Articles for category Nachwuchsförderung


28. Jul 2015

First Eduard Strasburger-Workshop for young plant scientists

Small Natural Products in Ecology and Evolution

From 21st to 23rd September 2014 (2 p.m. to 2 p.m.) the first Eduard Strasburger-Workshop of the German Botanical Society (DBG) will take place in Nuremberg, Germany. Entitled “Linking the biochemistry of small natural products to ecology and evolution” it is organized from young plant biologists for young plant biologists exclusively. The location where the participants will meet is the Hostel in Nuremberg located in the famous 500 year-old castle. Please send your application until 31st August to the organizers Dr. Nadine Meitinger and M.Sc. Daniel Geiger from the Department Biology at the Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology of the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU).
Application form (pdf)

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29. Mar 2012

Praktikanten für Doktoranden: Drei Stipendiaten unterstützt

Sorry, in German only

Auch dieses Jahr fördert die DBG ausländische Studierende, die einer hiesigen Doktorandin oder einem Doktoranden zur Hand gehen. Organisiert wird der Austausch, bei dem Nordamerikanische und Britische Studierende in deutsche Hochschulen und pflanzenwissenschaftliche Labore schnuppern, vom Deutschen Akademischen Austauschdienst (DAAD). In diesem „Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE)“ genannten Programm koordiniert der DAAD die Zusammenführung der Doktoranden-Praktikanten-Paare und erstellt das Ranking unter den eingegangenen Bewerbungen. Drei dieser Stipendien in diesem Jahr finanziert wieder die DBG.

Details zu RISE

Bericht über eine frühere Doktoranden-Praktikanten-Zusammenarbeit in den Pflanzenwissenschaften

Details beim DAAD

04. Jan 2013

DBG sponsors three fellowships

Sorry, in German only

Auch dieses Jahr übernimmt die DBG wieder drei Patenschaften für Nachwuchsforscherinnen und -forscher im Rahmen des RISE-Programms (Research Intership in Science and Engineering) des DAAD. Das heißt sie ermöglicht drei jungen Wissenschaftlern einen Mitarbeiter für die eigene Dissertation für sich gewinnen zu können.
Wie das RISE-Programm funktioniert

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Prizes presented for scientific excellence

The DBG awards several prizes:

  • The Wilhem Pfeffer Prize is being awarded biennially from funds of the Wilhelm-Pfeffer-Foundation for an outstanding PhD Thesis.
  • The Prize for the Best Publiaction will be awarded yearly from funds of the Wilhelm Pfeffer Foundation.
  • The Horst Wiehe Prize ("Förderpreis der Horst-Wiehe-Stiftung") is being awarded every second year for an outstanding scientific work in the field of Botany.
  • On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the first edition of the "Lehrbuch für Botanik" by E. Strasburger, F. Noll, H. Schenk and A.F.W. Schimper, the "Strasburger Prize" was created in 1994. It is being awarded every second year for an outstanding and especially original botanical work of a scientist less than 35 years old, is endowed with 2.500 Euros and is supported by the publishing house Springer Spektrum.

Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis is awarded every year at every participating university.

Eduard Strasburger Workshop

Young plant scientists are invited to organise a Eduard Strasburger Workshop to foster the interdisciplinary scientific exchange of expertise and networking. It will be organised by young scientists for young scientists under the auspices of a scientific institution, shall last for two about days and be addressed to 25-40 participants. Upon approval by the board the DBG offers up to 5,000 Euros for this.

Moreover DBG also offers Eduard Strasburger-Workshops focussing on Hot Topics.

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Support of attendance

The society sponsorsthe attendance of young scientists at such meetings and conferences that focus on young scientists upon application.

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International Exchange (RISE)

For many years the society supported the RISE program (Research Internship in Science and Engineering) of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD): young scientists from abroad and Great Britain do research at a Germany university together with German Ph.D. candidates. And German students can apply for an internship in Northamerica.

At the moment the DBG is not involved in the RISE program.

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Scientists awarded with the Prize for the Best Publication

The Wilhem Pfeffer Foundation awards a Prize for the Best Botanical Publication of a year which came out of a Master, Diploma or PhD thesis since 2006. The following scientists were endowed with the Best Paper Prize:

Award Winner
year

Title

Dr. Katharina Bursch
2021

Bursch, K., Toledo-Ortiz, G., Pireyre, M., Lohr, M., Braatz, C., Johansson, H. (2020):  
Identification of BBX proteins as rate-limiting cofactors of HY5. Nature Plants, 6, 921–928. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41477-020-0725-0
read more in Actualia

Dr. Norbert Bittner
2020

Bittner, N., Hundacker, J., Achotegui-Castells, A., Anderbrant, O., Hilker, M. (2019): Defense of Scots pine against sawfly eggs (Diprion pini) is primed by exposure to sawfly sex pheromones. PNAS, 116, 24668-24675. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1910991116
read more in Actualia

Dr. Jutta Baldauf
2019

Baldauf J.A., C. Marcon, A. Lithio, H. Schoof, D. Nettleton, F. Hochholdinger (2018): Single-Parent Expression is a general mechanism driving extensive complementation of non-syntenic genes in maize hybrids. Current Biology 28, 431–437. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2017.12.027
read more in Actualia

Dr. Aleksandra Sapala
2019

Sapala A., A. Runions, A.-L. Routier-Kierzkowska, M. Das Gupta, L. Hong, H. Hofhuis, S. Verger, G. Mosca, C.-B. Li, A. Hay, O. Hamant, A.H.K. Roeder, M. Tsiantis, P. Prusinkiewicz, R. S. Smith (2018): Why plants make puzzle cells, and how their shape emerges. eLife. DOI: https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.32794
read more in Actualia

Dr. Katja Meyer
2018

Meyer K., T. Köster, C. Nolte, C. Weinholdt, M. Lewinski, I. Grosse, D. Staiger (2017): Adaptation of iCLIP to plants determines the binding landscape of the clock-regulated RNA-binding protein AtGRP7. Genome Biology 18, 204.
https://doi.org/10.1186/s13059-017-1332-x
read more in Actualia

Dr. Max Lauterbach
2018

Lauterbach, M., Schmidt, H., Billakurthi, K., Hankeln, T., Westhoff, P. Gowik, U., Kadereit, G (2017): De novo Transcriptome Assembly and Comparison of C3, C3-C4, and C4 Species of Tribe Salsoleae (Chenopodiaceae). Front. Plant Sci. 8, 1939. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2017.01939  
read more in Actualia

Dr. Meret Huber
2016 [1]

M. Huber, J. Epping, C. Schulze Gronover, J. Fricke, Z. Aziz, T. Brillatz, M. Swyers, T.G. Köllner, H. Vogel, A. Hammerbacher, D. Triebwasser-Freese, C. A. M. Robert, K. Verhoeven, V. Preite, J. Gershenzon, M. Erb (2016): A Latex Metabolite Benefits Plant Fitness under Root Herbivore Attack. Plos Biology. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002332

Dr. Bettina Ohse
2016 [1]

Ohse B, Hammerbacher A, Seele C, Meldau S, Reichelt M, Ortmann S, Wirth C (2016) Salivary cues: Simulated roe deer browsing induces systemic changes in phytohormones and defense chemistry in wild-grown maple and beech saplings. Functional Ecology. doi: 10.1111/1365-2435.12717

Dr. Maria Will
2014 [1]

Will M and Claßen-Bockhoff R (2014): Why Africa matters: evolution of OldWorld Salvia (Lamiaceae) in Africa. Annals of Botany 114: 61–83 doi: 10.1093/aob/mcu081

Dr. David Heckmann
2014 [1]

Heckmann D, Schulze S, Denton A, Gowik U, Westhoff P, Weber APM, Lercher MJ (2013): Predicting C4 Photosynthesis Evolution:
Modular, Individually Adaptive Steps on a Mount Fuji Fitness Landscape. Cell, 153, 1579–1588. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.04.058

Dr. Katharine G. Rascher
&
Christine Hellmann
2012 [4]

Katherine G. Rascher, Christine Hellmann, Cristina Máguas, Christiane Werner (2012): Community scale 15N isoscapes: tracing the spatial impact of an exotic N2-fixing invader. Ecology Letters 15: 484–491. doi: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2012.01761.x

Dr. Michelle Ast
&
Dr. Ansgar Gruber
2010 [3]

M. Ast, A. Gruber, S. Schmitz-Esser, H. E. Neuhaus, P. G. Kroth, M. Hoern & I. Haferkamp (2009): Diatom plastid depend on nucleotide import from the cytosol. PNAS 106, 3621-3626.

Dr. Katharina Bräutigam
2010 [2]

K. Bräutigam, L. Dietzel, T. Kleine, E. Ströher, D. Wormuth, K.-J. Dietz, D. Radke, M. Wirtz, R. Hell, P. Dörmann, A. Nunes-Nesi, N. Schauer, A. R. Fernie, S. N. Oliver, P. Geigenberger, D. Leister, T. Pfannschmidt (2009): Dynamic plastid redox signals integrate gene expression and metabolism to induce distinct metabolic states in photosynthetic acclimation in Arabidopsis“ Plant Cell 21, 2715-2732.

Dr. Jyothilakshmi Vadassery
2010 [1]

Vadassery J, Ranf, S. Drzewiecki, C, Mithöfer A, Mazars, C, Scheel, D, Lee, J. Oelmüller R (2009): “A cell wall extract from the endophytic fungus Piriformospora indica promotes growth of Arabidopsis seedlings and induces intracellular calcium elevation in roots”. Plant Journal 59, 193-206.

Dr. Susanne Horn
2008 [2]

S. Horn, K. Ehlers, G. Fritzsch, M.C. Gil-Rodriguez, C. Wilhelm & R. Schnetter (2007): Synchroma grande spec. Nov (Synchromophyceae class. Nov. Heterokontophyta): An Amoeboid Marine Alga with Unique Plastid Complexes. Protist 158, 277-293, 2007

Dr. Holger Kreft
2008 [2]

H. Kreft & W. Jetz (2007): Global Patterns and determinants of vascular plant diversity. PNAS, 104: 5925-5930.

Dr. Uwe Simon,
Tübingen
2006 [1]

"The intercellular biotrophic leaf pathogen Cymadothea trofolii locally degrades pectins, but not cellulose or xyloglyucan in the cell walls of Trifolium repens"
New Phytologist 165, 243-260, 2005

Dr. Eva Nowack,
Köln
2006 [1]

E.C.M. Nowack, B. Podola, M. Melkonian: "The 96-well Twin-Layer System:  A novel Approach in the Cultivation of Algae"
Protist 156, 239-251, 2005

[1] awarded with 500,- €
[2] awarded with 1.000,- €
[3] awarded with 1.000,- € each
[4] awarded with 250,- € each

Eduard Strasburger Prize of the DBG

The Strasburger Prize is awarded every other year for an outstanding and unconventional work in the field of botany carried out by a young doctorate. It is donated by the Pubisher Springer Spektrum and is given by the German Botanical Society since 1994 according to the statutes.

Springer Spektrum publishing house donated the prize on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the first publishing of the book "Lehrbuch der Botanik" by Eduard Strasburger, Fritz Noll, Heinrich Schenck und A. F. Wilhelm Schimper.

The Prize comprises

  • a document comprising the name of the award winner, the title of the award winning work and is underwritten by the president of the DBG
  • a sum of Euros 2500,-
  • a travel allowance for the award winner to join the "Botanikertagung" where the prize will be presented.

Proposing candidates

Proposals can be made by university lecturers who are members of the German Botanical Society only. The candidates should be younger than 36 years of age. The proposals must be filed til the 1st December of the year preceeding the year with the conference Botanikertagung. No one can propose his/her own work. More Details are summarized in the statutes.

Deadlines and Calls

Calls are published on DBG's website.

