Prof. Christian Parisod

The group of Christian Parisod has moved to the University of Bern. Contact details and information about ongoing projects can be found at http://www.ips.unibe.ch/research/ecogen


I am interested in plant genome evolution under environmental challenges. My work thus integrates genomics and ecology to yield new insights on speciation and adaptation.


  • Genome dynamics and speciation: Experimental and natural populations of intra- to interspecific hybrids show that the merging of gradually divergent transposable elements (TEs) leads to increasing genome instability. Such hybrids are thus used to address how TEs promote reproductive isolation and adaptation.
  • Polyploid adaptive radiation: Genome and transcriptome surveys indicate adaptive evolution of stress-responding genes following genome duplications and TE dynamics in mustards. Such genetic variation is then associated with environmental features across alpine landscapes to address ecological processes promoting the retention of loci produced by genome dynamics.


Keywords: Aegilops, Arabis, Biscutella, hybridization, polyploidy, speciation, transposable elements, whole genome duplication

See http://orcid.org/0000-0001-8798-0897 for a full account of my past and current work.


I am involved in the following projects:

  • Comparative phylogeography of wild wheat genomes and their inhabiting TEs: This work in collaboration F. Felber (Botanical Gardens, Lausanne) is providing insights on the underpinnings of TE dynamics across natural landscapes. PhD student: S. Huynh
  • TE-mediated mutations and stress-responding genes: This work characterizes TE fragments associated with flanking gene regions to address possible adaptive functions related to environmental stresses. PhD student: R.R. Choudhury
  • Genomics of rapid speciation in the Arctic (SpArc): In this project in collaboration with the team of C. Brochmann (University of Oslo), my objective is to characterize TE-mediated mechanisms promoting fast speciation.
  • Fine-scale adaptive variation (GeneScale): This multidisciplinary project in collaboration with the teams of F. Gügerli (WSL Birmensdorf) and S. Joost (EPF Lausanne) is resequencing populations to infer the relationship between genomic variation and microsite conditions.


Selected publications

Full list and PDFs available on Researchgate and ResearcherID: A-1140-2010


Geiser, Mandakova, Arrigo, Lysak & Parisod, 2016, Repeated whole-genome duplication, karyotype reshuffling and biased retention of stress-responding genes in Buckler Mustard. Plant Cell 28: 17-27.

Senerchia, Felber, North, Sarr, Guadagnolo & Parisod, 2016, Differential introgression and reorganization of retrotransposons in hybrid zones between wild wheats. Molecular Ecology 25: 2518–2528.

Senerchia, Felber & Parisod, 2015, Genome reorganization in F1 hybrids uncovers the role of retrotransposons in reproductive isolation. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 282: 20142874.

Bardil, Tayalé & Parisod, 2015, Evolutionary dynamics of retrotransposons following autopolyploidy in the Buckler Mustard species complex. Plant Journal 82: 621–631.

Leempoel, Parisod, Geiser, Daprà, Vittoz & Joost, 2015, Very high resolution digital elevation models: are multi-scale derived variables ecologically relevant? Methods in Ecology and Evolution 6: 1373–1383.

Gustafsson, Skrede, Gussarova, Borgen, Rowe, Rieseberg, Brochmann & Parisod, 2014, Genetics of cryptic speciation within an arctic mustard, Draba nivalis. PLoS ONE 9: e93834.