My research group is focused on understanding how plants are adapted to the environment in which they occur. We are interested in determining the actual genes involved in conferring local adaptation and how genetic variation in these genes has been shaped by evolutionary processes, such as natural selection and genetic drift.
Ingvarsson Par 1150 766
per_1The large poplar long- horned beetle (Saperda carcharias) is one of the many insects that occur on European aspen (Populus tremula) in Sweden. The larvae feed on the inner bark, sapwood and heartwood and can result in significant tree mortality, especially in young shoots.The genetic basis of local adaptation
Natural selection can lead to genetic differentiation between populations for adaptive traits, even in the presence of substantial migration. A classic example in forest trees is adaptation to the steep latitudinal gradient in the length of growing season that characterizes northern environments. Trees often show latitudinal clines in traits, such as the timing of bud set, the onset of flowering and frost hardening. We are investigating the genetic basis of phenological traits that are responsible for climatic adaptations in European aspen (Populus tremula). We are using a collection of P. tremula genotypes (the SwAsp collection) to infer the genetic basis of phenology traits along a latitudinal gradient across Sweden. We are using a combination of association mapping techniques and molecular population genetic studies to link variation in candidate genes to naturally occurring variation in phenology.

The genetic basis of plant defence
Plants have evolved numerous adaptations to defend themselves against attack by herbivores and my group is also studying the genetic basis of plant resistance using the SwAsp collection. We are currently inferring historical patterns of evolution of genes involved in herbivore defence using molecular population genetic methods and using association mapping to dissect naturally occurring variation in herbivore resistance in the SwAsp collection. Many important phenotypic adaptations are mediated by changes in gene regulation, rather than through changes in protein coding sequences, and we are also investigating genes involved in signal transduction pathways that induce wound responses in P. tremula.
sweden_greySvensk sammanfattning