Young scientists awarded with the Strasburger Prize

The DBG awards the Eduard Strasburger Prize founded by Spektrum Akademischer Verlag (now: Springer-Spektrum) since 1994. Every other year an outstanding botanical research carried out by a young doctorate is choosen. The following scientists were endowed with the prize:

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Horst Wiehe Prize by the DBG

The Horst Wiehe Prize (Förderpreis der Horst-Wiehe-Stiftung) is being awarded every other year for an outstanding scientific work in the field of Botany. It is awarded solely to young scientists upon receiving a doctorate or before becoming a lecturer.

The Prize comprises

  • a document comprising the name of the award winner and the title of the award winning work. The document is underwritten by the president of the German Botanical Society.
  • The award is endowed with € 1500,-. The endowment can increase over time.

The Prize can be allocated to two persons.

Founder

Horst Wiehe from Braunschweig, Germany, donated a sum of 50.000 DM (25,564.50 Euro) to the DBG from which the "Förderpreis der Horst-Wiehe-Stiftung" is being awarded. The board of the DBG accepted the Foundation in 1990 for which Horst Wiehe set the statutes.

Young scientists awarded with the Horst Wiehe Prize

The DBG awards the Horst Wiehe Prize for an outstanding PhD Thesis every other year. The following scientists were endowed:

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Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis

Every year the DBG awards a prize for the best master thesis in plant science at every participating university. The award comprises a certificate and a 100 Euros prize.

Mode of Application and Awarding Procedure

To apply every young plant science person shall hand his/her master thesis over to the representative the DBG has at every university all year round. Together with other plant science university lecturers who are interested the contact person decides in October which of the master theses is the best. The contact person also decides about the awarding procedure which can be the annual faculty ceremony, a graduation ceremony, or a personal presentation. The award winning thesis will be listed together with the scientist’s name, the title and a short summary on the website of the DBG.

Publication of the Thesis Summary

The summary of the award winning thesis to be published on the DBG website shall contain the name of the prize winner, the title of the thesis, one introductory sentence, one or two sentences about the methods used, and a few easily comprehensible sentences about the results as well as a conclusion or an outlook. We also provide a possibility to enrich the text with one or two graphics to serve as “appetizer” or summarizing image. Please also quote a link where the thesis can be found in the internet to allow further reading. Please send the text as a word file and the images as originals (not included into the word document) within four weeks to the following e-mail: masterarbeit[at]deutsche-botanische-gesellschaft.de

Prize winners

Since 2014 the German Botanical Society awards a prize for the best plant science master thesis, which was carried out at each of the participating universities. The following young scientists received the honor:

Christodoulos Filippis

Sorry in German only:

Christodoulos Filippis erhielt den Preis für die beste pflanzenwissenschaftliche Master-Arbeit, die an der Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt im Jahr 2014 erstellt wurde, von der Deutschen Botanischen Gesellschaft.

Titel der ausgezeichneten Arbeit

"Untersuchungen zur Rolle von PaRCF1 und PaRCF2 bei der Organisation von Atmungskettensuperkomplexen bei Podospora anserina’ "

Wie er herausfand, ist das Protein PaRCF1 essentiell für die Bildung Komplex-IV-enthaltender Superkomplexe in dem Pilz Podospora anserina

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Sophie Steinhagen

Lichtmikroskopische Aufnahmen von Cryptochlora perforans: Abgebildet ist das amöboide, frei bewegliche Stadium in differentiellem Interferenzkontrast. Erkennbar sind die aus Zellplasma bestehenden Pseudopodien, welche sich zur Nahrungsaufnahme ins Medium erstrecken und der Ortsveränderung dienen (Maßstab 20 µm). Aufnahme: Reinhard Schnetter, Uni Gießen

Sorry in German only:

Sophie Steinhagen erhielt den Preis für die beste pflanzenwissenschaftliche Master-Arbeit, die an der Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen im Jahr 2014 erstellt wurde, von der Deutschen Botanischen Gesellschaft.

Titel der ausgezeichneten Arbeit

"Ultrastructure of cells of Cryptochlora perforans (Chlorarachniophyta)"

Ihr gelang der erste Nachweis des zusätzlichen Zellkerns in der grünen Amöbe Cryptochlora perforans

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Christian Köttig

Sorry in German only:

Christian Köttig erhielt den Preis für die beste pflanzenwissenschaftliche Master-Arbeit, die an der Technischen Universität München im Jahr 2014 erstellt wurde, von der Deutschen Botanischen Gesellschaft.

Titel der ausgezeichneten Arbeit

"Redoxregulation von Proteinphosphatasen des Typs 2C"

Er untersuchte die Redoxregulation der Proteinphosphatasen ABI1, ABI2, HAB1 und PP2CA durch Wasserstoffperoxid

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Maximilian Lauterbach

Max Lauterbach fotografiert Zygophyllum botulifolium in der Nähe von Toorberg im südafrikanischen Breede River District. Foto: Dirk Bellstedt.

Sorry in German only:

Maximilian Lauterbach erhielt den Preis für die beste pflanzenwissenschaftliche Master-Arbeit, die an der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz im Jahr 2014 erstellt wurde, von der Deutschen Botanischen Gesellschaft.

Titel der ausgezeichneten Arbeit

"Wüsten-Pflanzen der Gruppe Zygophyllum s.l. zeigen enorme Vielfalt und evolutionäre Flexibilität in ihrer Blattanatomie"

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Florian Ulm

1. Corema album, ein natives Heidekrautgewächs, in dieser Arbeit als Bioindikator verwendet. 2. Acacia longifolia, eine invasive Leguminose aus Australien. 3. Das Primärdünensystem im Süden von Portugal (Pinheiro da Cruz, N 38°15.2’ W 8°45.8’). Zu sehen ist das Ökosystem ohne Invasion. Fotos: Florian Ulm.

Sorry in German only:

Florian Ulm erhielt den Preis für die beste pflanzenwissenschaftliche Master-Arbeit, die an der Universität Kaiserslautern im Jahr 2014 erstellt wurde, von der Deutschen Botanischen Gesellschaft.

Titel der ausgezeichneten Arbeit

"Below ground processes of a native and an invasive legume as a driver for nitrogen distribution on community scale"

Weil er beschrieb, wie Veränderungen in der Rhizosphäre den Erfolg einer pflanzlichen Invasion beeinflussen

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Sebastian Wittek

Modifizierung zelleigener Plastiden in Prosoaulax. A Transmissionselektronische (TEM) Aufnahme einer Zelle im Nahrungsüberfluss mit reduzierten Plastiden (rP) und Nahrungsvakuolen (Nv). B Lichtmikroskopische (LM) Aufnahme einer Zelle im Nahrungsüberfluss. C Detailaufnahme eines reduzierten Plastiden. D TEM Aufnahme einer Zelle in Nahrungsknappheit mit stark vergrößerten Plastiden (P). E LM Aufnahme einer Zelle mit stark vergrößerten Plastiden. F Detailaufnahme eines stark vergrößerten Plastiden. Aufnahmen: Sebastian Wittek.

Sorry in German only:

Sebastian Wittek erhielt den Preis für die beste pflanzenwissenschaftliche Master-Arbeit, die an der Universität zu Köln im Jahr 2014 erstellt wurde, von der Deutschen Botanischen Gesellschaft.

Titel der ausgezeichneten Arbeit

"Prosoaulax – A Dinoflagellate with Mysterious Plastids"

Er zeigte, dass manche mixotrophe Prosoaulax-Dinoflagellaten ihre Plastiden nutzen um Nahrungsmangel zu überbrücken.

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Klaus Herburger

Lichtmikroskopische Aufnahmen (DIC) von Zellfilamenten einiger der im Rahmen der Masterarbeit untersuchten streptophytischen Grünalgen. (a) Klebsormidium crenulatum, (b) Klebsormidium nitens „Bot. Garden II“, (c) Zygnema sp. „Saalach“ und (d) Zygnema sp. „Elmau-Alm“. Maßstabbalken = 20 µm. Aufnahmen: Klaus Herburger

Sorry in German only:

Klaus Herburger erhielt den Preis für die beste pflanzenwissenschaftliche Master-Arbeit, die an der Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck im Jahr 20xx erstellt wurde, von der Deutschen Botanischen Gesellschaft.

Titel der ausgezeichneten Arbeit

"Zellwandkomponenten und ökophysiologische Charakterisierung der streptophytischen Grünalgen Klebsormidium sp. und Zygnema sp."

Der Preisträger stellte die zellulären und physiologischen Anpassungen von Grünalgen an das Landleben dar

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Simon Fraas

Abbildung 1 a: Scanner-Aufbau für Wurzelwachstumsmessung. b: Typische Rohbilder der Wurzeln junger Arabidopsis-thaliana Pflanze. c: Scanner-Aufbau für Hypokotyle. d: Gescanntes Hypokotyl. e-h: Verarbeitungsprozess der Bilder: Ein Rohbild einer Wurzel (e) wird zunächst in eine reine Schwarz-Weiß-Darstellung verwandelt (f), skelettiert (g) und die Wurzellänge anhand des Linienzuges der Mittelachse exakt ermittelt (h). Aufnahmen: Simon Fraas

Sorry in German only:

Simon Fraas erhielt den Preis für die beste pflanzenwissenschaftliche Master-Arbeit, die an der Universität Hamburg im Jahr 2014 erstellt wurde, von der Deutschen Botanischen Gesellschaft.

Titel der ausgezeichneten Arbeit

"Hansa-Trace - Ein System zur automatischen Hochdurchsatz-Erfassung der schnellen Wachstumseffekte bei Arabidopsis thaliana L. HEYNH"

Die Software Hansa-Trace misst schnelles Wurzelwachstum und unterstützt Hochdurchsatz-Phänotypisierung

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Marcel Kansy

Sorry, in German only:

Marcel Kansy erhielt den Preis für die beste pflanzenwissenschaftliche Master-Arbeit, die an der Universität Leipzig im Jahr 2014 erstellt wurde, von der Deutschen Botanischen Gesellschaft.

Titel der ausgezeichneten Arbeit

"Einfluss von Lipiden auf die Struktur und Funktion von Photosystem II"

Wie er herausfand, unterstützen Lipide der Chloroplastenmembran die Struktur und Funktion des Photosystems II oder leiten dessen Auflösung ein

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Frederic D. Schramm

Subzelluläre Lokalisation von Pex12-eGFP-Fusionsproteinen in der Diatomee Phaeodactylum tricornutum. Durch die Lokalisierung des fluoreszenz-markierten Membranproteins Pex12 können die Peroxisomen visualisiert werden. Diese befinden sich in unmittelbarer Nachbarschaft zur komplexen Plastide, einem charakteristischen Organell der Diatomeen. DIC, Differentialinterferenzkontrast, PAF, Plastidenautofluoreszenz, Overlay, Überlagerung der beiden Fluoreszenzkanäle. Der Maßstabsbalken entspricht 10 µm. Aufnahme: Frederic D. Schramm

Sorry, in German only:

Frederic D. Schramm erhielt den Preis für die beste pflanzenwissenschaftliche Master-Arbeit, die an der Philipps-Universität Marburg im Jahr 2014 erstellt wurde, von der Deutschen Botanischen Gesellschaft.

Titel der ausgezeichneten Arbeit

"Analysis of the peroxisomal membrane proteome of the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum and in vivo localization studies of putative peroxisomal proteins"

Damit gewährte er einen Einblick in das Proteom der Peroxisomen der Kieselalge Phaeodactylum tricornutum

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Verena Lauströer

Experimental set-up: climate chamber and pots for single and competition plants. Photo: Verena Lauströer

Sorry, in German only:

Verena Lauströer erhielt den Preis für die beste pflanzenwissenschaftliche Master-Arbeit, die an der Universität Bielefeld im Jahr 2014 erstellt wurde, von der Deutschen Botanischen Gesellschaft.

