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Botany Seminars

A joint seminar of the section Systematics, Biodiversity & Evolution of Plants, the Botanische Staatssammlung München and the Botanical Garden München-Nymphenburg

When? Wednesdays, 4:15 pm (during the semester).

Where? Zoom meeting (Click here) Meeting-ID: 983 1257 9883, Password: 361810

(If you don’t see a dialog, click: Launch Meeting)                                                                                         



Winter semester 2020

17.2.21: Prof. Colin Osborne. Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, UK.

Title: Why do we eat wheat? The history of crop origins and its significance for modern food production.

Prof. Colin Osborne research:

Host: Prof. Gudrun Kadereit

24.2.21: Dr. Fabian Michelangeli. Institute of Systematic Botany, New York Botanical Garden, New York, USA. 

Title: Leveraging botanical specimens in biodiversity research: from alpha taxonomy to community patterns in Melastomataceae. 

Dr. Fabian Michelangeli research: 

Host: Prof. Gudrun Kadereit

Summer semester 2021 

14.4.21: Dr. Tiina Sarkinen. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, UK.

Title: Solanaceae Systematics: Permanent Polytomies & Evolution of Epiphytes.

Dr. Tiina Sarkinen research: 

Host: Prof. Gudrun Kadereit


21.4.21: Dr. Kristine Westergaard. Norsk Institutt for Naturforskning.

Title: TBA

Dr. Kristine Westergaard research:

Host: Prof. Silke Werth


12.5.21: Prof. Dr. Debashish Bhattacharya. Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Rutgers University, U.S.A.

Title: The rare emergence of a photosynthetic organelle.

bhattacharya Abstract

Endosymbiosis, when stable and beneficial for the “host” cell, can result in massive genetic innovation with the foremost examples being the mitochondrion and plastids. I will present results of our analysis of the rhizarian amoeba Paulinella that comprises an independent case of primary plastid endosymbiosis that occurred ca. 120 Mya. Genomic and physiological data will be used to highlight the many innovations that are needed to maintain a permanent photosynthetic endosymbiont.

Prof. Dr. Debashish Bhattacharya research:

Host: PD Dr. Andreas Beck


19.5.21: Dr. Agostina Sassone. Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research. 

Title: Tackling the taxonomy of Nothoscordum (Amaryllidaceae, Allioideae). 



Nothoscordum Kunth is a plant genus closely related to onions and garlic but occurs, in contrast to them, nearly exclusively in South America. It is currently not clear how Nothoscordum species are related to each other, how and where they evolved and are distributed today, and not even how many species belong to this genus. The main aim of my research is to generate an integrative approach considering morphological, karyological and molecular characters to answer these questions.

Dr. Agostina Sassone research:

Host: Dr. Simon Pfanzelt


26.05.21: Double Seminar (30 minutes each)

Dr. Christian Siadjeu. Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg.

Title: Molecular breeding bases of trifoliate yam (Dioscorea dumetorum (Kunth) Pax) against post-harvest hardening phenomenon of tubers.



Yams (Dioscorea spp.) are important and economical food for millions of people in the tropics and subtropics. Dioscorea dumetorum has the highest nutritional value compared to the other cultivated yam species with important medicinal properties. Despite these advantages, its cultivation is jeopardized by the post-harvest hardening (PHH) phenomenon characterized by the inability of tubers to soften during cooking. The PHH begins within 24 h after harvest and causes tubers to become inedible. Although several techniques have been deployed to solve this issue, they failed to overcome the PHH. The main objective of this thesis was to provide the basis of genetic breeding for avoidance of the PHH in D. dumetorum.

Dr. Christian Siadjeu research: 

Host: Prof. Gudrun Kadereit


Dr. Anže Žerdoner Čalasan. Universität Osnabrück.

Title: Genes documenting history: Biogeographical dynamics of selected Brassicaceae taxa and climate-landscape history of the Eurasian steppe belt.



The Eurasian steppe belt is the vastest grassland region worldwide that has been under immense influence of the Neogene climate events. Despite its size, however, the onset and evolution of its flora is poorly understood. By employing a plethora of different phylogenetic, phylogeographic and biogeographic methods, I placed the evolutionary history of four Eurasian steppe floral elements into time and space. Interestingly, while nowadays considered an integral part of steppe flora, most of the investigated taxa migrated into the Eurasian steppe belt long after it was already developed. Several migration routes of different ages as well as different Pleistocene refugia point towards a very complex evolutionary history of the steppe flora, a glimpse of which I will give you in my talk.

Dr. Anže Žerdoner Čalasan research:

Host: Prof. Gudrun Kadereit


16.06.21: Dr. Ricarda Riina. Real Jardín Botánico. CSIC.

Title: Plant diversity and phylogenetic patterns across the tepuis of the Guiana Shield.

Dr. Ricarda Riina research:

Host: Dr. Andreas Gröger