DBG · Promoting young researchers

Erik Pischke (Rostock University)

Erik Pischke's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Rostock University in the year 2019.


The role of the leucine biosynthesis for Pb tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana

He found out that the heavy metal lead can differentially affect the growth of ecotypes and mutants of A. thaliana and that an enzyme involved in leucine biosynthesis is essential for Pb tolerance.

Natural variance of lead tolerance was tested for different ecotypes of A. thaliana to identify molecular mechanism involved in Pb tolerance. Liquid seedling assays were performed, and root lengths were measured upon exposure to Pb. Genome wide association analysis had pointed at enzymes of leucine biosynthesis. Therefore, respective mutants were studied. They showed strong Pb hypersensitivity in comparison to the reference wildtype. A partial rescue of the lead-affected phenotype was observed when leucine was supplied to the medium. Upcoming experiments will aim at understanding the genetic and metabolic reasons for the impacts that Pb has on the leucine biosynthesis in A. thaliana.


Erik Pischke conducted this work as external Master thesis at the University of Rostock at the Department of Plant Genetics of Prof. Dr. Renate Horn cooperation with the University of Bayreuth at the Department of Plant Physiology of Prof. Dr. Stephan Clemens.