Titel der ausgezeichneten Arbeit

"Influence of mycotrophic degree on growth response for two plant species in single and competition treatments under conditions promoting parasitism by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi"

New understanding of species-specific reactions dependent on mycotrophy level on AMF induced parasitism-promoting conditions

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Friedrich Kirsch

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Friedrich Kirsch erhielt den Preis für die beste botanische Master-Arbeit, die an der Universität Rostock im Jahr 2014 erstellt wurde, von der Deutschen Botanischen Gesellschaft.

Titel der ausgezeichneten Arbeit

"Integration des cyanobakteriellen Glyceratwegs aus Synechocystis sp. PCC6803 in die Photorespiration von Arabidopsis thaliana"

Er fand einen cyanobakteriellen "Bypass" der pflanzlichen Photorespiration

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09. Sep 2015

[Translate to Englisch:] Ausgezeichnete Nachwuchsforscher

DBG verleiht drei Wissenschaftspreise

Zur Eröffnung der Botanikertagung 2015 wurden die drei Preise der DBG zur Auszeichnung hervorragender Nachwuchswissenschaftler verliehen:

Eduard Strasburger-Preis 2015
an
Dr. Andreas Fleischmann
Evolution of genome size and chromosome number in the carnivorous plant genus Genlisea (Lentibulariaceae), with a new estimate of the minimum genome size in angiosperms. Ann Bot. 114(8): 1651-1663
mehr in der Pressemitteilung und in der Laudatio (pdf)

Wilhelm Pfeffer-Preis 2015
an
Dr. Manuel Steinbauer
The Effect of Spatial and Environmental Drivers on Patterns in Species Richness and Composition, Dissertation Uni Bayreuth
mehr in der Pressemitteilung und in der Laudatio (pdf)

Horst Wiehe-Preis 2015
an
Dr. Jonas Zimmermann
Design and valuation of DNA-Barcoding high throughput methods for analyzing diatom diversity: a test case along a south-north gradient in Central Europe (Rivers Lusatian Neisse/Oder), Dissertation Uni Giessen
mehr in der Pressemitteilung

RISE

For ten years the society sponsored undergraduate students to conduct research at a German institute or university. With this the DBG continued to promote the RISE Program (Research Internship in Science and Engineering) of the DAAD organization (Deutsch Akademischer Austauschdienst) in the years from 2005 to 2015: Undergraduates from the USA, Canada or Great Britain visit German universities or scientific institutes and do research together with German graduates. Since 2009 the DAAD also sponsors the visit of young German researchers in Northern America. Both parties profit from this colaboration. Or how a participant puts it: "The internship furthered my career in three major ways."

More about the DAAD program

How a US-student described her stay at a German institute which investigates algae "It was an experience of a lifetime"

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Learning by doing

Sorry, in German only

Endlich eine helfende Hand bei der eigenen Doktorarbeit. Was wie ein Traum klingt, ermöglicht der DAAD: Die DBG sponserte viele Jahre lang jeweils drei RISE-Stipendien für ausländische Studierende, die deutsche Graduierte bei der Forschung unterstützten. Was das für die Beteiligten bringt, beschreibt die Redakteurin der Gesellschaft. Zusätzlich verrät sie Tipps und Tricks, wie man einen Praktikanten für sich gewinnt, denn um diese muss man ein wenig werben.

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Promotion

To support young researchers is an important objective of our society. To do so the Society has developed several instruments, such as prizes, travel allowances, sponsoring of meetings and participation of young scientists at conferences.

16. Oct 2013

Drei ausgezeichnete Nachwuchsforscher

Sorry, in German only

Drei Nachwuchsforschenden verlieh die DBG Preise für ihre hervorragenden Arbieten am Eröffnungstag der Botanikertagung 2013:

Eduard Strasburger-Preis 2013
an
Dr. Adrian Alder
The path from β-carotene to carlactone, a strigolactone-like plant hormone. Erschien in der Zeitschrift Science und ist Teil seiner Dissertation
mehr in der Pressemitteilung und in der Laudatio (pdf)

Wilhelm Pfeffer-Preis 2013
an
Dr. Dominik Großkinsky
Characterisation of Cytokinin mediated Resistance and Biocontrol Effects against Pseudomonas syringae in Arabidopsis and Tobacco. Dissertation an der Uni Graz
mehr in der Pressemitteilung und in der Laudatio (pdf)

Horst Wiehe-Preis 2013
an
Dr. Martin Bringmann
Identification of novel components that connect cellulose synthases to the cytoskeleton
mehr in der Pressemitteilung und in der Laudatio (pdf)

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15. Jul 2013

Destinations and Addresses for Excursions and Internships

Students look for locations which offer internships and lecturers search for destinations for excursions: We therefore asked colleagues who are members of the DBG for ideas and experiences in our 2012 survey. All information is without guaranties. You are always welcome to complete or improve the listings that this nucleus of information pool will evolve. We hope that you will profit from the list.

Please complete or improve the list and write an e-mail to us: Exkurs_Prakt[at]deutsche-botanische-gesellschaft.de

please downlaod table "Excursions and Internships" (pdf)

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Christoph Hahn

The many different kale varieties available differ in color and curling of the leaves as well as in growth height and shape. Photo: Christoph Hahn, Vera Mageney

Christoph Hahn's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Oldenburg University in the year 2015.

Title of awarded thesis

"The diversity of kale: Glucosinolate content and phylogenetic relationships"

The content of five glucosinolates in 25 different kale varieties are compared with the phylogenetic relationships of the varieties. The study demonstrates the diversity of kale and the importance of preserving a broad genepool for future breeding purposes.

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Eva Laura von der Heyde

Light microscopy image of the multicellular green alga Volvox carteri during embryonic cell divisions (left) and in the adult stage (right). The spherical organism has two different cell types. There are about 2000 small, somatic cells at the surface of the spheroid, which have simple eyes and two flagella for locomotion. The individual somatic cells are probably similar to the unicellular ancestors of the Volvocales. The significantly larger, reproductive cells are located within the spheroid and perform a series of cell divisions to become the daughter spheroids of the next generation. Photo: Eva L. von der Heyde

Eva Laura von der Heyde's work was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Bielefeld University in the year 2015.

Title of the awarded thesis

"Study of taxonomically restricted gene families in Volvox carteri"

She identified and analysed those gene families in the multicellular green algae Volvox carteri that developed during evolution from unicellular to multicellular organisms. These gene families could be crucial for evolution of multicellularity.

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Christoph Tim Krannich

Christoph Tim Krannich's work was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Rostock University in the year 2015.

Title of the awarded thesis

"Role of the ethylene-signaling-pathway with regard to drought tolerance and storage of potatoes"

A set of molecular SSR-markers for practical breeding has been developed and tested in two different bulks, with one marker showing significant association to drought tolerance.

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Franziska Walther

Mazus pumilus, newly documented in Germany, in pavement grooves in the city centre of Frankfurt. Photo and copyright: K. Stich

Franziska Walther's work was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Goethe University Frankfurt in the year 2015.

Title of the awarded thesis

"Flora and vegetation of pavement grooves in the city of Frankfurt am Main"

She found almost one quarter of all taxa registered in Frankfurt to occur in pavement grooves, which occupy only 1 % of the area of Frankfurt. Remarkably, a spontaneous appearance of Mazus pumilus was documented for the first time in Germany.

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Stefanie Jung

Stefanie Janine Jung's work was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Giessen University in the year 2015.

Title of the awarded thesis

"Salt tolerance and genetic variability of Prunus serotina Ehrh."

She found out that the invasive black cherry reacts differently to saline aerosols depending on their stages of development. However, a locational advantage due to an increased salt tolerance can be excluded.

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Johanna Kozak

Section and layout plan of the transect in the study area Brüeltobel, Appenzell, Swiss Alps with hight of plants (y axis) Graph: Johanna Kozak

Johanna Kozak's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out atTechnische Universität München in the year 2015. 

Title of thesis

"Dwarf, subalpine coniferous forests on permafrost lenses below the treeline in the Swiss Alps"

The first phytosociological description of dwarf plants on proven permafrost lenses suggest that there may be two differnt plant communities which are now further investigated.

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Barbara Jakobs

Barbara Jakobs's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Konstanz University in the year 2015

Title of awarded thesis

"Characterization of the physiological function of the mitochondrial protease DEG10 in Arabidopsis thaliana"

By combining physiological and genetic analyses she found first evidence that the protein DEG10 plays an important role in root growth in Arabidopsis especially under temperature stress

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28. Jan 2016

DBG awards best Master theses

The German Botanical Society has awarded the best Master theses of the previous year. Their abstracts are now on the website. Besides names of the awardees also titles and results are provided as texts and some of them also in images. The theses were carried out at seven universities.

Follow link

2014

In the year 2014 DBG's representatives at 13 universities evaluated the master theses in plant sciences. The following persons received the award (in alphabetical order):

Philip Albers (FU Berlin):
In vivo regulation of Arabidopsis thaliana CPK5 in plant pathogen defense
more in the German summary

Christodoulos Filippis (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt): 
Untersuchungen zur Rolle von PaRCF1 und PaRCF2 bei der Organisation von Atmungskettensuperkomplexen bei Podospora anserina
more in the German summary

Simon Fraas (Universität Hamburg):
Hansa-Trace - Ein System zur automatischen Hochdurchsatz-Erfassung der schnellen Wachstums-effekte bei Arabidopsis thaliana L HEYNH more in the German summary with images

Klaus Herburger (Universität Innsbruck):
Zellwandkomponenten und ökophysiologische Charakterisierung der streptophytischen Grünalgen Klebsormidium sp. und Zygnema sp.
more in the German summary with images

Marcel Kansy (Universität Leipzig):
Einfluss von Lipiden auf die Struktur und Funktion von Photosystem II
more in the German summary

Friedrich Kirsch (Universität Rostock):
Integration des cyanobakteriellen Glyceratwegs aus Synechocystis sp. PCC6803 in die Photorespiration von Arabidopsis thaliana
more in the German summary

Christian Köttig (TU München):
Redoxregulation von Proteinposphatasen des Typs C2
more in the German summary with images

Verena Lauströer (Universität Bielefeld):
Influence of mycotrophic degree on growth response for two plant species in single and competition treatments under conditions promoting parasitism by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi
more in the summary with images

Maximilian Lauterbach (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz):
Phylogeny and biogeography of Zygophyllum s.l. (Zygophyllaceae)
more in the German summary with images

Frederic Schramm (Philipps-Universität Marburg):
Analysis of the peroxisomal membrane proteome of the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum and in vivo localization studies of putative peroxisomal proteins
more in the German summary mit Bildern

Sophie Steinhagen (Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen):
Ultrastruktur der Zellen von Cryptochlora perforans (Chlorarachniophyta)
more in the German summary with images

Florian Ulm (TU Kaiserslautern):
Below ground processes of a native and an invasive legume as a driver for nitrogen distribution on community scale
more in the German summary with images

Sebastian Wittek (Universität zu Köln):
Prosoaulax, a dinoflagellate with mysterious plastids
more in the German summary with images

2015

In the year 2015 DBG's representatives at 6 universities evaluated master theses in plant sciences. The following persons received the award (in alphabetical order):

Christoph Hahn (Carl-von-Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg):
The diversity of kale: Glucosinolate content and phylogenetic relationships
more in the summary with images

Barbara Jakobs (Universität Konstanz):
Charakterisierung der physiologischen Funktion der mitochondrialen Protease DEG10 in Arabidopsis thaliana
more in the summary

Stefanie Jung (Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen):
Salt tolerance and genetic variability of Prunus serotina Ehrh.
more in the summary with images

Johanna Kozak (Technische Universität München):
Dwarf, subalpine coniferous forests on permafrost lenses below the treeline in the Swiss Alps
more in the summary with images

Christoph Tim Krannich (Universität Rostock):
Role of the ethylene-signaling-pathway with regard to drought tolerance and storage of potatoes
more in the summary

Franziska Walther (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt):
Flora and vegetation of pavement grooves in the city of Frankfurt am Main
more in the summary with images

Eva Laura von der Heyde (Universität Bielefeld):
Study of taxonomically restricted gene families in Volvox carteri
more in the summary with images

Paulina Anna Zigelski

Phenotypic varieties of Syzygium guineense s.l., S. benguellense (middle left) and S. cordatum (upper right). This morphological diversity is a response to adaptation to different habitats of southern Africa like rivers, flood plains, open grasslands, more or less open woodlands and mountainous areas.Photos: Paulina Zigelski

Paulina Anna Zigelski's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Hamburg University in the year 2016.

