Research

Phloem Proteins

Forisom In vascular plants, long-distance transport of photoassimilates is accomplished by the sieve tubes in the phloem. Dicotyledonous plants have evolved a highly specialized wound sealing mechanism that prevents the loss of sugars upon injury. This mechanism based on P-proteins (phloem proteins), which block the flow of assimilates by plugging sieve plates. We are studying different aspects of P-protein biology including molecular phylogeny and physiology, functional genomics and biophysics with a special focus on forisomes – a unique contractile P-protein type from legumes. more...

ISOPRENOIDS

Dandelion Isoprenoids form the largest class of plant secondary metabolites and approximately 40.000 compounds have been described. In plants, they influence the membrane structure (sterols), redox chemistry (plastoquinone, ubiquinone) and growth regulation (gibberellins, cytokinins, brassinosteroids and abscisic acid) or act in defence mechanisms (phytoalexins) and as scavengers of free radicals (carotenoids, tocopherols). Based on their natural functions many isoprenoids can be adapted for industrial uses. However, the content of secondary metabolites in plants is often limited and thus builds the overall research topic of our group. more...


Flower development in Nicotiana tabacum

Bluete The production of biomass is one of the most important aims of modern biotechnology. Plants which grow prodigiously and continuously could be the key for a sustainable and efficient supply of food and raw materials for the world population. Some years ago in a T-DNA tagging experiment; we serendipitously identified a tobacco mutant – which we called Forever Young Tobacco (FYT) – that showed permanent growth, no senescence, evergreen leaves and no flowering. At present, we study the initiation of flowering in N. tabacum by functional genomics. more...