Diego Hojsgaard
Research Group


Key adaptations are likely to have a complex genetic basis. The most common adaptive transitions in plants rely on divergence in flowering time and mating systems, usually associated to ploidy-shifts. These features are often related to environmental heterogeneity and together shape the genetic architecture of adaptation. By using classic and modern approaches, we attempt to find evidence for short- and long-term effects of divergent reproductive systems on the standing variation, the ecophysiological capacities and spatial distribution of cytotypes and species to understand the genetic basis of adaptations in non-model plant species.


January 2018
# Diego was invited to the International Congress of Genetics 2018 in Brazil!
# Piyal´s paper is finally in press!!!

October 2017
# Mara and Verena are presenting their research at the XLVI Argentine Congress of Genetics in Catamarca, Argentina
# Agostina just got her paper accepted in the J. Plant Res. Congrats Agostina!

August 2017
# Piyal is presenting his findings on ecological consequences of polyploidy at the BioSyst.EU 2017 meeting at Göteborg, in Sweden.

July 2017
# Diego is flying to Shenzhen (China) to participate of the XIX International Botanical Congress
# Piyal presented his advances at the Department´s seminar series

May 2017
# Fabiana is visiting our lab. Welcome Fabiana!

March 2017
# Verena is visiting our lab. Welcome Verena!
# Diego was invited to the IBC 2017 in China

December 2016
# Diego is going to Harvard for a short research stay at Ned Friedman´s lab in Boston, USA

October 2016
# Diego was appointed Visiting Professor at the National University of Misiones, Argentina
# Diego is going to Montevideo, Uruguay to participate of the XVI Latin American Congress of Genetics, the IV Congress of the Uruguayan Society of Genetics, the XLIX Annual Meeting of the Genetic Society of Chile, and the XLV Argentine Congress of Genetics

September 2016
# Piyal is going to take a course at the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics in Austria

May 2016
# Piyal presented his advances at the Department´s seminar series

March 2016
# Diego is co-organizing a Symposium on Polyploid evolution for the next meeting of different Latin American Societies of Genetics

December 2015
# First workshop on apomixis and evolution at the IBONE, Argentina
# The second (and last) collection trip was a great success! Thanks Ana, Mara and Eric for the hospitality and help, Piyal and me had a great time in Argentina

July 2015
# Welcome Piyal Karunarathne!

March 2015
# The first collection trip is over. More than 600 individuals sampled!


Ovule Ontogeny

Reproductive strategies, fitness and plant diversity

Polyploidy, genetic systems, ecological adaptation and evolution


and collaborators

Diego Hojsgaard

Group Leader

Mara Schedler

PhD student

Borja Gómez Ramos

Visiting Scientist


• PhD student Armin Fabritzek (2016) • Bachelor student Anastasiya Novichkova (2016) • Bachelor student Sebastián Exequiel Velásquez Salas (2016) • Dr. Vladislav Kolarčik (2014) • Bachelor student David Schomberg (2014-2015) • Bachelor student Swantje Freund (2014-2015) • Bachelor student Marianne Teichmann (2012-2013) • Master Student Fuad Bahrul Ulum (2013-2014) • Bachelor student Cristian Feduzka (2008-2009)


Assoc. Prof. Eric Martinez

National University of the Northeast - Botanical Institute of the Northeast

Prof. Ana Honfi

National University of Misiones – Institute of Subtropical Biology

Prof. William (Ned) Friedman

The Arnold Arboretum – Harvard University

Dra. Agostina Sassone

Darwinion Botanical Institute

Prof. Elvira Hoerandl

University of Goettingen


Original articles published in ISI journals

• 2019

- Karunarathne P., Feduzka C., Hojsgaard D. 2019. Ecological setup, ploidy diversity and reproductive biology of Paspalum modestum, a promising wetland forage grass from South America. Genetics and Molecular Biology (in press)

- Hojsgaard, D., Hörandl E. 2019. The rise of apomixis in natural plant populations. Frontiers in Plant Science 10:358. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.00358

• 2018

- Hojsgaard, D. 2018. Transient activation of apomixis in sexual neotriploids may retain genomically altered states and enhance polyploid establishment. Frontiers in Plant Science (in press) doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.00230

- Karunarathne P., Schedler M., Martínez E.J., Honfi A.I., Novichkova A., Hojsgaard D. 2018. Intraspecific ecological niche divergence and reproductive shifts foster cytotype displacement and provide ecological opportunity to polyploids. Annals of Botany (in press) doi: 10.1093/aob/mcy004

- Hodac̆ L., Klatt S., Hojsgaard D.; Sharbel, T.F.; Hörandl, E. 2018. A little bit of sex halts Muller's ratchet even in apomictic polyploid plants. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (under review)

- Pellino P., Hojsgaard D., Hörandl E., Sharbel T. 2018. Chasing the apomictic factors in the Ranunculus auricomus complex: The effects of hybridization, parent of origin and ploidy in comparative ovule specific gene expression analysis. The Plant Journal (under review)