Title of awarded thesis

"Molecular biogeography of the Syzygium guineense complex: How environment and genetics push suffrutication in Africas Miombo region"

For the first time the origins of „underground trees“ in southern Africa were investigated in detail using a model species: an interaction of environmental and genetic factors play a crucial role in their evolution.

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Dominika Kundel (Universität Konstanz)

Dominika Kundel analyses growth parameters. Photo: Andreas Basler, Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau Schweiz (FiBL)

Dominika Kundel's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Konstanz University in the year 2016.

Title of the awarded thesis

"Bio-Effector Application: Impact on Growth Performance of maize and effect on associated arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi."

Plant extraction products and tiny soil organisms, so called Bio-Effectors might improve current fertilization strategies. The methods applied in this thesis might be helpful in further investigations on this subject.

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2016

In the year 2016 DBG's representatives at 5 universities evaluated master theses in plant sciences. The following persons received the award (in alphabetical order):

Herbert Braunschmid (Universität Salzburg)
Divergent floral traits and pollinators of Cypripedium calceolus L.
more in the summary with image

Ina Burghardt (Goethe Universität Frankfurt)
"The impact of plastid immunophilins on light acclimation of Arabidopsis thaliana.
more in the summary with image

Dominika Kundel (Universität Konstanz)
Bio-Effector Application: Impact on Growth Performance of maize and effect on associated arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi.
more in the summary with image

Laura Mosebach (Universität Münster)
Regulation of photosynthetic electron transfer via PGRL1 and PGR5 in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.
more in the summary with images

Wilena Telman (Universität Bielefeld)
Zur Funktion des 2-Cystein Peroxiredoxins und des Cyclophilin 20-3 innerhalb des Redox-regulatorischen Netzwerks von A. thaliana.
more in the summary

Paulina Anna Zigelski (Universität Hamburg)
“Molecular biogeography of the Syzygium guineense complex: How environment and genetics push suffrutication in Africas Miombo region“
more in the summary with images

Laura Mosebach Universität Münster

The photosynthetic machinery. Linear electron flow (LEF), cyclic electron flow (CEF) and the roles of the transmembrane electrochemical proton gradient. As electron transfer is coupled to proton translocation, LEF and CEF contribute to the formation of the proton gradient. LEF involves water splitting and NADPH production. The proton gradient fuels ATP synthesis, induces non-photochemical quenching (qE) and exerts photosynthetic control. LHC = light harvesting complex; PS = photosystem; Cyt b6f = cytochrome b6f complex; PC = plastocyanin; FDX = ferredoxin; FNR = FDX:NADP+ reductase; ATPase = CF1-F0-ATP-synthase; PGRL1 = PGR5-like photosynthetic phenotype 1; PGR5 = proton gradient regulation 5. Top left: Chlamydomonas reinhardtii Source of algal cell: Pflanzenforschung.de (http://www.pflanzenforschung.de/de/themen/pflanzen-im-fokus/chlamydomonas/) (adapted from Pflanzenforschung.de) Graph: Laura Mosebach

Laura Mosebach's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at xxUniversity in the year 2016.

Title of awarded thesis

"Regulation of photosynthetic electron transfer via PGRL1 and PGR5 in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii"

The proteins PGRL1 and PGR5 are potentially involved in the recruitment of Ferredoxin:NADP+ Reductase (FNR) to the thylakoid membrane which is involved in the photosynthetic electron transport in the green alga.

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Ina Burghardt (Goethe Universität Frankfurt)

State I state II transition measurement of the fkbp mutant. State I was induced in Arabidopsis plants and afterwards the extent of antenna movement was determined as ratio of transient maximum fluorescence / maximum fluorescence. (Left: Fm‘/Fm pseudocolor image after 10 min.; right: time course Fm‘/Fm of WT – black and fkbp mutant – green.) Graph: Ina Burghardt

Ina Burghardt 's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Goethe University Frankfrut in the year 2016.

Title of awarded thesis

"The impact of plastid immunophilins on light acclimation of Arabidopsis thaliana."

 

Plastid FKBP-type immunophilins are putative regulators of photosynthetic complexes. Knocking out one of these FKBPs led to loss of antenna movement (state transitions), the required STN7-kinase is active.

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Wilena Telman (Universität Bielefeld)

Wilena Telman's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Bielfeld University in the year 2016.

Title of awarded thesis

"Function of the 2-cystein peroxiredoxin and cyclophilin 20-3 within the redox-regulatory network in A. thaliana"

The obtained results gave evidence that the chloroplastidic 2-CysPrx-Cyp20-3 module links the redox, protein and thiol homeostasis in the context of cellular stress adaptation.

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Herbert Braunschmid (Salzburg University)

Floral measurements: Length and height of the labellum, width of the labellum mouth (a), and posterior exit height (b; with a bee leaving through the posterior exit). Photo: Herbert Braunschmid

Herbert Braunschmid's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Salzburg University in the year 2016.

Title of the awarded thesis

"Divergent floral traits and pollinators of Cypripedium calceolus L."

The work analyses whether divergent floral traits of the lady's-slipper orchid (Cypripedium calceolus) along an altitudinal gradient are driven by pollinator mediated selection.

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12. Feb 2017

Eduard Strasburger-Workshop

Sorry - in German only:

Von Nachwuchswissenschaftlern für Nachwuchswissenschaftler

Wenn Sie Postdoc oder Doktorand sind, eine Idee für einen Workshop über eine aktuelle pflanzenwissenschaftliche Thematik mit interdisziplinären Ansätzen haben und eine Plattform für einen lebendigen Austausch von Doktoranden untereinander veranstalten möchten, schicken Sie Ihr Konzept bitte an den Vorstand der DBG, der Ihre Veranstaltung im Rahmen eines Eduard Strasburger-Workshops mit bis zu 5.000 € unterstützt. Bitte wenden Sie sich jederzeit an den Präsidenten der DBG. Der zweite Eduard Strasburger-Workshop fand im September 2016in München statt und hatte den Titel "Phylogenomics - The next generation of evolutionary botany". In ihrer Tagungsnachlese thematisieren die Organisatorinnen Susann Wicke und Dörte Harpke nicht nur die Tagungsschwerpunkte sondern auch die Sorgen der Nachwuchskräfte.

Details im aktuellen Ausschreibungstext (pdf)

Download
13. Feb 2017

Grant: Travel allowances to Botanikertagung

The society supports young scientists in granting travel allowances for members of the DBG who participate at the Botanikertagung by presenting an oral paper or a poster (author or coauthor). The international Botanikertagung will take place in Freising Weihenstephan from August 30th to September 3rd, 2015. It will be provided either for students / graduates or for young researchers who lack a full salary.

Travel allowances and application: Details and Application Form (Intranet)

> become a member of the DBG first

11. Apr 2017

Invitation: Strasburger Workshop 2017

This summer, young plant scientists will focus on Two genomes in one cell - communication and conflict. From August 30 until September 1, 2017, they will come together in Bremen in the 3rd Eduard Strasburger Workshop. The Workshop supported by the DBG brings together young and senior plant scientists and opens a forum for talks and discussions as well as for networking. Registration deadline for the popular workshop that will be organized by young scientists from the Universities of Bremen and Oldenburg (Dr. Dawit Girma Tekleyohans, M.Sc. Thomas Nakel, M.Sc. Niklas Buhk) is on July, 31.

> Poster (pdf file)

> Invitation and topic (pdf file)

> Registration (pdf file)

> details on website: http://www.uni-bremen.de/en/molgen/strasburger-2017.html">http://www.uni-bremen.de/en/molgen/strasburger-2017.html

Follow link

Awards for best posters at Botanikertagung 2017

From the 235 posters presented at Botanikertagung 2017 in Kiel an expert jury chose several as best papers. The awarded presenters received a document as well as 135 Euros each since the German Society for Plant Sciences (DBG) today was 135 years old.

Awarded young scientists and their posters (pdf file):

Download
12. Feb 2017

Eduard Strasburger-Workshop

Sorry - in German only:

Von Nachwuchswissenschaftlern für Nachwuchswissenschaftler

Wenn Sie Postdoc oder Doktorand sind, eine Idee für einen Workshop über eine aktuelle pflanzenwissenschaftliche Thematik mit interdisziplinären Ansätzen haben und eine Plattform für einen lebendigen Austausch von Doktoranden untereinander veranstalten möchten, schicken Sie Ihr Konzept bitte an den Vorstand der DBG, der Ihre Veranstaltung im Rahmen eines Eduard Strasburger-Workshops mit bis zu 5.000 € unterstützt. Bitte wenden Sie sich jederzeit an den Präsidenten der DBG. Der zweite Eduard Strasburger-Workshop fand im September 2016in München statt und hatte den Titel "Phylogenomics - The next generation of evolutionary botany". In ihrer Tagungsnachlese thematisieren die Organisatorinnen Susann Wicke und Dörte Harpke nicht nur die Tagungsschwerpunkte sondern auch die Sorgen der Nachwuchskräfte.

Details im aktuellen Ausschreibungstext (pdf)

Download
13. Feb 2017

Grant: Travel allowances to Botanikertagung

The society supports young scientists in granting travel allowances for members of the DBG who participate at the Botanikertagung by presenting an oral paper or a poster (author or coauthor). The international Botanikertagung will take place in Freising Weihenstephan from August 30th to September 3rd, 2015. It will be provided either for students / graduates or for young researchers who lack a full salary.

Travel allowances and application: Details and Application Form (Intranet)

> become a member of the DBG first

11. Apr 2017

Invitation: Strasburger Workshop 2017

This summer, young plant scientists will focus on Two genomes in one cell - communication and conflict. From August 30 until September 1, 2017, they will come together in Bremen in the 3rd Eduard Strasburger Workshop. The Workshop supported by the DBG brings together young and senior plant scientists and opens a forum for talks and discussions as well as for networking. Registration deadline for the popular workshop that will be organized by young scientists from the Universities of Bremen and Oldenburg (Dr. Dawit Girma Tekleyohans, M.Sc. Thomas Nakel, M.Sc. Niklas Buhk) is on July, 31.

> Poster (pdf file)

> Invitation and topic (pdf file)

> Registration (pdf file)

> details on website: http://www.uni-bremen.de/en/molgen/strasburger-2017.html">http://www.uni-bremen.de/en/molgen/strasburger-2017.html

Follow link
03. Nov 2017

Strasburger Workshop: Cooperation and Conflict between Genomes

The workshop participants came from more than five countries. Photo: Niklas Buhk

Sorry, in German only

Der 3. Eduard Strasburger Workshop mit dem Titel Two Genomes in one Cell - Communication and Conflict lockte mehr als 40 Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler der Polyploidie- und Hybridisierungsforschung nach Bremen. Dort thematisierten sie, welche Schwierigkeiten Zellen meistern, die ihre Chromosomensätze mischen oder gar vervielfältigen. Der Workshop fand vom 30. August und 1. September 2017 statt unter der Regie der Nachwuchswissenschaftler Dawit Girma Tekleyohans, Niklas Buhk und Thomas Nakel der Universitäten Oldenburg und Bremen. Die vorwiegend jungen Nachwuchskräfte reisten aus mehreren Nationen an, darunter Deutschland, Österreich, Schweiz, Schweden und Pakistan, was die internationale Relevanz des Themas unterstreicht. Die Organisatoren berichten in ihrer Tagungsnachlese unter anderem über neue Modellpflanzen, einen Genomschock, eine Methode zum Nachweis von drei Eltern und in welcher Weise junge Forschende bevorzugt wurden.

