Crop-to-wild gene flow in apple trees

During my PhD in Tatiana Giraud’s group, I studied the role of inter-specific hybridisations in the evolutionary history of apple trees. I investigated the effect of crop-to-wild gene flow on the conservation of two wild apple tree species:

  • the European wild apple tree, Malus sylvestris,
  • the Asian wild apple tree, Malus sieversii, which grows in the Tian Shan mountain forests and is the ancestor of the cultivated apple tree, Malus domestica.

Crop-to-wild inter-specific gene flow can be observed in the European wild apple tree, correlated with anthropic activities and threatening the genetic integrity of the wild tree populations, since hybrids do not show any detectable reduction in fitness.

I wrote or participated in several publications around this topic.

An apple tree picture

Alice Feurtey
Alice Feurtey
Junior Group Leader

My research interests are at the interface between data science and biology. I am studying genomics and evolution, often by using fungi as model organisms.