Plant genetics has my main interest, with a focus on topics like biotic stress resistance, crop-wild relative introgression and speciation. In my model crop, lettuce (Lactuca sativa), I study the origin and mechanisms of biotic stress resistance and the consequences of interspecific hybridisation with wild species.
Plant hybrid incompatibilities, like hybrid inviability and sterility, allow us to elucidate components of evolutionary diversification, speciation and reproductive barriers between lactuca species.
Nonhost resistance is arguably the most interesting but least understood type of resistance. Within the Lactuca species lies a unique opportunity to study nonhost resistance at the genetic level, as exceptionally the host cultivated species is cross-fertile with a nonhost wild species. My aim is to unravel the genetic network of nonhost resistance.