We use specialised molecular and cytological techniques to reveal differences in DNA structure and composition along chromosomes. These techniques include "chromosome painting", which lights up differences between chromosomes in different colours. Painting rapidly identifies the parents of known or suspected hybrids directly on microscope slides. Grasses, legumes and Solanaceae in particular, are studied in this context, with international collaboration.
Mapping the position of genes and other sequences on DNA on chromosomes is used to track the gain, loss or rearrangement of genetic information in plant populations. Mapping also allows the physical organisation of genes to be compared with their expression in different species.