Molecular Cell Biology of Plants

The cellular homeostasis and surveillance depend on fluxes of information, molecules, proteins, RNAs and organelles. Understanding the molecular principles that ensure proper homeostasis and surveillance is fundamental for the description of the behaviour of an organism and its manipulation by genetic engineering, breeding or a chemical treatment. Our team aims to understand central aspects of these processes. We focus on the fundaments of regulating the life cycle of proteins and the signal transduction systems to maintain the homeostatic state under changing environmental conditions using plant systems as a model.

On the one hand, plant cells operate as eukaryotic cells where fundamental principles are globally conserved. However, plant cells are more complex than animal cells due to the existence of the plastids. On the other hand, in conjunction with the increase of the global population, climate change requires intensive plant research to ensure the production of food and renewable energy resources.

We have teamed up in five laboratories. The RiboBio-Lab aims to decipher the regulation of ribosome production as an example of an essential complex for cellular homeostasis. The DynaMem-Lab investigates downstream processes like cellular protein distribution or organelle positioning in cells as a central cellular function process. To describe the evolutionary conservation of fundamental processes, the Cyano-Lab investigates the homeostasis of cyanobacteria as they share common roots with plastids.

The HeatStress-Lab headed by the group leader Dr. Sotirios Fragkostefanakis describes the subsequent processes focusing on the plant reaction to altered environmental conditions like temperature fluctuations.

The G-Zero-Lab headed by the group leader Dr. Maik Böhmer targets early responses to environmental changes by exploring the very early signal transduction and reaction regimes.

Altogether, the unified research in these five fields will lead to a global understanding of the molecular principles that allow cellular homeostasis and surveillance.

The spectrum of our methods ranges from the investigation of the structure and function of single proteins over the analysis of energetic processes in isolated membranes, and evolutionary processes, to genetic analysis of environmentally regulated processes in plants using different plant model systems.



Prof. Dr. Schleiff is currently the President of Goethe University Frankfurt

Head of the Group:

Dr. Sotirios Fragkostefanakis
Biozentrum, Campus Riedberg
Gebäudeteil N200, Raum 302
Max-von-Laue-Str. 9
60438 Frankfurt am Main

T +49 69 798-29287
F +49 69 798-29286

Nach Vereinbarung