Universitaet Bern Institute of Plant Sciences swissuniversity.ch  

Molecular ecology of plant-pollinator interactions in Petunia  

 Cris Kuhlemeier - Professor

 Therese Mandel - Technician
 Hester Sheehan - PhD student
 Michel Moser - PhD student
 Korinna Esfeld - Postdoc
 Avichai Amrad - Postdoc

 Supported by

Schweizerischer Nationalfonds

 Scent mesurements

[pdf - 127 KB]

 Petunia CAPS and SSR markers



 Development of molecular markers for genetic mapping in Petunia

[pdf - 870 KB]

 P.axillaris x P.exserta F2 phenotyping & genotyping data

[pdf - 3400 KB]


P. integrifolia ssp. inflata
  P. axillaris
  P. exserta
Sympatric growth of P. axillaris and P. integrifolia
Nuevo Berlin, Uruguay, November 2002.
  P. exserta in its sandstone habitat
Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

The pollination syndromes exhibited by these Petunia species are characterised by differences in floral traits. Our overall concern is to determine the extent to which these floral traits may have served as premating isolating traits in Petunia, and their role in reproductive isolation and speciation. To do this, we aim to identify and characterise the genes underlying the floral traits, and to look for selection patterns to determine if these are involved in divergence and possibly speciation.

Research in our group covers these traits:

Scent Reproductive organ morphology Nectar Colour

P. integrifolia ssp. inflata, P. axillaris and P. exserta are closely related and can easily be crossed in the laboratory. We use a variety of different lab-based techniques to characterise the genetic and molecular bases of these traits including classical and molecular genetics, next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics. We test near-isogenic lines with pollinator choice assays under controlled laboratory conditions as well as in the natural habitat. Petunia is a highly accessible experimental model system, with a long history of biochemical and genetic research. Transposon-induced mutants are available and transgenics are routine.