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


  • 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: We are seeking a new PhD student to join our group, see details (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.
  • September 15, 2021: Marek won the 'best talk' award at Czech Plant Nucleus Workshop. Great job Marek, congratulations!!!
  • September 10, 2021: Marek Glombik defended his thesis and became a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). Congratulations!!!
  • September 1, 2021: Jana Szecówka (Kneřová) joined our team as a postdoc. Good luck in your work, Jana!!!
  • August 5, 2021: Our paper "Reciprocal allopolyploid grasses (Festuca × Lolium) display stable patterns of genome dominance" was published in The Plant Journal. (link)
  • June 22, 2021: Katerina Pernickova defended her thesis and became a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). Congratulations!!!
  • 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).
  • May 17, 2021: Paper of Karol Krak with contribution of David about persistance of the horizontally acquired nrDNAs in host Hordeum genomes was published in Frontiers in Plant Science (link)
  • March 15, 2021: New paper of Vaclav Mahelka and Jan Safar on the mysterious fragments of Panicum genome in wild barley species with our contribution has been just released as a highlighted paper of the last issue of Plant Journal with cover image from David (link)
  • February 22, 2021: Paper of Prof. Trnka and his colleagues (with our little contribution) has been published in Biologia Plantarum. See how the European climate will look like in future and which grass species we should focus to (link)
  • February 2, 2021: Our paper on chromatid and crossover interference with outstanding figures of meiosis has been recently published in Journal of Experimental Botany (link)
  • February 1, 2021: David has been appointed as Associate Professor (docent) at Charles University in Prague
  • January 10, 2021: David became an editor of Cytogenetic and Genome Research, a journal publishing reports and reviews in human, animal, insect, and plant cytogenetics, including clinical, molecular, and comparative cytogenetics (link).
  • 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!


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