What we do


Welcome in the Nick-Lab

Molecular Cell Biology (Prof. Dr. Peter Nick)

Fritz-Haber-Weg, Gbd. 30.43 (Torre de Biología), 5. floor. e-mail. How to find us

 

Secretary

 

the journal with the longest tradition in cell biology (Springer-Nature). We publish it. more...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is new?  Award for Damaris Krust

Damaris Krust, PhD student with us and researcher in the Bioelektrics Group at the IHM was awarded by the Foundation Energy and Climate Protection. She could show that proteins can be extracted from the alga Chlorella traded as "Superfood" by administering an electrical impulse that commands the algae to commit suicide. Compared to conventional methods this reduces the energy requirement to 1/100. more...

 

What is new?  The new "Strasburger"

127 years ago Eduard Strasburger founded the textbook of botany, which appeared now in the 38. edition - this makes the "Strasburger" the biology textbook with the longest history. Peter Nick contributed a couple of 100 pages to the topics structure and function of the plant body and plant development. The "Strasburger" pursues the goal to depict the entire knowledge on plants, comprehensively, up-to-date, and at the same time filtered. Even though it had never been easier to acquire information, the problem is progressively to filter relevant from irrelevant. Textbooks are, therefore, not outdated, but more important than ever. more...

 

 

Anti-microtubular compound from a TCM plant

The Dyer's Woad, also known as German Indigo, is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine under the name of Ban Lan Gen genutzt. Currently, the plant is in the limelight, due to its effect against Covid symptoms. In a cooperation with chemists from Switzerland we succeeded to identify the active compound as glucobrassicine that disassembles microtubules in plant and animal cells. Since the Covid virus hijacks the microtubules of the host for its own movement, this might be the reason for the therapeutic effect of Ban Lan Gen . The work is now accepted in the Journal for Integrative Plant Biology and will be even highlighted on the front page. more...

FKI

The State Teaching Award 2015 was given to Peter Nick and Mathias Gutmann. The money was used to found the Forum. Beyond faculties and disciplines, we debate here on controversial topics. In the WS 2021-2022 it is about Time. more...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lecture February 1, 2022. ZOOM

Prof. Dr. Daniela Vallone (KIT): The circadian time-keeping mechanism: Lessons from fish

 

 

 

 

 

What is new?  Bio-Economy of Phosphorous

Bio-Economy means an economy that is circular and, thus, remains sustainable. After our colleague Dr. Adnan Kanbar succeeded, to breed, in the Botanical Garden of the KIT a new variety of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), that is able to thrive under our climatic conditions and can be used to produce bio-ethanol due to a high sugar content (press release of the KIT), the next step deals with closing the cycle. As result of a cooperation project with Prof. Stapf (Institute of Technical Chemistry, Campus Nord), supported by funds from the KIT Division I, we could show that Sorghum bicolor can cope with marginal soils by forming a larger root system and activation of genes for phosphate transporters, such that it accumulates phosphorous and silicates. When, after extraction of the sugar, the residues are processed into biochar by low heat, it is possible to replace fertilisation with mineralic phosphates. This work appears now in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences. more...

What is new? Microbes for Future

Together with Prof. Anne Kaster (Institute for Biological Interfaces at the North Campus) we launched our new project "Microbes for Future", funded by the Strategy Programme of the KIT Presidium. Our goal is to modulate the microbes in the rhizosphere of Grapevine to support plant immunity. By this approach we hope to mitigate the impact of climate change in viticulture. The base for this application is our research on Esca & Co, wood decaying fungi that, in consequence of climate change, progressively affect viticulture, also in our region. more...

 

What our research is about

Life is not easy. There are two ways to cope – animals run away, plants adapt. We want to understand, how. The key are plant cells, since they mediate shape, adaptation and the enormous diversity of plants.

 

 

 

Evolution solves problems in a sustainable, highly diverse manner. Can we valorise this diversity? We work to protect and use diversity. We develop methods, to safeguard consumer protections in times of globalisation. more... Amaranth, the Superfood of the Inka, as functional food. Wir try to raise the content of Omega-3-Fatty Acids, to develop a vegan alternative for sea fish (EU-CORNET, 2020-2022) together with the University of Hohenheim and partners from Peru. more...
Plants are masters of adaptation. How do they overcome stress? We work on jasmonic acid, the plant "adrenalin", but also about the immune system of grapevine. more.. Ecosystem on chip for sustainable plant protection (Interreg Science Offensive, 2019-2022). more...
Plant cells can self organise without a "Big Brother". The ability of each individual cells to acquire its own direction, is central. How does this work? more... Cold resistance of strawberries (BMBF, 2018-2020)