The Dean lab are collaborating with Professor Magnus Nordborg and his group to explore the molecular basis of natural variation in flowering time and vernalization.
They use QTL analysis and genome-wide association to identify allelic variation determining natural variation in many aspects of flowering and vernalization. They then verify these associations using genetic and molecular analysis and explore the mechanistic consequences of the polymorphism.
The lab also combine our understanding of the molecular control of flowering with population genetic analysis to try and understand the distribution of allelic variation at particular Arabidopsis thaliana loci.
As part of the Earth and Life Systems Alliance (ELSA), a collaborative project between John Innes Centre and the University of East Anglia, they are collaborating with Professor Alastair Grant to model the effects of a changing climate on the flowering time of different Arabidopsis accessions and Dr Cock van Oosterhout for population genetic and evolutionary analysis.