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Genomic Diversity of Arnica in Europe - Master Project

Conservation without borders

Genetic diversity is one of three dimensions of biological diversity explicitly protected by the United Nations' Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). But how can we keep track of it? In a pilot study, we will test which genetic markers (RAD, SSR) are best suited for the range-wide genetic monitoring of the medicinal plant Arnica (Arnica montana), which has suffered a dramatic decline over the last decades. Furthermore, we will look for regionally characteristic DNA polymorphisms based on which (illegaly?) collected Arnica can be assigned to its geographic origin, and find out if locally vs. regionally polymorphic DNA loci align to different parts of the Arnica reference genome.

Using Restriction-site Associated DNA-Sequencing (RADseq), we will sequence a defined part of the genome of Arnica samples from several European countries. Subsequently, the samples will be genotyped based on their sequence information in comparison to the Arnica reference genome, and compared among themselves and with existing microsatellite data. Regular communication of the research progress via social media and other channels is part of the project.

  • Methods: PCR and other wet lab methods, Illumina sequencing, bioinformatic data analysis
  • Start: from August, at the latest from Dezember 2024


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