ABC - Department for Plant Biotechnology
I am a molecular biologist and my group is studying how plant small RNAs are involved in plant-microbe interactions. We use both next generation sequencing and analysis of sRNA biogenesis mutants, to globally identify expression changes of sRNAs in response to biotic stress in different plant species.
Our research is focused on potato genetics and metabolomics using the latest tools of molecular biology. One of the novel methods applied in our laboratory is genome-editing based on the CRISPR/Cas9 system. We aim to use this system to increase the earliness of tuberisation and produce bacterium wilt-resistant potato lines.
The laboratory is focusing on the understanding of the role and mode of action of small regulatory RNAs in model and economically important plants. The aim of the research is to identify new and conservative small regulatory RNAs and plant factors influencing the development of economically important traits or plant development processes in general. Moreover, we intend to use the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology for basic and applied research purposes especially in barley.
Food security is seriously threatened by numerous infectious diseases caused by pathogenic microorganisms (viruses, fungi etc.). Plants have evolved several defensive mechanisms to fight off these infections. The work in our group is focusing on the better understanding of these processes. To achieve this goal, we apply techniques of modern molecular biology and genome editing. Disentangling the details of plant immunity may open up novel ways to improve stress tolerance in plants, thereby resulting in increased crop yield and quality.
Temperature stress is considered to be one of the major stresses on crops that adversely affects the distribution and productivity of agriculturally important plants worldwide. Cells exposed to high temperatures activate heat shock responses which consists of a series of dramatic biochemical and physiological changes that results in a reprioritization of cell physiology to support survival. Besides, heat stress may cause lasting effects that may alter development and reproduction in the post-stress period. Our group investigates the heat stress responses and post-stress development in the Arabidopsis thaliana model and the important crop species Brassica napus.