Biodiversity and genetic variation

This group focuses on investigating and exploiting genetic variation and biodiversity. It develops and employs various genetic and genomic technologies (including motif directed profiling) to assess biodiversity between and within species, focusing on genetic variation at the allelic level.

Technology development

Developing technologies for high throughput analysis is another point of attention. Structure and inheritance of the genetic variation is studied using genetic marker maps and through haplotype reconstruction. The study of neutral genetic variation is used in phylogenetic studies and for quantification of dispersal and gene flow.

Key focus area's

The study of functional diversity includes allelic variation for various quality and resistance traits and for the occurrence of allergens (PR10 proteins in apple and birch, gluten protein families in wheat).

Breeding for varieties with reduced allergenicity

In the Western society, prevalence and severity of allergies are rapidly increasing. Our research focus is on solutions for allergy-related matters in the pre-medical stage. We study the diversity of allergens in germplasm, and develop strategies to lower the amount of allergens by breeding. In this way we aim to prevent rather than cure.