Anzucht von Arabidopsis T-DNA Insertionslinien
Nährstoffmangelversuche im Gewächshaus
Thermomorphogenese Experimente

Ecophysiology of Plant Nutrition

Our research group is interested in understanding how plants perceive and respond to nutrient deficiencies and toxicities. We particularly focus on the responses to such nutrient imbalances in the presence of additional biotic and abiotic stresses, to understand how plants “decide” which of the often antagonistic pathways to trigger in order to cope with various environmental challenges.

Research focus

Our work focuses on the roles inositol-derived molecular messengers, namely inositol pyrophosphates and phosphoinositides, play in model and crop plants. We follow an interdisciplinary approach that combines ionomics, biochemistry, genetics, molecular-, and synthetic biology, besides covering a wide array of experimental scales, from high resolution crystallography at the nanometer scale to nutrient cycling in the field. Such an approach allows us to investigate the mechanisms by which plants perceive different environmental signals, and integrate those external stimuli into meaningful responses at molecular, physiological and field levels. We hope that by uncovering key mechanisms employed by plants to overcome nutrient imbalances, our research will benefit crop breeding and management efforts to reduce the negative footprint of agriculture.

Pflanzenwachstum Agar
© Leandra Garcia

Inositol pyrophosphates as signaling molecules regulating plant responses to stresses

We are especially interested in the still enigmatic inositol pyrophosphates (PP-InsPs), energy-rich molecular messengers that play key regulatory functions in eukaryotes.

Modell der Sec14 Funktion in Bäckerhefe
© Marília Kamleitner

The regulation of phosphoinositide homeostasis by Sec14-type lipid binding proteins

A second type of molecules we are intrigued by are phosphoinositides (PIPs), the lipid-arm of the inositol signaling.

© Marion Deichmann

PhenoRob – Robotics and Phenotyping for Sustainable Crop Production

Within the Cluster of Excellence “PhenoRob – Robotics and Phenotyping for Sustainable Crop Production ” we are developing tools to diagnose nutrient imbalances by non-invasive methods and are interested in nutrient cycling in diversified cropping systems.



Gabriel Schaaf  +49 228 / 73-2851


Room 3.022
Karlrobert-Kreiten-Strasse 13
53115 Bonn


Nicole Diel  +49 228 / 73-2371
Stephanie Schmidt  +49 228 / 73-2851


Room 3.020
Karlrobert-Kreiten-Strasse 13
53115 Bonn

Wird geladen