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 and polyploid genomes. Our objects are Festuca x Lolium hybrids (Festulolium) and hybrids of Arabidopsis (lyrata x thaliana), Allium (cepa x roylei) and wheat x rye.

Our current topics cover:

  •           genome (in)stability and genome dominance in wide hybrids
  •           horizontal (lateral) gene transfer (from panicoid grasses to Hordeum species)
  •           cytonuclear interactions in plant hybrids 
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


  • February 2024: The first paper of Mehrdad in our group is released! The Plant Journal published our story on cytonuclear interactions in plant hybrids and polyploids. Congrats Mehrdad! Keep up the good work! 
  • February 2024: New paper of Vaclav Mahelka from cytogenetics' contribution from David has been published in newest issue of Preslia. Read an interesting story about fascinating heptaploid quadrihybrids of Elymus found in unique floristic locality Cartoryje in White Carpathians.
  • January 2024: Our project 'Czech–Norwegian synergistic activities on the genetics and breeding of fodder crops to mitigate impacts of climate change' will be funded by Norwegian Funds in 2024. Nice possibility to collaborate with Odd Arne Rognli and his colleagues! 
  • January 2024: Bětka Doležalová joined our group as a new cytogeneticist. Welcome!
  • December 2023: Joanna left our group and will join Annaliese Mason lab. Good luck in your future career and thanks for the great job you made here. 
  • November 2023: Our project on Non-Mendelian inheritance of parental chromosomes in plant hybrids will be funded by Czech Science Foundation (GACR) in 2024-2026.
  • October 2023: Our collaboration with Vaclav Mahelka and Karol Krak (Institute of Botany ASCR) on nucleolar dominance in Festuloliums resulted in the paper published in Frontiers in Plant Science
  • September 2023: David co-organized EUCARPIA Fodder Crops and Amenity Grasses conference in Brno. 
  • September 2023: Jana Szecówka was awarded for the best poster at Plant Chromosome Biology conference. Congratulations! Mehrdad gave his first talk at the scientific conference there. Great job! 
  • September 2023: We made a group (bike) trip - everybody survived :-)
  • August 2023: Paper of Petr Fajkus on the telomeres and telomerases with our contribution was published in New Phytologist 
  • March, 2023: Paper of Beat and David on mysterious triploid hybrids has been published in Alpine Botany
  • March, 2023: Our paper on non-Mendelian inheritance in Festuca x Lolium hybrids has been published in New Phytologist
  • January, 2023: Marek Szecówka joined our group as bioinformatician. Welcome!
  • November, 2022: Mehrdad Shahbazi joined our group as PhD student. Welcome! 
  • August, 2022: Marek Glombik left our group to his first postdoc in a group of Phillippa Borrill at JIC. Good luck and thank you Marek!!!
  • June, 2022: Our review "Interspecific hybridization and plant breeding: From historical retrospective through work of Mendel to current crops​" was published in Czech Journal of Genetics and Plant Breeding. (link)
  • March, 2022: Our project on Cytonuclear interactions in plant auto- and allopolyploids will be funded by Czech Science Foundation (GACR) in 2022-2024.
  • March, 2022: Our new paper on genome dominance in Allium hybrids has been released (link)
  • Fabruary, 2022: Katerina Pernickova left our group. Katka: good luck in new career!
  • January, 2022: Joanna has a baby! Welcome little Laura! 
  • December, 2021: Our Co-PI project entitled 'Ultimate screening of wild barley genomes for panicoid DNA: a further step towards delimiting the foreign-ome in Hordeum' will be funded by Czech Science Foundation (GACR) in 2022-2024.
  • May 27, 2021: Festulolium book released! David and Arek Kosmala (IGR, Poznan, Poland) compiled a Festulolium book consisting of 14 review and research papers about genetics, physiology, ecology and breeding value of our beloved hybrid (pdf version available here).


MSc. and Bc. studies
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