A global experiment with diverse Arabidopsis thaliana to test genetic evolution in real time

Genomics of rapid Evolution in Novel Environments" GrENE-net.org

A Coordinated Distributed Global Evolution Experiment

Gist of the experiment

In 2017, Moi, François Vasseur (CNRS in France), and Niek Scheepens (University of Frankfrut), started a community of researchers to conduct an evolution experiments with Arabidopsis thaliana in dozens of locations.

Researchers at over 45 locations (green dots in the map) joined us and, for three years, we will monitor these A. thaliana populations in size and how they genetically evolve using genome sequencing.

Testing evolution in

variable and extreme


The key idea is to track genetically-diverse Arabidopsis thaliana populations in many environments and monitor over 5 years how their genetic makeup changes as a result of genetic drift and natural selection.

To do so, we use Pool-Sequencing technologies set up in the Moi Lab [https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.02.02.477408] to efficiently quantify genetic changes.

At the same time, phenological and demographic data is gathered to understand what are the consequences of evolution to population persistence.

Example evolution experiment population with Arabidopsis thaliana plants from Niek Scheepens in Tuebingen, Germany.

Coordinators and participants

Niek Scheepens – Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany

François Vasseur – CNRS Montpellier, France

Moises Exposito-Alonso – Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, USA

The GrENE-net consortium

Rob Colautti – Queens University, Kingston, Canada

Oliver Bossdorf– University of Tübingen, Germany

Detlef Weigel – Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tübingen, Germany

Mohamed Abdelaziz – The University of Granada, Granada, Spain

Jake Alexander – University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Carlos Alonso-Blanco – National Centre of Biotechnology, Cantoblanco, Madrid, Spain

Joy Bergelson – The University of Chicago, Illinois, United States of America

Panayiotis G. Dimitrakopoulos – University of the Aegaean, Lesbos, Greece

Kathleen Donohue – Duke University, North Carolina, United States of America

Walter Durka – Helmoltz Center for Environmental Research, Halle, Germany

Steve Franks – Fordham University, Bronx, NY, United States of America

Felix Fritschi – University of Missouri, MO, United States of America

Angela Hancock – Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Cologne, Germany

Svante Holm – Mittuniversitetet, Sundsvall, Sweden

Jose M. Iriondo – King Juan Carlos University, Madrid, Spain

Jasmin Joshi – Potsdam University, Potsdam, Germany

Tom Juenger – University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, United States of America

Steve Keller – University of Vermont, Burlington, United States of America

Karin Koehl – Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Postdam, Germany

Arthur Korte – University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany

Paula Kover and Volkan Cevik – University of Bath, United Kingdom

Carlos Lara-Romero and Anna Traveset – IMEDEA, Mallorca, Spain

Arnald Marcer – Ecological and Forestry Applications Research Centre, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain

Juliette de Meaux, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany

Zuzana Münzbergová – Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic

Anne Muola – Åbo Akademi University , Turku, Finland

Meelis Pärtel – University of Tartu, Estonia

Xavier Picó – Biological Station of Doñana (EBD-CSIC), Sevilla, Spain

Marcel Quint – Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany

David Salt – The University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom

Johanna Schmitt – University of California Davis, United States of America

Merav Seifan – Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel

Remco Stam – Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany

Marcelo Sternberg and Ofer Cohen – Tel Aviv University, Israel

Marc Stift – University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany

John Stinchcombe – University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Peter Tiffin and Liana Burghardt – University of Minnesota, Minnesota, United States of America

Irène Till-Bottraud – GEOLAB, Laboratoire de Géographie Physique et Environnementale CNRS, Clermont-Ferrand, France

Jean-Gabriel Valay – Station alpine Jospeh Fourier, col du Lautaret, France

Vigdis Vandvik – University of Bergen, Norway

Maciej Wodkiewicz – University of Warsaw, Poland

Martijn van Zanten – Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands