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  • Plant Molecular Cell Biology - Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Frank


    Plants evolved specific mechanisms to adapt to extreme environmental conditions. We study these mechanisms at the molecular level to understand the underlying genetic, physiological and biochemical processes. Further, we concentrate on the function of non-coding RNAs that control gene expression via RNA interference. more

  • Plant Metabolism - Prof. Dr. Peter Geigenberger


    The central theme of my research is to investigate how plant metabolism is regulated and coordinated in response to environmental signals and how this affects growth, development and out-put traits in plants. To achieve this, we use a combination of systems biology and hypothesis driven approaches focussing on an integrated analysis (-omics profiling) of plant metabolism in different genotypes and environments. This includes genetic, biochemical and molecular-physiological methods. A further aim is to assess biotechnological applications to improve crops. In the context of the SFB-TR 175 B02, we explore the role of dynamic adjustments in photosynthetic metabolism of plants to acclimate to fluctuating light intensities and low temperatures. In the context of the DFG project Ge 878/7-2, we explore signalling components that are involved in the homeostatic response of plants to low oxygen concentrations. more

  • Plant Development - Prof. Dr. Andreas Klingl


    Protein localization studies in plant cells and plant pathogens as well as the ultrastructural characterization of microorganisms like the unicellular photosynthetic microalga Phaeodactylum tricornutum and extremophiles (hyperthermophiles, acidophiles) using electron microscopy represent the major research focus. Here as well as in education, the different microscopy and preparation techniques play an important role. more

  • Plant Biochemistry and Physiology - Prof. Dr. H.-H. Kunz


    Chloroplasts possess three protein containing membranes: an outer and an inner envelope membrane and the thylakoid membrane which harbors the photosynthetic machinery. Charged molecules such as metal ions can pass these membranes only assisted by specific transport proteins. Our lab focuses on identifying the genes encoding for these plastid ion transport proteins. Besides biochemical assays to characterize the carriers and channels in vivo and in vitro, we study gain and loss-of-function mutants to understand the role of specific metal ions for chloroplast function and photosynthesis. Additionally, we assess the importance of plastid ion homeostasis for plant performance with focus on abiotic stress conditions. To accelerate research in our field, we have constructed organelle-specific artificial micro RNA libraries that enable plastid-specific forward genetic screens. more

  • Plant Molecular Biology/Botany - Prof. Dr. Dario Leister

    Symbol der AG Leister

    Our central research theme is the molecular dissection of photosynthesis and of its interdependence of, and integration into, other cellular processes - within and outside chloroplasts. Photosynthesis-relevant cellular functions and their regulation within the organelle and in cross-talk to the nucleus are characterised by a combined approach, complementing genetic, biochemical, physiological and molecular-biological methodology with system biology approaches. The plastid-wide characterization of protein functions, in particular for photosynthesis, and of networks imposed on their regulation, will result into the redesign of the photosynthetic process by synthetic biology and experimental evolution. more

  • Plant Evolutionary Cell Biology – Prof. Dr. Thomas Nägele

    nägele teaser

    Plant cells are characterized by a high degree of compartmentation. Compared to other eukaryotes, plants possess additional compartments and organelles, e.g. chloroplasts where photosynthesis takes place. Our research focuses on the analysis of metabolic regulation and signalling within and between such cellular compartments. In particular, we are interested in resolving molecular strategies of plants to acclimate their compartments to fluctuating environmental factors, e.g. light or temperature. Such factors shape range boundaries of plant species and, hence, have a significant effect on plant evolution, development and ecology. Experimental approaches comprise measurement of rates of photosynthesis and respiration, enzyme activities and the subcellular proteome and metabolome. Mathematical modelling of metabolism allows us to computationally analyse the role of complex metabolic regulation in plant-environment interactions. more

  • Molecular Plant Science - Prof. Dr. Jörg Nickelsen


    During the phylogenetic development of the eukaryotic plant/algae cell, nowadays chloroplasts originated from former free-living cyanobacteria. The integration of this endosymbiont on a cellular level was achieved by the establishment of an intracellular communication system. This system is based on nucleus-encoded regulatory factors directing plastid gene expression especially on the posttranscriptional level including the assembly of functional multiprotein complexes. Understanding this regulatory network and its development on the molecular level is the main focus of our scientific work. more

  • CRC TRR175