Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Lothar Willmitzer
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Lothar Willmitzer
Phone:+49 331 567-8200
Uta Keller
Assistant to Prof. Willmitzer
Phone:+49 331 567-8202Fax:+49 331 567-8201

Group Leaders

Dr. Aleksandra  Skirycz
Dr. Aleksandra Skirycz
Project Leader
Phone:+49 331 567-8216
Dr. Camila Caldana
Project Leader
Phone:+49 331 567-8222

Department Willmitzer

Genes and Small Molecules

In line with the major focus of the institute, the group of Prof. Dr. Willmitzer tries to contribute to the understanding of small molecule signalling and regulation in plant and yeast cells. 

The long term goals can be described as follows:

Metabolic Regulation of Plant Growth

The aim is to understand the regulatory mechanisms of plant metabolism to promote growth in response to energetic status/environmental signals. In particular, we are interested in dissecting the role of the Target Of Rapamycin (TOR) pathway, a central regulator coordinating those factors among eukaryotes. We use Arabidopsis thaliana as a model system to decipher the basis mechanism, but we are extending our knowledge to fast-growing species such as Setaria viridis and the crop sugarcane. [more]

Venturing into terra incognita of protein small molecule interactions using combination of novel and classical approaches

The significance of a cell-wide understanding of molecular complexes is of pivotal importance to comprehend life. Protein–metabolite interactions (PMIs) have received little interest in the past; technological progress has been causing this to gradually change.


Development of metabolite-based biomarkers for modeling/predicting complex traits

In contrast to genetic markers metabolite based biomarkers are largely neglected in plant breeding. This is very different to the situation in the medicinal field, where clinical biochemistry has since long been the basis for developing metabolite based biomarkers that, often due to a lack of understanding of the underlying causality, serve as surrogate markers for a physiological disorder.


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