News from the Department of Molecular Plantphysiology and Biophysics

Remote control for stomatal movement. Green light can activate the GtACR1 channel in guard cells that surround an open pore (left). Active GtACR1 channels release chloride ions, which automatically also causes the efflux of potassium ions and the release of water (middle). Because of slackening of the guard cells the stomatal pores in the leaf surface close (right).

Remote Control for Plants

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

News from the Biocentre

Smallpox viruses - here seen under the microscope - are among the deadliest pathogens in human history. Not quite as dangerous, but still worrying, is the current outbreak of monkeypox.

New agents to combat a dangerous pathogen

Artist’s representation of how the condensin complex (yellow) creates DNA loops (blue) to form X-shaped chromosomes during cell division.

Shaping up the Genome for Cell Division

Image of patient-derived endocervical columnar (red) ectocervical stratified squamous organoids (Green) of female reproductive tract, and diagram depicting their genetic manipulation and infections.

Great progress thanks to mini organs

Photos of the grasshopper species Gravel Grasshopper, Green Mountain Grasshopper, and the Wart-biter.

What Grasshoppers Feed On