Péter Poczai


Curriculum Vitae

Doctor of Plant Health (MSc), Doctor of Plant Genetics (PhD)


Research interests

My research lies in the area of plant molecular systematics, molecular evolution, and comparative genomics. I am integrating different aspects of plant evolutionary biology into a complex phylogenetic framework to achieve my goals. My research includes a range of experimental approaches, from the collection and observation of species in the field to the generation of large genomic data sets. Beginning with my work I have been interested in wild relatives of crop plants and their use in plant breeding.  Most of this work involves the large and economically important nightshade family (Solanaceae) including potato, tomato and eggplant. I have long been interested in the genetics of underutilized crops such black nightshades called the Solanum nigrum complex or sect. Solanum. I am focusing on the investigation higher-level relationships and population genetic patterns and possible utilization for plant breeding. Towards this direction I have assembled and characterizing an ex situ germplasm collection from this species group through the European continent and pointed out possible progenitors of polyploidy spices. Recently my research seeks to advance the application of next generation sequencing technologies to evolutionary genetics questions and to improve the bioinformatics tools to analyze the resulting data.


Solanum: phylogeny, biology and utilization

Solanum is a genus of nearly 1,400 species and only a small portion of them are cultivated. It is obvious that we should aim to use the traits provided by the large and unexplored diversity. This genus is important from an agricultural perspective as well as from an evolutionary standpoint. The genus consists of valuable crops like eggplant, tomato, and especially potato, all economically extremely important in European agriculture. Potato ranks as the world’s third most important food crop, with increasing production worldwide. Species of Solanum represent nearly 1% of the world’s angiosperm flora, which might be attributed to its great antiquity and an extraordinary rate of speciation. This huge diversity in one genus is quite unusual in angiosperms. Exotic germplasm resources, which include wild species and landraces, often carry many agriculturally desirable alleles and unknown evolutionary history. Wild Solanum species have been known for long time to be resistant to many pathogens. Therefore wild resistant species have been used in studies aimed at the identification of disease resistance genes. Due to the large diversity of Solanaceae, wild species with important traits could also be important minor food crops in some parts of the world, while the same species can become invasive weeds of agriculture and rural habitats. In addition, these plants could also serve as alternative hosts for major diseases for crop plants.

Find out More at the Solanaceae Source


Highlighted publications

  1. E-pub ahead of print

    Taxonomy based on science is necessary for global conservation

    Thomson, S., Pyle, R., T. Ahyong, S., A. Alonso-Zarazaga, M., Ammirati, J., Ascher, J. S., Audisio, T. L., Azvedo-Santos, V. M., Bailly, N., Baker, W. J., Balke, M., Barclay, M. V. L., Barrett, R. L., Benine, R. C., Bickerstaff, J. R. M., Bouchard, P., Bour, R., Bourgoin, T., Boyoko, C. B., Breure, A. S. H., Brothers, D. J., Buffington, M. L., Byng, J. W., Campbell, D., Ceriaco, L. M. P., Cernák, I., Cerretti, P., Chang, C-H., Cho, S., Copus, J. M., Costello, M. J., Cseh, A., Csúzi, C., Culham, A., D'Elia, G., d'Udekem d'Acoz, C., Daneliya, M. E., M. de Vos, J., Dekker, R., Dickinson, E. C., Dickinson, T. A., Dijkstra, K-D. B., Dima, B., Dmitriev, D. A., Duistermaat, L., Dumbacher, J. P., Eiserhardt, W. L., Ekrem, T., Evenhuis, N. L., Faille, A., Fernández-Triana, J. L., Fiesler, E., Fishbein, M., Fordham, B. G., Freitas, A. V. L., Friol, N. R., Fritz, U., Frøslev, T., Funk, V. A., Gaimari, S. D., Garbino, G. S. T., Gardes, M., Garraffoni, A. R. S., Geml, J., C. Gill, A., Gray, A., Grazziotin, F. G., Greenslade, P., Gutiérrez, E. E., Harvey, M. S., Hazevoet, C. J., He, K., He, X., Helfer, S., Helgen, K. M., Heller, K., Garcia, F. H., Holstein, N., Horváth, M. K., Hovenkamp, P. H., Hwang, W. S., Hyvönen, J. T., Islam, M. B., Iverson, J. B., Ivie, M. A., Jaafar, Z., Jackson, M. D., Jayat, J. P., Johnson, N. F., Kaiser, H., Klitgård, B. B., Knapp, D. G., Kojima, J., Kõljalg, U., Kontschán, J., Krell, F-T., Krisai-Greihuber, I., Kullander, S., Latella, L., Lattke, J. E., Lencioni, V., Lewis, G. P., Lhano, M. G., Lujan, N. K., Luksenburg, J. A., Mariaux, J., Marinho-Filho, J., Marshall, C. J., Mate, J. F., McDonough, M. M., Michel, E., Miranda, V. F. O., Mitroiu, M-D., Molinari, J., Monks, S., Moore, A. J., Moratelli, R., Moreau, P-A., Murányi, D., Nakano, T., Nihei, S. S., Noyes, J., Ohl, M., Oleas, N. H., Orrell, T., Páll-Gergely, B., Pape, T., Papp, V., Parenti, L. R., Patterson, D., Pavlinov, I. Y., Pine, R. H., Poczai, P., Prado, J., Prathapan, D., Rabeler, R. K., Randall, J. E., Rheindt, F. E., Rhodin, A. G. J., Rodríguez, S. M., Rogers, D. C., de O. Roque, F., Rowe, K. C., Ruedas, L. A., Salazar-Bravo, J., Salvador, R. B., Sangster, G., Sarmiento, C. E., Schigel, D. S., Schmidt, S., Schueler, F. W., Segers, H., Snow, N., Souza-Dias, P. G. B., Stals, R., Stenroos, S. K., Stone, R. D., Sturm, C. F., Štys, P., Teta, P., Thomas, D. C., Timm, R. M., Tindall, B. J., Todd, J. A., Triebel, D., Valdecasas, A. G., van Dijk, P. P., van Heteren, A. H., Vizzini, A., Vorontsova, M., Wagner, P., Watling, L., Weakley, A., Walter-Schultes, F., Whitmore, D., Wilding, N., Will, K., Williams, J., Wilson, K., Winston, J. E., Wüster, W., Yanega, D., Yeates, D. K., Zaher, H., Zhang, G., Zhang, Z-Q., Zhou, H-Z. & Zhu, C-D. 2018 In : PLoS Biology. 16, 3, e2005075

    Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

  2. Complete chloroplast genome sequence of Coyote tobacco (Nicotiana attenuata, Solanaceae)

    Poczai, P., Amiryousefi, A. & Hyvönen, J. 2017 In : Mitochondrial DNA Part B, Resources. 2, 2, p. 761-762 2 p.

    Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

  3. The plastid genome of the invasive plant common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia, Asteraceae)

    Amiryousefi, A., Hyvönen, J. & Poczai, P. 2017 In : Mitochondrial DNA Part B, Resources. 22, p. 753-754 2 p.

    Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

  4. The plastid genome of Vanillon (Vanilla pompona, Orchidaceae)

    Amiryousefi, A., Hyvönen, J. & Poczai, P. 2017 In : Mitochondrial DNA Part B, Resources. 2, 2, p. 689-691 3 p.

    Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

  5. Genome sequencing and population genomic analyses provide insights into the adaptive landscape of silver birch

    Salojärvi, J., Smolander, O-P., Nieminen, K., Rajaraman, S., Safronov, O., Safdari, P., Lamminmäki, A., Immanen, J., Lan, T., Tanskanen, J., Rastas, P., Amiryousefi, A., Jayaprakash, B., Kammonen, J. I., Hagqvist, R., Eswaran, G., Ahonen, V. H., Serra, J. A., Asiegbu, F. O., Barajas-Lopez, J. D. D., Blande, D., Blokhina, O., Blomster, T., Broholm, S., Brosche, M., Cui, F., Dardick, C., Ehonen, S. E., Elomaa, P., Escamez, S., Fagerstedt, K. V., Fujii, H., Gauthier, A., Gollan, P. J., Halimaa, P., Heino, P. I., Himanen, K., Hollender, C., Kangasjarvi, S., Kauppinen, L., Kelleher, C. T., Kontunen-Soppela, S., Koskinen, J. P., Kovalchuk, A., Karenlampi, S. O., Kärkönen, A. K., Lim, K-J., Leppälä, J., Macpherson, L., Mikola, J., Mouhu, K., Mähönen, A. P., Niinemets, U., Oksanen, E., Overmyer, K., Palva, E. T., Pazouki, L., Pennanen, V., Puhakainen, T., Poczai, P., Possen, B. J. H. M., Punkkinen, M., Rahikainen, M. M., Rousi, M., Ruonala, R., van der Schoot, C., Shapiguzov, A., Sierla, M., Sipilä, T. P., Sutela, S., Teeri, T. H., Tervahauta, A. I., Vaattovaara, A., Vahala, J., Vetchinnikova, L., Welling, A., Wrzaczek, M., Xu, E., Paulin, L. G., Schulman, A. H., Lascoux, M., Albert, V. A., Auvinen, P., Helariutta, Y. & Kangasjarvi, J. 8 May 2017 In : Nature Genetics. 49, 6, p. 904-912 12 p.

    Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

  6. Imre Festetics and the Sheep Breeders’ Society of Moravia: Mendel’s Forgotten “Research Network”

    Poczai, P., Bell, N. & Hyvönen, J. 2014 In : PLoS Biology. 12, 1, 5 p., e1001772

    Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

  7. Advances in plant gene-targeted and functional markers: a review

    Poczai, P., Varga, I., Laos, M., Cseh, A., Bell, N., Valkonen, J. & Hyvönen, J. 2013 In : Plant Methods. 9, 31 p., 6

    Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewReview Article

View all (38) »

Highlighted activities

  1. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution (Journal)

    Poczai, P. (Reviewer)
    12 Jan 2018

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPeer review of manuscripts


    Poczai, P. (Attendee)
    5 Feb 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

  3. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution (Journal)

    Poczai, P. (Reviewer)

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPeer review of manuscripts

  4. Colloquium Lecture Series of the Finnish Museum of Natural History

    Poczai, P. (Chair of organizing committee)
    1 Sep 20171 Sep 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

  5. Midnight blooming beauty Victoria cruziana

    Poczai, P. (Speaker: Presenter)
    30 May 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventPublic Talks

View all (95) »

Highlighted projects

  1. SOLPLAST: Plastid genome evolution in Solanaceae

    Poczai, P., Hyvönen, J., Amiryousefi, A., Aubriot, X. & Sablok, G.

    Uudenmaan liitto, Jyväskylän yliopisto


    Project: Research project_Research

  2. AMB: The phylogeny of ragweeds (genus Ambrosia, Asteraceae)

    Poczai, P., Hyvönen, J., Amiryousefi, A. & Sablok, G.


    Project: Research project_Research

  3. AngioPlast: Plastid genome evolution of angiosperms

    Poczai, P., Hyvönen, J., Amiryousefi, A. & Sablok, G.


    Project: Research project_Research

  4. Solanum in Europe: phylogeny and genetic diversity

    Poczai, P. & Hyvönen, J.


    Project: Research project

View all (4) »


Muu tai tuntematon koulutus, koulutusaste tuntemat

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