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2017

In the year 2017 DBG's representatives at several universities evaluated master theses in plant sciences. The following persons received the award (in alphabetical order):

Anže Žerdoner Čalasan (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)
Morphological, phylogenetic and taxonomic analysis of selected Trachelomonas (Euglenida) strains
more in the summary with image

Jan Hendrik Hoerner (Universität Bielefeld)
Allelopathic effects of the invasive plant Erodium cicutarium on agricultural crop plants
more in the summary with two images

Hannah Elisa Krawczyk (Universität Münster)
Influence of complex-type N-glycosylation on brassinosteroid signaling in Arabidopsis thaliana
more in the summary with image

Birte Peters (Universität Salzburg)
Epiphytic bacteria on lettuce affect the feeding behavior of an invasive pest slug
more in the summary with two images

Anike Schaller (Universität Kiel)
Untersuchungen zur Rolle von WHIRLY-Proteinen in der Kommunikation zwischen Zellkern und Organellen
more in the summary with image

Linda Titkemeier (Carl von Ossietzky-University Oldenburg)
Entwicklung geeigneter Lernhilfen für die Pflanzenbestimmungsübungen
more in the summary

Anže Žerdoner Čalasan (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)

Fig. C: Electron microscope image of Trachelomonas cells at different ontogenetic stages. Fig. F: Light microscope image of a Trachelomonas cell during hatching. Images: Anže Žerdoner Čalasan, LMU

Anže Žerdoner Čalasan's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU) in the year 2017

Title of awarded thesis

"Morphological, phylogenetic and taxonomic analysis of selected Trachelomonas (Euglenida) strains"

Anže Žerdoner Čalasan clarified three taxa of Trachelomonas taxa that were validly described already 100 years ago. In doing this he was able to apply also genetic information for reliable species determination.

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Jan Hendrik Hoerner (Bielefeld University)

A) The plant Erodium cicutarium (L.) L’Hér. ex Aiton. B) The lobed cotyledons are an important feature to distinguish E. cicutarium from seedlings from other species of its genus. C) The sharply pointed and hairy base of E. cicutarium seed facilitates zoochory. D) Upcoiling awn of the ripe and dry E. cicutarium seed. Once on soil, humidity causes the helical shape to unwind and drill the seed with the sharply pointed base ahead into the ground. Graphs: Jan Hendrik Hoerner

Jan Hendrik Hoerner's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Bielefeld University in the year 2017.

Title of awarded thesis

"Allelopathic effects of the invasive plant Erodium cicutarium on agricultural crop plants"

The invasive common stork´s-bill Erodium cicutarium causes yield reduction of various crops in North America. Jan Hendrik Hoerner examined responsible allelochemicals, natural substances produced by the stork´s-bill, which are able to suppress the growth of other plants. He fractionated phenolic compounds with high inhibitory effects, even in minor concentrations.

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Hannah Elisa Krawczyk ( Münster University)

Hannah Elisa Krawczyk's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at xxUniversity in the year 2017

Title of awarded thesis

"Influence of complex-type N-glycosylation on brassinosteroid signaling in Arabidopsis thaliana"

Hannah Elisa Krawczyk attempts to elucidate specific functions of N-glycosylated proteins in plants. She now found a correlation between the inability to form complex-type or hybrid-type N-glycans in the Golgi apparatus and an altered sensitivity towards the two phytohormones brassinolide (BL) and abscisic acid (ABA).

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Birte Peters (Salzburg University)

The Spanish slug, Arion vulgaris, is feeding on sterile lettuce leaves inoculated with several bacterial strains. Photo: Birte Peters

Birte Peters's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Salzburg University in the year 2017.

Title of awarded thesis

"Epiphytic bacteria on lettuce affect the feeding behavior of an invasive pest slug"

This study showed for the first time that lettuce leave surface associated bacteria can directly affect the feeding behavior of a generalist herbivore.

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Anike Schaller (Kiel University)

To prevent the development of chloroplasts, Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings were grown on medium containing Spectinomycin, an inhibitor of translation: A, B control plants without inhibitor; C, D seedlings with inhibitor. Images and copyright: Anike Schaller, Kiel University

Anike Schaller erhielt den Preis für die beste pflanzenwissenschaftliche Master-Arbeit, die an der xxUniversitätxx im Jahr 20xx erstellt wurde, von der Deutschen Botanischen Gesellschaft.

Anike Schaller's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at  Kiel University in the year 2017

Title of awarded thesis

"Investigations into the role of WHIRLY proteins in communication between nucleus and organelles"

Schaller has shown, that the inhibition of the chloroplast's development coincides with increased expression of nuclear genes encoding anti-stress proteins such as WHIRLY2 in mitochondria.

Read more
26. Jan 2018

DBG Honoured best Master Theses

Bielefeld University awarded certificates for the best Master theses of the year 2017. Among them the prize for the best plant science master thesis of Jan Hendrik Hoerner (third from right). Photo and Copyright: Ch. Weische, Bielefeld University on 6th Dec 2017

Why an invasive pest slug devoured some lettuces while others remain untouched was one of the topics of the honoured master theses (little hint: it were not the salads themselves). The other young plant scientists elucidated specific functions of N-glycosylated proteins in plants, analysed the effects of inhibited chloroplast's development on genetic expression, tested, which substances of an invasive plant contributed to substantial crop failure. One thesis clarified three algal taxa of Trachelomonas, that were validly described already 100 years ago. For the fourth time the German Society for Plant Sciences (DBG) has awarded outstanding MSc theses. This year they were given to three female and two male biologists from the universities of Bielefeld, Münster, Salzburg, Kiel as well as LMU in Munich. The summaries and images of the outstanding works are now on the website.  

See overview

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20. Feb 2018

Invitation: Eduard Strasburger Workshop Mitochondria

From 17th to 19th April early career plant scientists will meet to discuss research on mitochondria at Bonn University under the title Power Plants in Plants – Mitochondrial Functions in the Green Lineage. Interested people are invited to register until 10th March 2018. The Eduard-Strasburger Workshop funded by the DBG is organised by Dr. Stefanie Müller-Schüssele und Dr. Mareike Schallenberg-Rüdinger who look forward to an interesting meeting, which will allow early careers scientists to meet, network and discuss their recent results.

> Poster: speakers and schedule (pdf file)

> Registration Form (Word .dotx file)

> Venue: Bonn University, Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology (IZMB), Kirschallee 1, 53115 Bonn, Germany

21. Mar 2018

Programme: Eduard Strasburger Workshop Mitochondria

The final programme for the Eduard-Strasburger Workshop of the DBG is ready and lists speakers and titles of the talks. The paper also informs about the venue and public transportation. The conference will take place in Bonn, Germany, from 17th to 19th April 2018. Orgnizers Dr. Stefanie Müller-Schüssele und Dr. Mareike Schallenberg-Rüdinger are looking forward to an interesting meeting.

> Programme (pdf)

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Linda Titkemeier (Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg)

Linda Titkemeier's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg in the year 2017

Title of awarded thesis

"Development of suitable supports for plant specification courses.
A research on German High School and college students to determine their knowledge of native plants, their diversity and growth."

This research is the first to compare the knowledge of Biology college students before and after taking part in a plant specification course and the first to take a focus on how to further improve study supports.

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26. Jan 2018

DBG Honoured best Master Theses

Bielefeld University awarded certificates for the best Master theses of the year 2017. Among them the prize for the best plant science master thesis of Jan Hendrik Hoerner (third from right). Photo and Copyright: Ch. Weische, Bielefeld University on 6th Dec 2017

Why an invasive pest slug devoured some lettuces while others remain untouched was one of the topics of the honoured master theses (little hint: it were not the salads themselves). The other young plant scientists elucidated specific functions of N-glycosylated proteins in plants, analysed the effects of inhibited chloroplast's development on genetic expression, tested, which substances of an invasive plant contributed to substantial crop failure. One thesis clarified three algal taxa of Trachelomonas, that were validly described already 100 years ago. For the fourth time the German Society for Plant Sciences (DBG) has awarded outstanding MSc theses. This year they were given to three female and two male biologists from the universities of Bielefeld, Münster, Salzburg, Kiel as well as LMU in Munich. The summaries and images of the outstanding works are now on the website.  
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20. Feb 2018

Invitation: Eduard Strasburger Workshop Mitochondria

From 17th to 19th April early career plant scientists will meet to discuss research on mitochondria at Bonn University under the title Power Plants in Plants – Mitochondrial Functions in the Green Lineage. Interested people are invited to register until 10th March 2018. The Eduard-Strasburger Workshop funded by the DBG is organised by Dr. Stefanie Müller-Schüssele und Dr. Mareike Schallenberg-Rüdinger who look forward to an interesting meeting, which will allow early careers scientists to meet, network and discuss their recent results.

> Poster: speakers and schedule (pdf file)

> Registration Form (Word .dotx file)

> Venue: Bonn University, Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology (IZMB), Kirschallee 1, 53115 Bonn, Germany

21. Mar 2018

Programme: Eduard Strasburger Workshop Mitochondria

The final programme for the Eduard-Strasburger Workshop of the DBG is ready and lists speakers and titles of the talks. The paper also informs about the venue and public transportation. The conference will take place in Bonn, Germany, from 17th to 19th April 2018. Orgnizers Dr. Stefanie Müller-Schüssele und Dr. Mareike Schallenberg-Rüdinger are looking forward to an interesting meeting.

> Programme (pdf)

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07. Sep 2018

Best Paper Prize: Recipients 2018

Dr. Katja Meyer and Dr. Max Lauterbach are awarded with DBG's Best Paper Prize. Photos: Janina Lüders (r) und private

The DBG awarded the two scientists Dr. Katja Meyer (Bielefeld University, WG Prof. D. Staiger) and Dr. Max Lauterbach (Mainz University, WG Prof. G. Kadereit, now Australia) with the Best Paper Prize in Plant Sciences 2018. Meyer adapted the iCLIP technique for plants and identified numerous rhythmic transcripts to be directly regulated by the clock-controlled RNA-binding protein AtGRP7. She published the results in the Journal Genome Biology (DOI: 10.1186/s13059-017-1332-x). Lauterbach identified genes putatively encoding novel C4 proteins through a comparison of five chenopod species with different photosynthetic types. He published the results in the journal Frontiers in Plant Science (DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2017.01939). The awardees will receive their certificates next year during the Conference Botanikertagung in Rostock, Germany. The financial endowments were already given to them.

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2018

In the year 2018 DBG's representatives at several universities evaluated master theses in the plant sciences. The following persons received the award (in alphabetical order):

Benjamin Al (TU München)
Elucidation of the biological significance of post-translational modifications of Arabidopsis TRAPPII tethering complex proteins
more in the summary

Mareike Busche (Universität Bielefeld)
Functional characterisation of two flavonol synthases and an anthocyanidin synthase from Musa acuminata
more in the summary with image

Michael Gasper (Universität Münster)
Impact of lysine deacetylation on Arabidopsis thaliana seed germination physiology
more in the summary with image

Marc Halder (Universität Konstanz)
Investigating the competitive advantage of functional NPQ in Phaeodactylum tricornutum
more in the summary

Stefan Lucius (Universität Rostock):
Charakterisierung des Phänotyps von Arabidopsis-antisense-PGPase-Pflanzen nach Expression cyanobakterieller PGPasen
more in the summary

Fabian-Philipp Sylvester (FU Berlin)
Targeted „genome editing“ via CRISPR/Cas9 and characterization of CDPKs in stress response
more in the summary

Fabian-Philipp Sylvester (FU Berlin)

Fabian-Philipp Sylvester's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at FU Berlin in the year 2018.

