Organelle Biology, Biotechnology and Molecular Ecophysiology
Prof. Ralph Bock and his department focus on plant cell organelles (plastids and mitochondria), their physiology and gene expression as well as their metabolic and genetic interactions with the nucleo-cytosolic compartment.
Transgenic technologies for nuclear and organellar genomes are developed and combined with biochemical and physiological methods to elucidate:
- the genetic mechanisms regulating metabolic pathways,
- the assembly process of membrane protein complexes and
- structure-function relationships within multiprotein complexes in energy-transducing membranes.
Applied research in the department addresses resistance management, metabolic engineering and the production of pharmaceuticals in plants. Other research topics concern the mechanisms of genome evolution in eukaryotes and the genetic and evolutionary processes that underlie the physiological plasticity of plant species, populations and ecosystems.
Director of Department 3: Organelle Biology, Biotechnology and Molecular Ecophysiology
The overarching goal of the research in the group "Organelle Biology and Biotechnology" led by Prof. Dr. Ralph Bock
is to obtain a systems-level understanding of chloroplast function in the context of the genetic and metabolic networks operating in plant cells.
Dr. André Scheffel
’s group investigates the biology of calcium carbonate (CaCO3
) biogenesis and morphogenesis in unicellular algae termed coccolithophores.
The research group of Dr. Stephan Greiner
focuses on molecular and mechanistic aspects of plant evolution and breeding. We concentrate on the role of cytoplasmic genetic elements (the organelle genomes of chloroplasts and mitochondria) in plant adaptation, speciation, and development.
The group of Dr. Mark Aurel Schöttler
analyses the functional organization and regulation of the photosynthetic light reactions. We use spectroscopic techniques for the in vivo
measurement of all major components of the photosynthetic apparatus. These techniques allow us to elucidate the response of the photosynthetic apparatus to changing metabolic ATP and NADPH demands, as caused, for example, by leaf development or abiotic stresses.
The group of Dr. Ute Armbruster
aims to identify and characterize regulatory mechanisms of photosynthesis. Particular focus is on the question of how photosynthesis is regulated to achieve efficiency in fluctuating light conditions.
Dr. Reimo Zoschke
's group studies translational regulation and ribosome behavior in plants. Their projects focus on plastid translation and its interconnections with cytosolic and mitochondrial protein synthesis. Thereby, they aim to understand the specific characteristics of the plastid ribosome and its translational features. Furthermore, they want to unravel how translational regulation contributes to acclimation processes in changing environmental conditions (i.e., light and temperature) and which cis
-elements and trans
-factors are involved in the modulation of translational activity.