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Kynast, Ralf G.

Job title: 

Cytogeneticist

Department: 
Jodrell Laboratory
Section: 
Genetics
Joined Kew: 

2006

Foreign languages: 

German, Russian, and Latin

Qualifications and appointments: 
  • Dipl.-Ing. agr. (MSc), Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany, 1982
  • Dr. agr.  (PhD), Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany, 1987
Role: 

To understand the structural and functional chromosome dynamics during evolution and breeding in inter-species hybrids including crop plant taxa with nutritious and pharmaceutical importance

Research into chromosome behaviour in alien genetic backgrounds is accomplished by using the B-chromosome as a model for investigating genome-wide genetic interactions and chromosome restructuring. Remote inter-species cross-hybridisation allows for species-to-species transfer of chromosomes and chromosome segments, and thus produces plant material, which can simulate and condense in few successive generations evolutionary processes including chromosome structure reshuffling, basic chromosome number changes and genome size alterations. By focusing the experimental work on investigations using molecular and chromosome genetic methods (1) new knowledge and better understanding of relationships, regular and irregular behaviour of plant chromosomes in the context of reproduction biology will be generated, (2) plant lines with special chromosome rearrangements will be produced, analysed and certified, and exchanged worldwide according requests, and (3) biotechnological know-how for efficient chromosome engineering in different plant species and inter-species hybrids as well as guidelines for plant material handling will be developed and disseminated to the scientific and general public.

Selected publications: 

Kynast, R. G., Davis, D. W., Phillips, R. L. & Rines, H. W. (2012). Gamete formation via meiotic nuclear restitution generates fertile amphiploid F1 (oat × maize) plants. Sexual Plant Reproduction 25: 111-122.

Day, P. D., Pellicer, P. & Kynast, R.G. (2012). Orange balsam (Impatiens capensis Meerb., fam. Balsaminaceae): A re-evaluation by chromosome number and genome size. J Torrey Bot Soc 139: 26-33.

Papadopulos, A. S. T., Baker, W. J., Crayn, D., Butlin, R. K., Kynast, R. G., Hutton, I. & Savolainen, V. (2011) Speciation with gene flow on Lord Howe Island. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 108: 13188-13193.

Kynast, R.G. & Riera-Lizarazu, O. (2011). Development and use of oat-maize chromosome additions and radiation hybrids. In: Birchler JA (ed) Plant Chromosome Engineering: Methods and Protocols. Methods in Molecular Biology 701, 259-284

Kynast RG, Joseph JA, Phillips RL and Rines HW (2010) Metaphase I pairing of B-chromosomes of Zea mays L. in the alien genetic background of Avena sativa L. Maize Genet Coop Newsletter 84, 24-27