Tanja Slotte

Tanja Slotte
Stockholm University

Research Interests

Understanding the forces that shape genetic variation is a long-standing aim in evolutionary biology. Due to the rapid recent improvements in sequencing technologies, the availability of data on genomic variation has greatly increased. However, understanding how natural selection shapes genomic variation still remains challenging and requires sophisticated analytical approaches.

In our research, we investigate how variation in recombination rates affects genetic variation and natural selection. We test theoretical predictions by utilizing natural variation in plant mating systems, which modulates effective recombination rates. We also utilize variation in recombination rates across genomes, for instance by studying the evolution of supergenes, genomic regions of reduced recombination which control complex adaptive polymorphisms. Our work generally involves analyses of large-scale sequencing data sets from plant systems (e.g. Arabidopsis relatives, and the classic Linumsystem studied already by Darwin).

Using population genomic analyses, we have shown that mating system variation can have a major impact on genetic variation and natural selection. We have further identified a role for cis-regulatory changes in rapid floral adaptation to a new mating system in the crucifer genusCapsella. Currently, we are studying the evolution at a classic supergene, the distyly S-locus. These studies are of broad general importance for our understanding of how natural selection shapes genomic patterns of variation and how complex adaptations can evolve.

Group members

Juanita Gutierrez, PhD student
Robert Horvath, PhD student
Jörg Bachmann, PhD student
P. William Hughes, Postdoctoral fellow
Marco Fracassetti, Postdoctoral fellow
Benjamin Laenen, Researcher
Aurélie Désamoré, Research engineer

Key publications

Laenen B, Tedder A, Nowak MD, Toräng P, Wunder J, Wötzel S, Steige KA, Kourmpetis Y, Odong T, Drouzas AD, Bink M, Ågren J, Coupland G and Slotte T. 2018. Demography and mating system shape the genome-wide impact of purifying selection in Arabis alpina. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. 115:816-821.

Lafon-Placette C, Hatorangan MR, Steige KA, Cornille A, Lascoux M, Slotte T, Köhler C. 2018. Paternally expressed imprinted genes associate with hybridization barriers in Capsella. Nature Plants. 4:352-357.

Steige KA, Laenen B, Reimegård J, Scofield DG, Slotte T. 2017. Genomic analysis reveals major determinants of cis-regulatory variation in Capsella grandiflora. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. 114:1087-1092. *Equal contributions

Horvath R, Slotte T. 2017. The role of small RNA-based epigenetic silencing for purifying selection on transposable elements in Capsella grandiflora. Genome Biology and Evolution. 9: 2911-2920

Steige KA, Reimegård J, Koenig D, Scofield DG, Slotte T. 2015. Cis-regulatory changes associated with a recent mating system shift and floral adaptation in Capsella. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 32:2501-2514

Douglas GM, Gos G, Steige KA, Salcedo A, Holm K, Josephs EB, Arunkumar R, Ågren JA, Hazzouri K, Wang W, Platts AE, Williamson RJ, Neuffer B, Lascoux M*, Slotte T*, Wright SI*. 2015. Hybrid origins and the earliest stages of diploidization in the highly successful recent polyploid Capsella bursa-pastoris. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. 112:2806-2811

Slotte T. 2014. The impact of linked selection on plant genomic variation. Briefings in Functional Genomics. 13:268-275.

External homepage

Group homepage: http://tanjaslottelab.se

Stockholm University homepage: http://www.su.se/emb/english/about-us/staff/r-s/tanja-slotte-1.174088