The main direction of the research is the study of domestication of endemic crop plants in Caucasus, using whole genome sequencing of endemics as well as their wild relatives, grapevine, wheat etc.
Another aim of the laboratory is the identification of important genes and the understanding of genetic factors underlying quantitative traits of crop plants of Caucasus.
The whole genome sequencing of four Georgian grape varieties was carried out. The whole sequence of plastid DNA of four Georgian grape cultivars is established (manuscript in preparation). The determination of grape nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequence is in progress.
DNA sequence diversity was investigated at several plastid regions in a geographically diverse group of 113 cultivated world-wide set of grape samples. This group included 40 samples from Georgia, home to over 500 grape cultivars and the earliest archaeological evidence of grape domestication. Four plastid heliotypes are evident in the 113 samples (2010). The AAA heliotype was only observed in Georgian samples. The observation that the Georgian cultivars exhibited both unique plastid DNA variation (the AAA heliotype) and all other observed plastid heliotypes is consistent with previous studies that have observed both unique and high levels of genetic variation in wild grape (V. viniferous subsp. Sylvester's) in the greater Caucasus region.
Main Direction of Research
• Genetic diversity of Grape
• Georgian endemic wheat and their predecessors.
• Structural organization of satellite DNA-containing heterochromatin
• Grape and wheat cultivars and wild forms.
• Complete nucleotide sequence analysis of nuclear, plastid and mitochondrial genome.
• Gene annotation by modern bioinformatics.
• Genetic diversity in grapevine (Vitas L.) as revealed by single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and copy number variations (CNV)
• Complete genome sequence analysis of four Georgian grape cultivars
• Genetic diversity of Georgian endemic wheat and their predecessors
Recently Realized Projects
• Plastid DNA sequence diversity in wild grapevine samples (Vitisviniferasubsp. Sylvester's) from the Caucasus region
• Plastid DNA Sequence Diversity in a worldwide set of Grapevine Cultivars (VitisviniferaL.subsp.vinifera)