Victor Albert’s research employs genomic, developmental, and genetic approaches to understanding problems in plant evolutionary biology. Areas of current interest include:
- Genome sequencing and biodiversity "omics" analysis of the flora of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Singapore; this involves assembling and analyzing draft genomes fror approximately 1,000 species of native plants.
- Sequencing and characterization of the avocado and Amborella genomes, Amborella being the single sister species to all other flowering plants, and avocado lying near the base of angiosperm phylogeny; use these and other genomes in an attempt to uncover developmental regulatory mechanisms common to the “ancestral angiosperm”.
- Population genomic approaches to the study of interspecies admixture, local environmental adaptation, and the evolution of agriculturally important traits.
- Genomics of the coffee plant; seeking evidence for factors underlying the massive diversification of its parent lineage in fruit types and secondary compound chemistries, and working toward better knowledge of traits important for developing agricultural systems.
- Reconstruction of whole-genome duplication history as it relates to the diversification of flowering plants, also the ancestral gene order for all angiosperms.
- The genetic basis for convergent evolution and “adaptive” radiations of plant forms, for example in the bladderwort/butterwort lineage of carnivorous plants; has included complete genome sequencing of the humped bladderwort, Utricularia gibba, and other carnivorous plant species.
- The role of mechanistic co-option in the evolution of carnivorous plant physiology, for example, by repurposing of pathogenesis-related gene functions.
- Evolution of the Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM) photosynthetic strategy among orchids.
- Evo-devo research on the evolution of reproductive development in flowering plants; topics include B-function MADS box genes andCYCLOIDEA-like genes; the former help specify petal identity, whereas the latter participate in the control of organ symmetry.