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

How many people does an infected person infect in a population that has not yet had any contact with this virus? Information on this question is provided by the so-called basic replication number R0.

A difficult key factor

Cells probably require up to 50 percent of their energy reserves for ribosome production. Under nutrient deficiency, the LARP1 protein ensures that protein production is reduced.

Commander in the cell's production room

Flooding the intercellular spaces with salt causes the leaf to sink temporarily (1 -> 2). After disposal of the salt in the vacuole (3), the leaf resumes its initial position (1). The application of salt causes a decrease in the cytoplasmic calcium ion and proton concentration in the leaf, but an increase in calcium ions in the root.

Extreme Salt Stress Triggers Leaf Movement

Ants are usually found in large numbers. But how many of them are there in total on earth?

How many ants are there?