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

Argentine ant workers with brood on a plant leaf.

How Sneaky Fungi Hide From Ants

A Starting Grant in 2017, now a Consolidator Grant: Elmar Wolf has now raised several million euros in third-party funding for his research projects.

Eliminating the partners of cancer

Stimulation of the Venus flytrap by touch triggers electrical signals and calcium waves. The calcium signature is decoded; this causes the trap to shut quickly. The DYSC mutant has lost the ability to read and decode the calcium signature correctly.

Mutant with Counting Disability

Bumblebees foraging on flowers

Flower Patterns Make Bumblebees More Efficient