• 2017

- Hojsgaard D.H., Hörandl E. 2017 in Dazhong Zhao, Kang Chong, Ravishankar Palanivelu (Eds), Molecular and Cellular Plant Reproduction, Lausanne: Frontiers Media, pp 16-22, doi: 10.3389/978-2-88945-211-8

- Sassone A.B., López A., Hojsgaard D., Giussani L.M. 2017. A novel indicator for karyotype evolution in the tribe Leucocoryneae (Allioideae, Amaryllidaceae). Journal of Plant Research (in press) DOI 10.1007/s10265-017-0987-4

• 2016

- Hojsgaard, D.H.; Burson B.; Quarin C.L.; Martínez, E.J. 2016. Unravelling the ambiguous reproductive biology of Paspalum malacophylum: A decades old story clarified. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution, 63:1063–1071, DOI:10.1007/s10722-015-0303-x pdf

- Klatt S., Hadacek F., Hodac L., Brinkmann G., Eilerts M., Hojsgaard D., Hörandl E. 2016. Photoperiod extension enhances sexual megaspore formation and triggers metabolic reprogramming in facultative apomictic Ranunculus auricomus. Front. Plant Sci. 7:278. DOI:10.3389/fpls.2016.00278 pdf

- Hodac̆ L., Ulum F.B., Opfermann N., Breidenbach N., Hojsgaard D., Tjitrosoedirdjo S.S., Vornam B., Finkeldey R., Hörandl E. 2016. Population Genetic Structure and Reproductive Strategy of the Introduced Grass Centotheca lappacea in Tropical Land-Use Systems in Sumatra. PloS ONE 11: e0147633, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0147633 pdf

- Dellinger A.S., Essl F., Hojsgaard D., Kirchheimer B., Klatt S., Dawson W., Pergl J., Pysek P., van Kleunen M., Weber E., Winter M., Hörandl E., Dullinger S. 2016. Niche dynamics of alien species do not differ among sexual and apomictic flowering plants. New Phytologist 209(3):1313-1323, DOI: 10.1111/nph.13694 pdf

• 2015

- Hojsgaard, D.H., Hörandl E. 2015. A little bit of sex matters for genome evolution in asexual plants. Frontiers in Plant Science 6:82. DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2015.00082 pdf

- Hojsgaard, D.; Pellino, M.; Sharbel, T.F.; Hörandl, E. 2015. Resolving genome evolution patterns in asexual plants. In Elvira Hörandl, Marc Appelhans (Ed), NGS in Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Regnum Vegetabile, IATP, chapter 4: pages 119-153. pdf

- Hojsgaard D.H., Hörandl E. 2015. Apomixis as a facilitator of range expansion and diversification in plants. in Pierre Pontarotti (Ed), Evolutionary Biology: Biodiversification from Genotype to Phenotype, Springer International Publishing Switzerland, chapter 16: pages 305-327; ISBN: 987-3- 319-19931- 3. pdf

• 2014

- Hojsgaard D.H., Klatt S., Baier R., Carman J.G., Hörandl E. 2014. Taxonomy and Biogeography of Apomixis in Angiosperms and Associated Biodiversity Characteristics. Critical Reviews in Plant Science 33: 1-14. pdf

- Hojsgaard, D.; Greilhuber, J.; Pellino, M.; Paun, O.; Sharbel, T.F.; Hörandl, E. 2014. Emergence of apospory and bypass of meiosis via apomixis after sexual hybridisation and polyploidisation. New Phytologist 204: 1000-1012. pdf

- Zilli, A.L.; Hojsgaard, D.H.; Brugnoli, E.A.; Acuña, C.A., Honfi, A.I.; Urbani, M.H.; Quarin, C.L.; Martínez, E.J. 2014. Genetic relationship among Paspalum species of the subgenus Anachyris: Taxonomic and evolutionary implications. FLORA 209: 604-612. pdf

- Hodač, L.; Scheben, A.P.; Hojsgaard, D.; Paun, O.; Hörandl, E. 2014. ITS Polymorphisms Shed Light on Hybrid Evolution in Apomictic Plants: A Case Study on the Ranunculus auricomus Complex. PLoS ONE 9: e103003. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0103003 pdf

- Hojsgaard D.H., Herbig E. 2014. Durchflusszytometrie. Anwendung in der Pflanzen- Reproduktionsbiologie. LABO, 3: 34-39. This work was translated to English, Portuguese, French and Spanish. pdf

• 2013

- Hojsgaard, D.H.; Martínez, E.J.; Quarin C.L. 2013. Competition between meiotic and apomictic pathways during ovule and seed development results in clonality. New Phytologist 197: 336-347. pdf

