Plant Stress

What is it about


Plants cannot run away, thus, they must adapt. Whether drought stress or fungal attack - each stress factor commands a different strategy. Under salt stress, a transporter is made that quells sodium ions in the vacuole. This would be completely meaningless in case of a pathogen attac. The activates these different responses by the very same molecules, though. How can it discriminate? We assume that, similar to human language, a kine of code exists, a set of rules that help the cell to decode combinations of different molecular signals. Will we succeed, to crack the "grammar of stress signals" and make use of it? This would be an important contribution to the agriculture of the futre. The close link between fundamental research questions and application matters for us. Therefore, we work on the relevant crop plants Rice and Grapevine.


Jasmonate and the Grammar of Stress

Jasmonate is the plant version of adrenalin. Our worldwide unique rice mutants help us to decipher the role of this important signal path.



Resilience and Sustainability

New plants with high yield enabled the "Green Revolution". The price was susceptibility to stress. Can we make use of our knowledge on resilience to do molecular breeding?



Grapevine Immunity

To pour pure wine is hard, because our grapes are "Fungicide Junkies". Can we activate immunity instead? Our tool: Wild Grapevines that harbour immunity genes.


Cytoskeleton as Signalling Hub

The plant cytoskeleton is relevant for signal processing. Fluorescent lines of rice and grapevine allow us to follow the earliest stress responses of crop plants.