Convergent and Adaptive Processes during Ecotype Formation

Collaborative project with Božo Frajman, Peter Schönswetter (University of Innsbruck, Austria) and Alex Widmer (ETH Zürich, Switzerland).

Project members at the University of Vienna: Ovidiu Paun, Aglaia Szukala, Emiliano Trucchi and Ruth Flatscher.

The project was part of the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics, funded thorugh the Doctoral Programs at Centers of Excellence (Doktoratskollegs - DK) of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). In the past our research was also funded by the Austrian Climate Research Programme (ACRP).

Heliosperma pusillum has developed in Southeast Alps two distinct ecotypes. The mountain ecotype (left down) differs morphologically with its dense indumentum from the glabrous, alpine ecotype (right down). Photos © Ovidiu Paun


Szukala A, Bertel C, Frajman B, Schoenswetter P, Paun O. 2022. Parallel adaptation to lower altitudes is associated with enhanced plasticity in Heliosperma pusillum (Caryophyllaceae). The Plant Journal 115: 1619-1632. Preprint: bioRxiv 2022.05.28.493825.

Szukala A, Lovegrove-Walsh J, Luqman H, Fior S, Wolfe TM, Frajman B, Schoenswetter P, Paun O. 2022. Polygenic routes lead to parallel altitudinal adaptation in Heliosperma pusillum (Caryophyllaceae). Molecular Ecology 32: 1832-1847. Preprint: bioRxiv 2021.07.05.451094. *Research Highlight: Battlay 2023 MolEcol 32: 1811-1813.

Trucchi E, Frajman B, Haverkamp T, Schönswetter P, Paun O. 2017. Genomic analyses suggest parallel ecological divergence in Heliosperma pusillum (Caryophyllaceae). New Phytologist 216: 267-278.

Trucchi E, Mazzarella AB, Gilfillan GD, Lorenzo Romero M, Schönswetter P, Paun O. 2016. BsRADseq: screening DNA methylation in natural populations of non-model species. Molecular Ecology 25: 1697-1713.

Flatscher R, Frajman B, Schönswetter P, Paun O. 2012. Environmental heterogeneity and phenotypic divergence: can heritable epigenetic variation aid speciation? Genetics Research International 10.1155/2012/698421.

Szukala A. 2022. Parallel and adaptive processes during ecotype formation in Heliosperma pusillum. PhD Dissertation. University of Vienna.