- Pellino, M.; Hojsgaard, D.H.; Schmutzer, T.; Scholz, U.; Vogel, H.; Hörandl, E.; Sharbel, T. 2013. Asexual genome evolution in the apomictic Ranunculus auricomus complex: examining the effects of hybridization and mutation accumulation. Molecular Ecology 22: 5908-5921. pdf

- Ortiz, J.P.A.; Quarin, C.L.; Pessino, S.C.; Acuña, C.; Martínez, E.J.; Espinoza, F.; Hojsgaard, D.H.; Sartor, M.E.; Cáceres, M.E.; Pupilli, F. 2013. Harnessing apomictic reproduction in grasses: what we have learned from Paspalum. Annals of Botany 112: 767-787. pdf

- Grabiele, M.; Cerutti, J.C.; Hojsgaard, D.H.; Almada, R.D.; Daviña, J.R.; Honfi, A.I. 2013. Comparative cytogenetics in Cyclopogon (Orchidaceae). Biologia 68: 48-54. pdf

• 2012

- Hörandl, E.; Hojsgaard, D. 2012. The evolution of apomixis in angiosperms: A reappraisal. Plant Biosystems 146: 681-693. pdf

• 2011

- Hojsgaard, D.H.; Martínez, E.J.; Acuña, C.A.; Quarin, C.L.; Pupilli, F. 2011. A molecular map of the apomixis-control locus in Paspalum procurrens and its comparative analysis with other species of Paspalum. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 123: 959-971. pdf

- Grabiele, M.; Cerutti, J.C.; Hojsgaard, D.H.; Almada, R.D.; Daviña, J.R.; Honfi, A.I. 2011. Chromosome studies in Orchidaceae from Argentina, II. Taxon 60: E4-6. pdf

- Grabiele, M.; Cerutti, J.C.; Hojsgaard, D.H.; Almada, R.D.; Daviña, J.R.; Honfi, A.I. 2011. Chromosome studies in Orchidaceae from Argentina, III. Taxon 60: E24-27. pdf

- Grabiele, M.; Cerutti, J.C.; Hojsgaard, D.H.; Almada, R.D.; Daviña, J.R.; Honfi, A.I. 2011. in IAPT/IOPB chromosome data 11. Ed. Karol Marhold. Taxon 60: 1220-1223 pdf

• 2009

- Hojsgaard, D.H.; Daviña, J.R.; Rua, G.H.; Honfi, A.I. 2009. Chromosome numbers and ploidy levels of Paspalum species from Subtropical South America (Poaceae). Genetics Resources and Crop Evolution 56: 533-545. pdf

- Daviña, J.R.; Grabiele, M.; Cerutti, J.C.; Hojsgaard, D.H.; Almada, R.D.; Insaurralde, I.S.; Honfi, A.I. 2009. Chromosome studies in Orchidaceae from Argentina. Genetics and Molecular Biology 32: 811-821. pdf

• 2008

- Hojsgaard, D.H.; Schegg, E.; Valls, J.F.M.; Martínez E.J.; Quarin, C.L. 2008. Sexuality, apomixis, ploidy levels, and genomic relationships among four Paspalum species of the subgenus Anachyris. FLORA 203: 535-547. pdf

• 2007

- Martínez, E.J.; Acuña, C.A.; Hojsgaard, D.H.; Tcach, M.A.; Quarin, C.L. 2007. Segregation for asexual seed production in Paspalum as directed by male gametes of apomictic triploid plants. Annals of Botany 100: 1239-1247. pdf

- Daviña, J.; Grabiele, M.; Cerutti, J.C.; Hojsgaard, D.; Almada, R.; Insaurralde, I.; Honfi A. 2007. Chromosomic studies of Argentinian subtropical orchids with ornamental value in Argentine. Agro Sur 35: 59-61. pdf

- Calderini, O.; Chang, S.B.; de Jong, H.; Bietta, A.; Arcioni, S.; Caceres, M.E.; Quarin, C.L.; Hojsgaard, D.H.; Donnison, I.S.; Pupilli, F. 2007. Molecular cytogenetics of the apomixis controlling locus in Paspalum simplex. In E. Hörandl, U. Grossniklaus, P.J. van Dijk & T.S. Sharbel (eds.) Apomixis: Evolution, Mechanisms and Perspectives. Regnum Vegetale, 147: 125-136, Koeltz Scientific Books Publishers and Booksellers in the Fields of Botany and Zoology. Herrnwaldstr. 6, 61462 Koenigstein, Germany. pdf

Hojsgaard Research Group

Albrecht-von- Haller Institute for Plant Sciences
Room 0.113 (Office), Room 0.220 (Molecular Lab), Room 2.102 (Cytology lab)
Untere Karspuele 2
Goettingen, D-37073
Tel.: +49 (0)551-39- 5731 (Office),
+49 (0)551-39- 19816 (Molecular Lab)
+49 (0)551-39- 19768 (Cytology lab)

Göttingen - die Stadt, die Wissen schafft