The Borsch group and also the Botanical Garden / Botanical Museum (BGBM) continuously offer a variety of opportunities for research internships and final theses. Here is a selection of some currently open topics that are part of our ongoing research projects - please contact us for further options.
Analysis of nuclear microsatellite loci of Calligonum bakuense
Nuclear microsatellite loci are used for assessing genetic diversity within species. They thus play a major role in the analysis of populations of threatened species for the development of scientifically founded protection strategies. Calligonum bakuense (Polygonaceae) is a shrub endemic to the Absheron peninsula in Azerbaijan, where it is threatened by industrial activities.
In a previous studies, the nuclear genome of C. bakuense was scanned for microsatellite loci and primers for polymorphic regions were designed. These shall be amplified and sequenced for further individuals, to allow subsequent assessment of the genetic diversity and structure of the remaining C. bakuense stands.
Chloroplast phylogenomics of Pyrus (Rosaceae)
The genus Pyrus (pears) is a group of deciduous trees and shrubs in temperate Eurasia and Northern Africa with high economical value but also urgent conservation needs (crop-wild relatives). The aim of this project is to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships of wild species of Pyrus using complete plastid genomes. Specifically, in the course of the Masters Project plastid genome sequences of a number of different samples will be newly generated. After alignment with already available genomes, phylogenetic trees will be reconstructed. In the longer term well-supported phylogenies will be used to analyse the orgin of species diversity in Pyrus, with a particular focus on the Caucasus ecoregion.