Dr. Roosa Laitinen and her group utilize natural variants of Arabidopsis thaliana in order to understand the genetic and molecular basis of adaptive mechanisms in plants. The main focus of the group is to analyze A. thaliana hybrids with novel phenotypes in comparison to their parents. These new phenotypic traits in hybrids can be either beneficial (hybrid vigor) or deleterious (hybrid incompatibility).
Further, the influence of different environmental factors on the hybrids and the role of this in adaptive evolution will be investigated. More specifically, the research topics that are currently pursued are:
Molecular and genetic basis of F2 hybrid weakness
Genetic mechanisms of hybrid necrosis in wild populations of A. thaliana.
Impact of environmental conditions in F1 and F2 hybrid phenotypes