News from the Department of Molecular Plantphysiology and Biophysics

With two additional genes for the enzyme dioxygenase and the light-controlled anion channel ACR1, the tobacco plant can channel salt ions across the cell membrane when exposed to green light. The success can be seen in the experiment: While pollen tubes normally grow in the direction of the egg cell for fertilization, in genetically modified cells they change the direction of growth depending on the exposure to light.

A boost for plant research

Normal and malformed leaves oft the Australian pitcher plant.

How Climate Caprices can Trigger Plants

The Venus flytrap has a unique arrangement of its vascular tissue (centre). This network enables the plant to process fast stimuli, similar to the nervous system of animals. Now it has been possible to investigate these stimuli without contact using novel magnetic field detectors (right).

Venus Flytrap Generates Magnetic Fields

The Würzburg Highly Cited Researchers 2020: Hermann Einsele, Rainer Hedrich, Andreas Rosenwald, Jörg Vogel, Frank Würthner, and the Citation Laureate Laurens Molenkamp.

Highly Cited Researchers

News from the Biocentre

SMN is concentrated in the Cajal bodies (left, red) in the nucleus of human cells (blue). If phosphorylation of SMN is inhibited, the concentration ceases and Cajal bodies disappear.

Flash mob in the nucleus

During drought, the signalling molecule GABA is produced and inhibits the opening of leaf pores (left). If the enzyme GAD2, which converts glutamate to GABA, is genetically switched off, the pores remain open even during drought - the plants lose more water (centre). If the gene for GAD2 is reintroduced into the closing cells, the defect is reversed. The experiment shows that the sphincter cells autonomously perceive stress and react to it with GABA production.

Plants Remember Drought

Model of the SMN complex, stained yeast cells can be seen in the background.

First 3D Images of a Giant Molecule

Measurements have shown how the hummingbird hawkmoth uses optic flow for flight control and orientation.

A Divided Visual Field