Wide Hybridization Group

Our group is studying various aspects of interspecific and intergeneric hybridization and polyploidization. We use molecular cytogenetics, flow cytometry, bioinformatics, genomics and molecular biology techiques to analyze genome composition, evolution and function of hybrid genomes. Our objects are Festuca x Lolium hybrids (Festulolium) and hybrids of wheat x rye and wheat x barley.

Our current topics cover:

  •           meiosis and genome stability of wide hybrids
  •           3D organization of hybrid nucleus
  •           parental-specific gene expression
As we are interested in meiosis, we made illustrations of complete meiosis using Lolium x Festuca hybrids.

We are members of Eucarpia Fodder Crops and Amenity Grasses Section - webpage


  • January 7, 2021: EUCARPIA Fodder Crops and Amenity Grasses Section Meeting will be held from September 5 to September 9 2021 in Freising, Germany. See the webpage for registration, papers submission and more information (link).
  • December 17, 2020: Our paper "Hormonal responses associated with acclimation to freezing stress in Lolium perenne" has been published in Environmental and Experimental Botany. (fulltext).
  • October 7, 2020: Our paper "Spontaneous natural formation of interspecific hybrids within the Festuca-Lolium complex" has been published in Biologia Plantarum. (full text).
  • September 7, 2020: Our two papers "Drought tolerance and regrowth capacity revealed in the Festuca-Lolium complex" and "Cytogenetic insights into Festulolium" have been published in Festulolium Special Issue of Biologia Plantarum. Available to read here and here.
  • August 20, 2020: Our new paper "Triploid forage grass hybrids Festuca apennina x F. pratensis display extraordinary heterosis for yield characteristics" has been published in Euphytica (full text)
  • July 9, 2020: Review paper of Radim Svačina, Pierre Sourdille, David Kopecký and Jan Bartoš about chromosome pairing in allopolyploids has been published in Frontiers in Plant Science (full text)
  • June 17, 2020: Paper of Jana Zwyrtková and colleagues about repetitive elements in grasses has been published in BMC Plant Biology. (full text)
  • February, 2020: Joanna Majka joined our team as a postdoc. Welcome!
  • February 25, 2020: Our review article "Competition of Parental Genomes in Plant Hybrids" has been published in Frontiers in Plant Science. (full text)
  • December 2019: Our project on the competition of parental genomes in plant hybrids has been supported by GACR (Czech Science Foundation), starting January 2020.
  • August 23, 2019: Our new paper on the chromatin organization entitled "Nuclear Disposition of Alien Chromosome Introgressions into Wheat and Rye Using 3D-FISH" has been published. (full text)
  • August 15, 2019: Marco Tulio finished his stay in our group. It was a pleasure to have him here. Good luck in the future career!
  • June 26, 2019: David was elected as a new Chair of Eucarpia, Session Fodder Crops and Amenity Grasses. Big honour for the group! 
  • June 24, 2019: Our proceedings papers have been published in Grassland Science in Europe 24: 259-261 (Genome organization and (in)stability of wide hybrids) and 321-323 (Multi-species phenotyping of drought in the Festuca-Lolium complex). 
  • June 04, 2019: Our paper "Selective Elimination of Parental Chromatin from Introgression Cultivars of xFestulolium (Festuca×Lolium)" has been published in Sustainability, special issue Grass Traits for Ecosystem Services and Sustainability edited by Prof. Mike Humphreys. (full text)
  • May 08, 2019: Paper entitled "Accessing a Russian Wheat Aphid Resistance Gene in Bread Wheat by Long-Read Technologies" of Hana Simková and her coleagues with little contribution of David has been published in Plant Genome. Congrats to Simkova Group! (full text)
  • April 25, 2019: Paper entitled "Misdivision of Telocentrics and Isochromosomes in Wheat" of David Kopecký and Adam Lukaszewski was highlighted as "Editor's Choice" in Cytogenetic and Genome Research. (full text)
  • April 10, 2019: Our paper "Inter-morphotype hybridization in tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.): Exploration of meiotic irregularities and potential for breeding" has been accepted in Euphytica. (full text)
  • March 25, 2019: Our paper "Instability of Alien Chromosome Introgressions in Wheat Associated with Improper Positioning In the Nucleus" has been published in International Journal of Molecular Sciences. (full text)

  • February 25, 2019: Our paper "Out-of-position telomeres in meiotic leptotene appear responsible for chiasmate pairing in an inversion heterozygote in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)" has been published in Chromosoma. (full text)

  • December 12, 2018: Our paper "Misdivision of telocentrics and isochromosomes in wheat" has been accepted in Cytogenetic and Genome Research. (full text)

  • September 2018: Marco Mendes, visiting PhD student from Brazil, joined our team. Welcome!


Postdoc position available (contact us at kopecky@ueb.cas.cz)

MSc. theses:

The mechanisms responsible for genome dominance in Festuca x Lolium hybrids (covers microscopy, molecular cytogenetics, phenotyping)

The genome instability within Festuca x Lolium hybrids (covers plant crosses, molecular cytogenetics and microscopy)

Other options (BSc. and Ph.D. level): If you think you are real hard-worker willing to do overtime work in lab with a lot of enthusiasm and responsibility, you are welcome to contact us on kopecky@ueb.cas.cz