Title of awarded thesis

"Targeted „genome editing“ via CRISPR/Cas9 and characterization of CDPKs in stress response"

This work shows the great potential of CRISPR/Cas9 regarding the analysis of coupled inherited isoforms of a gen family, here a CDPK gene cluster. Sylvester for the first time generated a triple mutant including cpk21, cpk23 using CRISPR/Cas9.

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Stefan Lucius (Rostock University)

Stefan Lucius'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 2018.

Title of awarded thesis

"Phenotypical characterization of Arabidopsis antisense PGPase plants expressing putative cyanobacterial PGPases"

In this study we analyzed to what extent the expression of four putative 2-phosphoglycolate phosphatases (PGPases) from the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 can complement the photorespiratory phenotype of Arabidopsis thaliana antisense PGPase plants.

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Marc Adam Halder (University of Constance)

Marc Halder's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at University of Constance in the year 2018.

Title of awarded thesis

"Investigating the competitive advantage of functional NPQ in Phaeodactylum tricornutum"

By means of competition experiments the effect of NPQ on the growth performance of a diatom under natural simulated light conditions were analyzed.

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Michael Gasper (Universität Münster)

Arabidopsis thaliana Col-0 seeds before germination (A) and after germination (B) (white bar = 500 µM). Germination sensu stricto is completed when the radicle of the embryo protrudes through the micropylar endosperm.

Michael Gasper's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Münster University in the year 2018.

Title of awarded thesis

"Impact of lysine deacetylation on Arabidopsis thaliana seed germination physiology"

This work shows that chemical inhibition of lysine deacetylase activity during seed germination decreased germination speed. Genetic experiments indicated that lysine deacetylases can regulate hormonal signalling during seed germination.

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Benjamin Al (TU München)

Benjamin Al's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at TU München in the year 2018.

Title of awarded thesis

"Elucidation of the biological significance of post-translational modifications of Arabidopsis TRAPPII tethering complex proteins"

Al charakterisierte das Modul TRAPPII, das eine entscheidende Komponente für die Stressphysiologie und Anpassungsfähigkeit von Pflanzen ist.

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Mareike Busche (Bielefeld University)

A) A banana plant. B) Accumulation of red pigments in the plant's leaves. Anthocyanins are very likely to contribute a major part of the red pigments.

Mareike Busche's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Bielefeld University in the year 2018.

Title of awarded thesis

"Functional characterisation of two flavonol synthases and an anthocyanidin synthase from Musa acuminata"

This work contributes to understanding of flavonol and anthocyanidin synthesis in Musa acuminata (banana) and provides a basis for further research towards increased flavonoid production through the analysis of two involved enzymes.

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17. Jan 2019

Recipients of the Best Paper Awards

Dr. Aleksandra Sapala (left) and Dr. Jutta Baldauf receive are awarded with DBG's Best Paper Prize 2018. Photos: private and Barbara Frommann, Bonn University.

The DBG awards the two young plant scientists Dr. Aleksandra Sapala (MPI for Plant Breeding Research Cologne, Dr. Richard Smith at Prof. Miltos Tsiantis) and Dr. Jutta Baldauf (Bonn University, Prof. Frank Hochholdinger) with its Best Paper Prize. Sapala has shown why plants have puzzle cells, how this shape emerges and what advantages they provide for the plant. In the journal eLife (DOI: 10.7554/eLife.32794) she also demonstrates that in plants physics play just an important role as biochemistry or genetics. Baldauf described extensive gene expression complementation in maize hybrids driven by evolutionary younger non-syntenic genes in the journal Current Biology (DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.12.027). These SPE genes could be used to identify high-yield plants. Both awardees will receive their certificates next year during the Conference Botanikertagung in Rostock, Germany. The financial endowments were already presented to them.

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02. Jul 2019

50 Travel Grants for a Lab Visit

DBG offers travel grants for early career scientists, who want to visit another lab / institute for example to leanr new methods and scientific techniques or to initiate pilot studies with up to 400 Euros each. 

> application process

> payment of grants

> online application form

04. Jul 2019

50 Travel Grants for a Lab Visit

Graph: delalidela, iStockphoto

Members, especially early career plant scientists, can receive funding for visiting another lab or institute. For example to leant new methods and  scientific techniques or to initiate a new pilot study. Funding is restricted to those who will not receive funding elsewhere. DBG offers up to 50 travel grants each year for early career plant scientists of up to 400 Euros each. Our Executive Board reviews the applications and gives you feedback about its decision (normally within one week).

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02. Jul 2019

50 Travel Grants for a Lab Visit

DBG offers travel grants for early career scientists, who want to visit another lab / institute for example to leanr new methods and scientific techniques or to initiate pilot studies with up to 400 Euros each. 

> application process

> payment of grants

> online application form

09. Sep 2019

Awards for four Exceptional Plant Scientists

The awarded scientists (counter clockwise starting top left): Dr. Constantin Mario Zohner, Dr. Eva-Sophie Wallner, Dr. Moisés Expósito Alonso and Dr. Jessica Lee Erickson. Photos: Jaimie Crowther, Jörg Abendroth, Tobias Jung, and Carolin Alfs

How climate change influences growing seasons length in woody plants and survival of flowers, the substances that influence shape changes of plastids, and the proteins that spur phloem differentiation are in the research focus of the four plant scientists who will receive the science prices of the German Society for Plant Sciences (DBG) this year. Dr. Constantin Mario Zohner, Dr. Jessica Lee Erickson, Dr. Moisés Expósito Alonso and Dr. Eva-Sophie Wallner will get their awards during the Botanikertagung, the International Plant Science Conference in Rostock, Germany. From 16th to 18th September, the four will present their research results to the more than 420 conference participants.

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09. Sep 2019

Awards for four Exceptional Plant Scientists

The awarded scientists (counter clockwise starting top left): Dr. Constantin Mario Zohner, Dr. Eva-Sophie Wallner, Dr. Moisés Expósito Alonso and Dr. Jessica Lee Erickson. Photos: Jaimie Crowther, Jörg Abendroth, Tobias Jung, and Carolin Alfs

How climate change influences growing seasons length in woody plants and survival of flowers, the substances that influence shape changes of plastids, and the proteins that spur phloem differentiation are in the research focus of the four plant scientists who will receive the science prices of the German Society for Plant Sciences (DBG) this year. Dr. Constantin Mario Zohner, Dr. Jessica Lee Erickson, Dr. Moisés Expósito Alonso and Dr. Eva-Sophie Wallner will get their awards during the Botanikertagung, the International Plant Science Conference in Rostock, Germany. From 16th to 18th September, the four will present their research results to the more than 420 conference participants.

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26. Sep 2019

Awards for best science posters

Awardees of the poster prizes and of Nicon's Poster Prize 2019. Photo: Thomas Rahr

From the more than 190 posters presented at Botanikertagung 2019 in Rostock, Germany, participants chose several as best papers. The awarded presenters received a document as well as 137 Euros each since the German Society for Plant Sciences (DBG) today was 137 years old.

Awarded young scientists and their poster titles (pdf file)

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2019

In the year 2019 DBG's representatives at the following universities evaluated master theses in plant sciences. The following persons received the award (in alphabetical order):

Helen Ballasus (Leipzig University)
Species effects on temperature regulation mechanisms in the tree canopies at the Leipzig canopy crane
more in the summary with images

Mary Beyer (Paris-Lodron-Universität Salzburg)
Is heavy metal hyperaccumulation in Noccaea caerulescens acting as a defence mechanism against herbivores?
more in the summary

Paul David Grünhofer (Universität Bonn)
Formation and chemical composition of suberin in poplar roots
more in the summary

Natalie Hering (Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, KIT)
In-situ hybridization in Salvia flowers and closely related Lamiaceae for the detection of developmental genes
more in the summary

Jannes Höpke (Carl von Ossietzky-Universität Oldenburg)
The intricate species boundary between Veronica spicata and V. orchidea (Plantaginaceae)
more in the summary with image

Melanie Kastl (Universität zu Köln)
Functional characterization of the Ustilago maydis organ-specific effectors: UMAG05306 and UMAG11060
more in the summary

Cathrin Manz Philipps-Universität Marburg)
Diversity assessment of the ectomycorrhizal genus Russula in tropical montane forests in Panama
more in the summary with image

Erik Pischke (Rostock University in cooperation with Bayreuth University)
The role of the leucine biosynthesis for Pb tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana
more in the summary

Felix Rehms (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster)
Development and application of genetically encoded fluorescent sensors for hypoxia investigation in plants
more in the summary

Nicola Schmidt (Technische Universität Dresden)
Characterisation of the endogenous phytopararetrovirus beetEPRV3 in the sugar beet genome (Beta vulgaris), a new member of the florendoviruses within the Caulimoviridae family
more in the summary with image

Philipp Zamzow (Universität Bielefeld)
Development and evaluation of selected orchards in the city of Bergkamen between 1990 and 2018
more in the summary with images 

Felix Rehms (Münster University)

Felix Rehms's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster in the year 2019.

Title:

Development and application of genetically encoded fluorescent sensors for hypoxia investigation in plants

Rehms documents the visualization of Ca2+-accumulation in energy-deprived cells and the subsequent calcium signal propagation in Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings during prolonged oxygen restriction. He also started the development of genetically coded fluorescent oxygen sensors for use in-planta.

With regards to the growing frequency of extreme precipitation and flooding events caused by global climate changes, tolerance to oxygen deprivation (hypoxia; assumedly the most severe plant stress caused by prolonged submergence) is rapidly gaining relevance as a trait in crop breeding, even though, as of yet, the underlying mechanisms are mostly unknown.

To shed light on the role of second messengers in a plant’s perception and signal transduction of hypoxic conditions or the resulting energy crisis (caused by inhibition of aerobic respiration), genetically encoded fluorescent sensors of cytosolic Ca2+ and ATP concentration were employed for microscopic investigation of submerged Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings in a spatio-temporal resolution.

This way, he was able to record multiple waves of Ca2+-elevations, which were assumedly triggered by the collapse of energy upkeep and subsequent breakdown of active transport mechanisms that ensured the upkeep of steep ion gradients across membranes. Starting from the first energy depleted tissues or cells this wave spreads outwards and across the full seedling. The dynamics of these waves and comparisons to ATP monitoring in hypoxic seedlings suggests active signal propagation, rather than a universal increase caused exclusively by energy deprivation and passive ion leakage.

Additionally, this work documented the beginning development of genetically coded fluorescent oxygen indicators. Such oxygen sensors can be ubiquitously expressed in all tissues and can be applied in-vivo to monitor ongoing developments. In contrast to chemical and physical oxygen measurements, this does not cause any additional plant stress. This makes the fluorescent sensors ideal for the investigation of the oxygen dependency of signals in hypoxic plants. On top of that, the sensors’ independence of plant adaption or developmental mechanisms may lead to the identification of hypoxic niches that were not implicated by expression of hypoxia marker genes.

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Felix Rehms conducted this work at the institute of Plant Biology and Biotechnology (IBBP) in the group of Prof. Dr. Jörg Kudla.

Jannes Höpke (Oldenburg University)

Left: Jannes Hökpe pressing plants in the South Ukraine. Photo: Simon Pfanzelt Right: Veronica barrelieri subsp. crassifolia in its type locality (SW Romania). Photo: Jannes Höpke

Jannes Höpke's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Carl von Ossietzky-Universität Oldenburg in the year 2019.

Title:

The intricate species boundary between Veronica spicata and V. orchidea (Plantaginaceae)

For the fist time a systematical comparison regarding missing data in combination with missing allele-dosis-information for population genetical methods like PCA/PCoA and STRUCTURE was conducted. Moreover, genetical material from the type localities of V. barrelieri subsp. crassifolia und V. tzesnae was analysed for the first time in this study.

