Sayed Jalal Moosavi


PhD student at Department of Forest Genetics and Forest Tree Breeding, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany, since 2019

M.Sc. Agricultural Biotechnology, Imam Khomeini International University, Qazvin, Iran, 2016

B.Sc. Agronomy, Kabul University, Kabul, Afghanistan, 2010



Current project

Genetic structure at neutral and putatively adaptive gene markers along altitudinal gradients in Pinus gerardiana

Chilgoza pine (Pinus gerardiana Wall. ex D.Don) is an important tree due to its economic value in Afghanistan. Chilgoza pine naturally grows in arid mountainous regions in Afghanistan. It has little demand for soil fertility, and is capable of growing on excessively dry, barren hillsides with shallow soil.

We are seeking an opportunity to conserve the genetic resources of Chilgoza pine in Afghanistan. The main goal of this research is to identify the genetic structure, diversity and variation in different altitudes.

DNA markers are the most useful tools to characterize genetic differences between individual organisms, populations or species. Among DNA markers, Simple Sequence Repeats (SSRs) are commonly used to estimate genetic diversity, population structure, and differentiation in numerous plant species, especially in non-model plants like P. gerardiana. To identify the genetic structure in Pinus gerardiana we will test and apply gene-based microsatellite markers that revealed high transferability across other pine species.

To achieve our goals we will: a) sample populations from two altitudinal gradients in Afghanistan, b) test gene-based and nuclear microsatellites for their transferability to Pinus gerardiana, c) amplify the polymorphic loci in the natural populations, and d) analyze patterns of genetic variation to search for loci under selection.

Conservation of this important tree is vital and necessary for local people. Since the species is a keystone species in the mountain ranges of eastern Afghanistan and its edible nuts contribute significantly to the economy of local people, Chilgoza pine is considered as an important forest tree.