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? Final Symposium Interreg Upper Rhine

Thursday, July 7, 2022, we will organise our final symposium for the Interreg Upper Rhine Research Network DialogProTec. Location: Staatsweingut Blankenhornsberg in the Kaiserstuhl and in virtual form.

In the scientific part (as hybrid with virtual participation) in the morning, we present how we investigated, in an interdisciplinary cooperation between microsystems technology, natural compound chemistry, stress physiology and molecular cell biology, the chemical dialogue between plants and fungi, but also between plants themselves and succeeded to decipher some of the exchanged signals. In the practical part, we will discuss in exchange with winegrowers, how viticulture in the region can be rendered climate resilient. more on DialogProTec...

What is New? Eutypinosis - Not Toxin, but Signal

Climate change calls for victims, also in viticulture. Fungi that inhabit also healthy grapes, being harmless commensalists, turn into killers, when the plant is challenged by climatic stress. A grape that was strong and productive, can collapse within a week (so-called apoplexy). Eutypinosis is one form of this disease, where the fungus Eutypa lata is central. In concert with the Institute for Biological Compounds in Kaiserslautern we could show in frame of the Interreg Upper Rhine poject DialogProTec that this is caused by the compound eutypine. We were also able to show, which molecular structures are responsible here. When one oxygen at this molecule is reduced, the toxic effect disappears, instead an effect on microtubules appears. It is even possible to outcompete the effect of eutypine by the reduced variant of the molecule. This is evidence for a receptor. Thus, eutypine is not a toxin, but simulates a signal that in the plant can evoke an overshooting immune reaction culminating in cellular suicide. more on DialogProTec...

 

 

 

 

 

Anti-microtubular

 

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...

 

 

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.

The topic in the summer semester: "Moralisation and Science" - Controversies guaranteed. more...

Prof. Dr. Peter Dabrock, Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg: Wenn sich Wissenschaft zu viel zutraut. Zur Ambivalenz der vermeintlichen Relevanzsteigerung von Wissenschaft in der Corona-Krise. Tue, May 24, 2022, 15:45 ZOOM

 

 

 

What is new? Cooperation Botany-IHM in the journal Biospektrum

Since more than 15 years the Botanical Institute and the Institute for High Energy Impulse and Microwave Technology cooperate on the the electromanipulation of algae. We could demonstrate that electric impulses not only perforate membranes, but can also deploy biological signalling. This allows to manipulate algae for biotechnological applications. for instance, we could reduce the energy need for protein extraction by a factor of 100. This shows, how application can benefit from fundamental research. 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...

 

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...

 

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)