Dr Rafal Gutaker

Research Leader

Rafal Gutaker headshot

Trait Diversity and Function


Crops and Global Change


Archaeogenomics, population genetics, crops

Since its origins in the prehistoric times, agriculture have been in constant flux, dispersing around the world, constantly adapting, and being shaped by human needs and innovations. I have been studying those phenomena in crops using comparative genomics. My current aims are to elucidate how crop dispersals and new agricultural practices affect natural environment, wild relatives and microbial communities. Using genomic and metagenomic information from plant historical, archaeological, and living material, we can observe evolution in time and space, and investigate the processes of genomic adaptation, and environmental and microbial associations in plants. I am particularly interested in the evolutionary response of crops and crop wild relatives to new environments and to habitat management.

  • Postdoctoral Associate, Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, New York University, USA, 2020
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Department for Molecular Biology, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, DE, 2017
  • PhD, School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick, UK, 2014
  • MSc, Interfaculty Studies of Biotechnology, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, PL, 2010

Latorre, S.M., Lang, P.M.L., Burbano, H.A. & Gutaker, R.M. (2021)

Isolation, Library Preparation, and Bioinformatic Analysis of Historical and Ancient Plant DNA

Current Protocols in Plant Biology 5: e20121

Gutaker, R.M., Groen, S.C., Bellis, E.S. et al. (2020)

Genomic history and ecology of the geographic spread of rice. 

Nature Plants 6: 492-502.

Gutaker, R.M., Weiß, C.L., Ellis, D. et al. (2019)

The origins and adaptation of European potatoes reconstructed from historical genomes.

Nature Ecology & Evolution 3: 1093–1101. 

Gutaker, R.M., Zaidem, M., Fu, YB. et al. (2019) 

Flax latitudinal adaptation at LuTFL1 altered architecture and promoted fiber production. 

Scientific Reports 9: 976.

Swarts, K., R. M. Gutaker, R.M., Benz, B. et al. (2017)

Genomic estimation of complex traits reveals ancient maize adaptation to temperate North America.

Science 357: 512-515.

Gutaker, R.M. & Burbano, H.A. (2017).

Reinforcing plant evolutionary genomics using ancient DNA.

Current Opinions in Plant Biology 36: 38-45.

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Rafal Gutaker