs of taxa. Specifically, we are interested in (possibly disturbed) genomic imprinting and other epigenetic phenomena as an avenue to evaluate their potential involvement in hybrid seed failure. To these ends, we employ controlled crosses in the greenhouse, laser-assisted microdissection of different seed components, and high-throughput transcriptome sequencing.