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Welcome to the Department of Genetics

DEVO: Our ultimate goal is to understand developmental processes at the genetic and the cellular level. We want to understand how a cell that is integrated into a growing tissue, communicates with its neighbors. In this context, we currently concentrate on the WNT- and the FGF- signalling pathways. 

EVO: Developmental changes lead to phenotypic evolution. By comparing and the experimental analysis of regulatory networks between species, we will understand how developmental processes changed in evolution and generate phenotypic diversity.  

The Model System

The red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum belongs to the family of darkling beetles and causes the massive loss of stored grain products around the world. In that respect, Tribolium has an enormous negative impact on human economics. 

Our current work is focussed on the analysis of developmental processes of this insect. 

As a short germband insect, Tribolium displays many features typical for most arthropods and vertebrate embryos. 
By studying axis elongation, appendage and head development, we gain general insights into how embryos develop.


Schröder R, Beermann A, Wittkopp N, Lutz R 2008 From development to biodiversity - Tribolium castaneum, an insect model organism for short germband development. Dev Genes Evol  218:119-126   (Review)

Beermann A, Wittkopp N, Lutz R & Schröder R 2006 Von der Evolution musterbildender Prozesse zum Verständnis morphologischer Vielfalt. BIOSpektrum 3/06 (Überblick) 

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