The aim was to analyse the potentially hybridising species Veronica spicata and V. orchidea (Plantaginaceae) regarding their species boundary. Therefore, both species and morphologically similar species were analysed using Genotyping-by-Sequencing (GBS). The same question was already analysed by Bardy et al. (2011) using AFLP data but we were not able to completely confirm their results. To get a better understanding of how mixed ploidy-levels, the influence of missing data, and missing allele-dosis-information influence population genetical analyses, simulations and analyses of GBS data were conducted to reveal the reasons for the observed differences. Hereby a bug in the programme ipyrad was found out, the importance of paralogs was analysed and the difference between the coding of AFLP and diploidised SNP-Data was worked out

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Jannes Höpke conducted this work in the Institute for Biology and Environmental Sciences in the working group Biodiversity and Evolution of Plants of Prof. Dr. Dirk Albach

see another image

Mary Beyer (Salzburg University)

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

Title

Is heavy metal hyperaccumulation in Noccaea caerulescens acting as a defence mechanism against herbivores?

Mary Beyer found out that accumulated heavy metals can have a deterring effect on herbivores, supporting the “elemental defence hypothesis”. However, the degree of this effect depends largely on the type of heavy metal and the species of herbivore as the feeding experiments showed.

The aim of this thesis was to provide new insights to the “elemental defence hypothesis”. According to this hypothesis, heavy metals act as a defence mechanism, by deterring or killing herbivores and pathogens, which led to a higher accumulation in certain plants (hyperaccumulators). Four types of herbivores (Arion vulgaris, Vanessa cardui, Plutella xylostella and Pieris rapae) were offered plants of the hyperaccumulator Noccaea caerulescens, treated with different concentrations of nickel and zinc, in a free choice feeding trial. The feeding damage on each plant was determined and thus it was assessed if nickel and/or zinc had any effect on the herbivores feeding behaviour.

The results support a significant correlation of feeding preferences and foliar zinc concentrations, reducing herbivory by up to 20%. However, this was not the case for foliar nickel concentrations, though a tendency of some herbivores preferring low levels of nickel could be observed. This shows that the effect of accumulated heavy metals on herbivory depends largely on the type of metal and species of herbivore.

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Mary Beyer conducted this work at the institute for ecology and evolution at Salzburg University in the working group of Prof. Hans-Peter Comes.

Nathalie Hering (KIT Karlsruhe)

Nathalie Hering's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at KIT Karlsruhe in the year 2019.

Title:

In-situ hybridization in Salvia flowers and closely related Lamiaceae for the detection of developmental genes

She detected an unexpected occurrence of B-class identity genes in the ovary of adult Salvia flowers and closely related Lamiaceae

The flower is an evolutionary key innovation that makes a major contribution to the conservation of the species, as a specialized flower-pollinator interaction is the key to preserve the genetic lineage for many species. Within the flower development, there exists so-called "Genes of Speciation", which are significantly involved in producing reproductive barriers. From this, the debate about the species concept could be resolved, as an analysis of these genes could allow a systematically correct classification of the species. In order to understand the flower development in Salvia and closely related Lamiaceae, the temporal and spatial expression pattern of participating homeotic genes must be considered comparatively. Within this work, the expression of the B-class developmental genes GLOBOSA (GLO) and DEFICIENS (DEF) was investigated qualitatively and quantitatively as well as with the help of in-situ hybridization (ISH) in adult Salvia flowers as well as closely related Lamiaceae. ISH is a molecular biology method for the specific detection of nucleic acids in the cell of histological sections in vivo. By applying this method, the developmental genes GLO and DEF could be successfully localized via ISH in the ovary and stamen of flowers of the Lamiaceae.

The occurrence of the B-class identity gene GLO in the stamens corresponds to the ABC model according to Coen and Meyerowitz. The unexpected localization of the two developmental genes GLO and DEF in the ovary might indicate an evolutionary young, unknown protein or point to a repression of the developmental genes by an unknown microRNA in the fourth whorl. The occurrence of the developmental genes in flowers is confirmed by a qualitative and quantitative gene expression analysis. Accurate temporal expression patterns of the developmental genes could not be detected, only that these genes occur more frequently in late developmental stages of flowering. However, the presence of DEF in the leaf implies an early involvement in the combinatorial network of flower development, in addition to its proper function as a B-class identity gene.

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Nathalie Hering completed the work at the Botanical Institute I, Department of Biodiversitiy of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in the working group of Prof. Dr. Peter Nick.

Philipp Zamzow (Bielefeld University)

Orchard in a good maintenance status. The trees show regular pruning of the branches and are surrounded by protective fences. The undergrowth is not mowed too often and the proximity to a forest is given. Picture from 23.05.2018, Photo: Philipp Zamzow

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

Title of the thesis: Development and evaluation of selected orchards in the city of Bergkamen between 1990 and 2018

Two aspects were examined in this thesis: On the one hand, the development and the current state of Bergkamen's orchard meadows was recorded and examined, which in the history of the town had only taken place once in 1990. On the other hand, this work served to review the minimum criteria set by the Landesamt für Natur, Umwelt und Verbraucherschutz (LANUV) for the protection of orchard meadows and pastures.

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Paul David Grünhofer (Bonn University)

Paul David Grünhofer's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn in the year 2019.

Title:

Formation and chemical composition of suberin in poplar roots

Grünhofer analysed spatiotemporal suberin deposition in poplar roots and its chemical composition. Most parts of the results comprise control as well as osmotic stress conditions.

Plants employ suberization of root tissue as mechanism of protection against various biotic and abiotic environmental stresses. The tissue-specific formation of suberin under control and stress conditions has been investigated by use of in-vitro tissue culture, hydroponics, fluorescence microscopy and gas chromatography. The main focus of this thesis was to establish a scientifically standardized and reproducible method to grow and treat poplar roots with a variety of different stresses, in order to lay a solid foundation for future research. In addition to that it could already be shown by use of fluorescence microscopy that a treatment of the roots with a mild osmotic stress ( 0.4 MPa) resulted in a shift of the onset of suberization towards the root tip, if compared to control conditions. An analytical preparation and examination of the harvested roots by gas chromatography showed a remarkable overlap of the suberin composition to that of the commonly used model organism Arabidopsis thaliana. A quantitative evaluation to answer the question if the mild osmotic stress in fact does induce an increased suberization of the root tissue could not be answered within this work due to limited time. However, answering this question as well as the examination of more severe osmotic stresses (-0.6 MPa and -0.8 MPa) and the treatment of roots with salt stress will follow in the seamlessly started dissertation. These topics are especially interesting due to rising temperatures in the future, which will make water (represented by osmotic stress) and thereby caused salt stress an even more prominent problem in our soils

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Paul David Grünhofer conducted this thesis at the Institute for Cellular and Molecular Botany (IZMB) in the group of Prof. Dr. Lukas Schreiber.

Nicola Schmidt (Technical University Dresden)

Beets were ste objects Nicola Schmidt studied in the greenhouse of the biological institute at Technical University Dresden.

Nicola Schmidt s Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Technical University Dresden in the year 2019.

Title:

Characterisation of the endogenous phytopararetrovirus beetEPRV3 in the sugar beet genome (Beta vulgaris), a new member of the florendoviruses within the Caulimoviridae family

For the first time, the three endopararetrovirus families within the sugar beet genome were described and analysed focusing on the family beetEPRV3. The element structure turned out to be characteristic for the respective beetEPRV family, pointing to specific evolutionary scenarios. Further, the viral sequences were found to be located within highly AT-rich heterochromatin, which provides an explanation for lacking virulence of beetEPRVs.

Endopararetroviruses (EPRVs) are a widespread component of animal and plant genomes as a result of the integration of the viral DNA. A reactivation can cause devastating diseases, as it is known for tobacco or petunia. Using comprehensive bioinformatic methods, in this work the EPRVs within the sugar beet genome were identified and assigned to the florendoviruses, which is an abundant genus within the Caulimoviridae. The element structure was reconstructed for all three beetEPRV families. Two families (beetEPRV1 and beetEPRV3) show intact copies, whereas the third family (beetEPRV2) is arranged in a more fragmented manner. The family beetEPRV3 was furthermore analysed using molecular biological and cytogenetic methods like Southern hybridisation and fluorescent in situ hybridisation. It turned out that EPRVs belonging to this family accumulate in tight, repetitive and therefore mostly inaccessible DNA regions, allowing them to escape the host’s elimination mechanisms. These findings may help to understand how EPRVs keep their virulence in some hosts over long periods.

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Nicola Schmidt conducted this work at the chair of Plant Cell and Molecular Biology in the group of Prof. Dr. Thomas Schmidt.

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.

Title:

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.

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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.

Helen Ballasus (Leipzig University)

Graphical Abstract. Graph: Helen Ballasus

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

Title: Species effects on temperature regulation mechanisms in the tree canopies at the Leipzig canopy crane

Processes controlling and affecting canopy microclimate are related to the species with its specific structural and physiological functional traits and meteorological predictors depending on vertical canopy architecture.

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Melanie Kastl (Köln University)

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

Title: Functional characterization of the Ustilago maydis organ-specific effectors: UMAG05306 and UMAG11060

Two effectors of Ustilago maydis, the causative agent of corn smut disease, were localized in planta and their (putative) targets were identified and described.

Ustilago maydis parasitizes all aerial parts of the maize plant by inducing tumour formation. In order to establish biotrophy, U. maydis secretes effectors that inhibit the plant defence responses and modulate the host metabolism. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments and localization assays with fluorescent labelled effectors were performed to functionally characterize two U. maydis effectors including UMAG5306 and UMAG11060. We have shown that both effectors are secreted during host colonization and involved in fungal virulence. Furthermore, interaction studies revealed that UMAG05306 interacts and/or modulate with plant cytoskeleton, while UMAG11060 interacts with host defence component to suppress immunity. These findings will bring more insight in how fungi interfere with the plant immune system and to understand the mechanism of susceptibility and resistance.

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Melanie Kastl conducted this work at the Institute of Botany/ Chair of Terrestrial Microbiology in the group of Prof. Dr. Gunther Döhlemann.

28. Jan 2020

DBG honours best plant science master theses

Prof. Dr. Christian Wirth (supervisor of the master thesis), awardee Hellen Bellasus, Ronny Richter (co-supervisor of the master thesis), Prof. Dr. Alexandra Weigelt (jury member), Prof. Dr. Severin Sasso (DBG's contact partner at Leipzig University) (f.l.t.r.). Photo: Anja Kahl

Temperature regulation in tree canopies, heavy metals and herbivory, speciation, development of fluorescent sensors for hypoxia investigations, a phytopararetrovirus of sugar beet, (bio-)synthesis and chemistry of suberin and leucine, as well as the development of orchards in the city were topics of the ten awarded master theses, which were given DBG's awards for best plant science master theses in 2019. The work was carried out at the universities of Bayreuth, Bielefeld, Bonn, Dresden, Cologne, Leipzig, Münster, Oldenburg, Rostock, Salzburg, and the Karlsruher Institut für Technologie. DBG thanks all involved jury members at the universities.

