Plant Genome Evolution and Diversification

Despite evidence pointing to gene duplication, transposition and epigenetic changes going along with plant diversification, the evolutionary significance of such genome dynamics remains elusive. Our work thus integrates evolutionary ecology and genomics to better understand speciation and adaptive radiation under changing environments.

Our projects often (but not only) use polyploid speciation as a model process integrating genomic and ecological changes. They combine high-throughput genomic technologies with experimental and empirical field studies to untangle the genetic and ecological drivers of diversification in alpine and Mediterranean plant populations.

  • Plant evolutionary ecology in mountain regions in space and time
    Parisod, Christian; Lavergne, Sebastien; Sun, Hang; Kadereit, Joachim W.
    Alpine Botany  10.1007/s00035-022-00279-w   FEB 2022
  • Phylogenetics and Biogeography of Lilium ledebourii from the Hyrcanian Forest
    Shokrollahi, Shekoofeh; Yousefzadeh, Hamed; Parisod, Christian; Heshmati, Gholamali; Bina, Hamid; et al.
    Diversity-basel  10.3390/d14020137   FEB 2022
  • Parallel adaptation in autopolyploid Arabidopsis arenosa is dominated by repeated recruitment of shared allele
    Konecna, Veronika; Bray, Sian; Vlcek, Jakub; Bohutinska, Magdalena; Pozarova, Doubravka; et al.
    Nature Communications 10.1038/s41467-021-25256-5 AUG 17 2021
  • Plant speciation in the face of recurrent climate changes in the Alps
    Parisod, Christian
    Alpine Botany 10.1007/s00035-021-00259-6  JUL 2021
  • Multiscale Very High Resolution Topographic Models in Alpine Ecology: Pros and Cons of Airborne LiDAR and Drone-Based Stereo-Photogrammetry Technologies
    Guillaume, Annie S.; Leempoel, Kevin; Rochat, Estelle; Rogivue, Aude; Kasser, Michel; et al.
    Remote Sensing 10.3390/rs13081588 Published: APR 2021
  • Transcriptional activity of transposable elements along an elevational gradient in Arabidopsis arenosa
    Wos, Guillaume; Choudhury, Rimjhim Roy; Kolar, Filip; Parisod, Christian
    Mobile Dna,   DOI: 10.1186/s13100-021-00236-0  FEB 27 2021
  • The genome of Draba nivalis shows signatures of adaptation to the extreme environmental stresses of the Arctic
    Nowak, Michael D.; Birkeland, Siri; Mandakova, Terezie; Roy Choudhury, Rimjhim; Guo, Xinyi; et al.
    Molecular Ecology Resources,  DOI: 10.1111/1755-0998.13280 APR 2021
  • Recent hybrid speciation at the origin of the narrow endemic Pulmonaria helvetica
    Gruenig, Sandra; Fischer, Markus; Parisod, Christian
    Annals Of Botany 10.1093/aob/mcaa145 JAN 2021
  • Climate Change and Alpine Screes: No Future for Glacial Relict Papaver occidentale (Papaveraceae) in Western Prealps
    Fragniere, Yann; Pittet, Loic; Clement, Benoit; Betrisey, Sebastien; Gerber, Emanuel; et al.
    Diversity-basel,  DOI: 10.3390/d12090346 SEP 2020
  • Genetic structure of the endemicPapaver occidentaleindicates survival and immigration in the Western Prealps
    Pittet, Loic; Fragniere, Yann; Grunig, Sandra; Betrisey, Sebastien; Clement, Benoit; et al.
    Alpine Botany,   10.1007/s00035-020-00238-3  OCT 2020
  • Chromosome restructuring among hybridizing wild wheats
    Parisod, Christian; Badaeva, Ekaterina D.
    New Phytologist,  10.1111/nph.16415, FEB 2020
  • Plant defense resistance in natural enemies of a specialist insect herbivore
    Zhang, Xi; van Doan, Cong; Arce, Carla C. M.; Hu, Lingfei; Gruenig, Sandra; Parisod, Christian; Hibbard, Bruce E; Herve, Maxime R.; Nielson, Chad; Robert, Christelle A. M.; Machado, Ricardo A. R.; Erb, Matthias
    Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America,  DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1912599116, NOV 12 2019
  • Eco-genetic additivity of diploids in allopolyploid wild wheats
    Huynh, Stella; Broennimann, Olivier; Guisan, Antoine; Felber, Francois; Parisod, Christian
    Ecology Letters, DOI: 10.1111/ele.13466, Early Access: FEB 2020
  • Hybridization preceded radiation in diploid wheats
    Huynh, S; Marcussen, T; Felber, F; Parisod, C
    MOLECULAR PHYLOGENETICS AND EVOLUTION, 139 10.1016/j.ympev.2019.106554 OCT 2019
Christian Parisod Uni Bern

Prof. Dr. Christian Parisod
University of Fribourg
Dept of Biology
1700 Fribourg

Tel: +41 26 300 8852

Research topics

  • Mechanisms of reproductive isolation and speciation
  • Polyploidy (hybridization and whole genome duplication)
  • Transposable elements and genome dynamics
  • Landscape genetics and adaptation to environmental heterogeneity
  • Alpine botany



  • Integration of genetic variation with environmental heterogeneity at high resolution
  • Characterization of genetic resources in wild relatives of crop species
  • Genetic diversity for the monitoring of rare endemics or ill-defined species