​read more about all 10 awarded theses

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22. Mar 2020

Strasburger-Workshop: Diversity of chemical and molecular signaling networks in plant-microbe interactions

On the second day, participants hiked to Drachenfels, 321 m.a.s.l.. Photo: Sebastian Klenner

Sorry, report in German only

Ihre Ergebnisse und Forschungsarbeiten über die vielfältigen Interaktionen zwischen (Nutz-)Pflanzen und Mikroben tauschten knapp 20 angehende Wissenschaftler*innen aus drei Ländern im Februar in Königswinter aus. Die Tagung thematisierte sowohl Symbiosen als auch Pflanzen-Pathogene. Eine externe Vortragende berichtete über Jobs außerhalb von Universtäten und ein Mitmach-Workshop ermunterte die Teilnehmenden über Chancen und Risiken der öffentlichen Kommunikation ihrer Forschungsthemen nachzudenken. Einig war man sich, dass es ein großes Interesse an der Interaktions-Forschung geben sollte, da diese dazu beiträgt, anwenderfreundliche Lösungen für den Erhalt der Pflanzengesundheit und der Ertragsmengen zu bieten. Die fünf Organisator*innen des Eduard-Strasburger-Workshops der DBG von angehenden Nachwuchskräften der Sektion für Interaktionen für andere junge Pflanzenwissenschaftler*innen fassen die Veranstaltung zusammen.

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Prize for the Best Plant Science Publication

The Wilhelm Pfeffer Foundation awards every other year the best publication with a sum of 1000 Euros. The prize will only be awarded for publications deriving from Diploma, Master or PhD thesis.

Awardees and their paper will be introduced during the upcoming Botanikertagung 2021 and the awarded paper will be listed on DBG's website.

Only members of the German Society for Plant Sciences (DBG) are eligible to submit nominations; self-nominations are also accepted for this prize.

The Prize, casually speaking Best Paper Prize, can be devided. There is no right to receive the prize.

Application

The following documents should be sent for application:

  • Paper (pdf file)
  • Peer review comments of the journal
  • Letter of reference from the academic advisor of the paper. This should also mention in which context (master, diploma or PhD thesis) this work was carried out.

Deadlines

Proposals can be submitted each year (31 March); dates are communicated via the website. Please send your application to the president of the Wilhelm Pfeffer Foundation.

27. Jan 2020

Call for nominees "Best Paper Prize"

The board of DBG's Wilhelm-Pfeffer-Foundation invites nominations and applications for the Prize for the Best Plant Science Publication ("Best Paper Prize"), which will be awarded for an outstanding paper that resulted from a Master, Diploma or PhD thesis.

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Cathrin Manz (Philipps-Universität Marburg)

Cathrin Manz's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Philipps-Universität Marburg in the year 2019.

Title: "Diversity assessment of the ectomycorrhizal genus Russula in tropical montane forests in Panama"

For the first time Manz investigated the diversity of Russula species (“brittlegills”) in the mountain rainforests of Panama. More than 45 species were discovered for the first time for Panama with many of them new to science.

The diversity of ectomycorrhizal fungi in the tropics is still largely underexplored, even though they constitute a key component of tropical montane forest ecosystems. In this study, 106 collections of the genus Russula (“brittlegills”) were collected in Chiriquí, Panama and described as fresh fruiting bodies. The samples were analysed with phylogenetic methods using the universal fungal barcode ITS. The resulting phylogenetic tree revealed a total number of 90 Russula species in Panama of which 47 species were newly recorded for this country. Among these samples are many putatively new species. A selection of four new Russula species from subsection Roseinae were analysed morphologically by light and scanning electron microscopy in the context of the master thesis. Five patterns for ectomycorrhizal partners and geographic distribution were revealed. Facing habitat loss and climate change, it is today more than ever necessary to collect and store specimens with associated data and to openly share these resources. Otherwise many species will become extinct unnoticed.

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Cathrin Manz conducted this work at the Department of Biology in the Research group mycology by Karl-Heinz Rexer.

20. Feb 2020

#SciComm Award for Robert Hoffie

Robert Hoffie, is doing a PhD on Braley at the IPK and. Photo: Iris Koeppel

Robert Hoffie, who tweets as @ForscherRobert on Twitter received the Section's first award for excellent science communication on 13th February 2020.

Sorry, futher details available in German only.

Erstmals haben wir unseren neuen Preis für Wissenschaftskommunikation verliehen. Die Auszeichnung ging an Robert Hoffie, Doktorand am Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung in Gatersleben (IPK). Als @ForscherRobert engagiert sich der Pflanzenforscher in Sozialen Medien, erklärt geduldig den Stand der Forschung über moderne Methoden in der Pflanzenforschung und scheut - wenn es nötig ist - auch nicht die Auseinandersetzung mit Politikern.
„Wenige andere Pflanzenwissenschaftler sind so engagiert in den sozialen Netzwerken wie Robert Hoffie“, sagte Prof. Dr. Stefan Rensing, Sprecher der Sektion. Er wünsche sich mehr Wissenschaftler wie Robert Hoffie, die unsere Themen in die Öffentlichkeit tragen und unsere Sichtbarkeit erhöhen.

Die Auszeichnung verlieh die Sektion am 13. Februar, während der jährlichen Konferenz Molecular Biology of Plants in Dabringhausen (Nordrhein-Westfalen). „Der Preis ist für mich Motivation und Bestätigung zugleich“, erklärte Robert Hoffie. Denn der aktuelle Stand der Wissenschaft sei das Beste, was wir haben, um zu fundierten Einschätzungen zu kommen. "Worauf, wenn nicht darauf, sollen wir unsere Einschätzungen denn künftig sonst stützen?“ fragt sich der 28-Jährige. Zwar könne die Wissenschaft nicht die Politik ersetzen, werde aber selbst immer mehr zu einem gesellschaftlichen Akteur.

Quelle: IPK beim idw

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Nora Stingl (Marburg University)

Nora Stingl's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Philipps Universität Marburg in the year 2020.

Title: Establishment and optimization of new model organisms to study early land plant evolution

Stingl successfully established three new model organisms and optimised their cultivation conditions for future studies on the conquest of land by plants.

The establishment of new model organisms is crucial to study the water to land transition of plants, which set the fundament to nature how we know it. It is widely accepted that one group from the charophyte algae, more accurate from the ZCC paraphylum, gave rise to the ancestor of land plants. Since no model organisms have yet been established in this group, three organisms were selected as potential model organisms: Chara braunii, Spirogyra pratensis and Mougeotia scalaris. Within this work protocols for laboratory cultivation of all three organisms could be developed. Additionally, sexual reproduction of C. braunii and S. pratensis was successfully induced repeatedly and a protocol for germination of C. braunii oospores was established.

Within the land plants the bryophytes are considered sister taxons of the vascular plants and the hornwort Anthoceros agrestis is already established as a model organism. In this thesis, studies on in vitro cultivation were performed and different growth and germination behavior between axenic and non-axenic cultures could be observed.

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Nora Stingl conducted this work at the department of biology in the lab of Prof. Dr. Stefan A. Rensing.

Levke Valena Höche (Kiel University)

Graphical abstract: We recorded the combined effects of inbreeding, plant sex and geographic origin on spatial flower traits and floral scent of Silene latifolia. Graph: Levke Valena Höche

Levke Valena Höche's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel in the year 2020.

Title: The combined effects of population origin and inbreeding on plant traits attracting pollinating insects

Inbreeding can have a negative impact on floral scent production and spatial flower traits. The magnitude of this effect strongly depends on the sex of plant individuals and the geographic origin of a population.

The attractiveness of a flower towards pollinators is determined by a combination of spatial and olfactory traits. Inbreeding can negatively impact these traits, and its effect can vary within a population between male and female plants, and among populations from different geographical origins.

We recorded differences in spatial and olfactory floral traits in outcrossed and inbred, female and male individuals of the dioecious plant Silene latifolia from eight European and eight North American populations. Additionally, visitation rates by crepuscular pollinators were quantified.

Inbreeding reduced the number and size of the flowers as well as the amount of lilac aldehydes that are essential for chemical communication with crepuscular moths. This effect was partially more pronounced in female than male individuals and varied between populations of different origins. However, this effect was not reflected in the pollinator visitation rates, which had only been investigated during a small timeframe in late summer for logistical reasons. Our results support that inbreeding has the potential to lessen the attractivity of a flower towards pollinating insects, and that sex-specific selection and the evolutionary history of a population shape the underlying genetic architecture.

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Levke Valena Höche conducted this work at the Institute for Ecosystem Research / Department Geobotany, supervised by Dr. Karin Schrieber.

Joelle Kröll (Innsbruck University)

The two until now as subgernera adressed forms should be handled as two distinct species. The left, S. (pubescens subsp.) pubescens, occurs in the eastern Pyrenees, along the more or less continuous mountain range south and east of the Cerdanya/Cerdagne valley. The rightS. (pubescens subsp.) iratiana occurs on the highest summits and crests of the central and western Pyrenees. Photos: Pau Carnicero

Joelle Kröll's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Innsbruck University in the year 2020.

Title: Allopolyploidy, introgression and morphological differentiation in the Pyrenean endemic Saxifraga pubescens of awarded thesis

Multiple data sources unravel inconspicuous diversity in a Pyrenean high mountain endemic: from one to two species, genome duplications and recurring hybridization

Hybridization is an important evolutionary force in plants, which can either lead to reduction of differentiation through introgressive hybridization or increase in diversity due to the appearance of a new evolutionary entity through hybrid speciation. For the latter to take place, hybrids need to overcome two major challenges, i.e. hybrid sterility and backcrossing with the parental lineages. One way to overcome both of these problems is allopolyploidy. Recurrent hybridization with co-occurring species has been reported in the Pyrenean endemic Saxifraga pubescens, but its evolutionary consequences as well as its link to polyploidy remain to date uncertain. Although two subspecies with allopatric distributions are recognised, i.e. S. pubescens subsp. pubescens and S. pubescens subsp. iratiana, some contradictory reports indicate overlapping distributions. Since the species is protected in some areas both in Spain and in France, it is necessary to clarify the intraspecific systematics of S. pubescens. For this purpose, we integrate morphological, relative genome size and molecular data from RADseq and plastid DNA sequencing to infer the evolutionary and biogeographical history of the species, with special focus on hybridization and polyploidy and to propose a congruent systematics framework. We observe both occasional occurrences of hybrids in populations of S. pubescens as well as entirely hybrid populations. Homoploid hybridization seems to generate the occasional hybrids, while the entirely hybrid populations consist of allopolyploids, which indicates fertility of the hybrids and their potential to create hybrid lineages (and eventually species). Morphology allows the proper identification of the two subspecies as well as the hybrids, with the exception of individuals with imbalanced introgression. In addition, the molecular data resolve both subspecies as monophyletic, but the species itself as polyphyletic and indicate that the two subspecies are consistently well-differentiated entities, and should be recognised as two separate species.

The Master thesis of Joelle Kröll was published (in : https://diglib.uibk.ac.at/ulbtirolhs/download/pdf/5341778?originalFilename=true

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Joelle Kröll conducted this work at the Institute for Botany in the working group Evolutionary Systematics of Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Peter Schönswetter and Ass. Dr. Pau Carnicero.

Johanna Knab (Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg)

Confocal optical sections through a Physcomitrium patens protonemal cell accumulating a ChR-2-XXL-GFP fusion protein in the plasma membrane (green). Chloroplasts display red autofluorescence. Scale bar: 15 μm. Image: Johanna Knab

Johanna Knab's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) in the year 2020.

Title: Analysis of CNGCs in Physcomitrium patens and generation of optogenetic lines and a pH marker for live-cell imaging

Local Ca2+-import trough CNGC channels appears to modulate tip growth in moss (Physcomitrium patens) protonemata and can be investigated using a newly established optogenetic system.

In plants, "cyclic nucleotide-gated channels" (CNGCs) regulate numerous biological processes ranging from development to tip growth and immune responses. Eight CNGCs have been identified in the moss Physcomitrium patens, whose functions are largely unexplored. By contrast, in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana essential functions of different CNGCs in the tip growth of root hairs and pollen tubes have already been established. In order to investigate the role of CNGCs in tip growth in moss, P. patens CNGC knock-out lines were generated using CRISPR/Cas methodology. Four different cngc single KO lines, two cngc double KO lines and one cngc triple KO line were established. Despite extensive efforts, it was not possible to generate KO lines disrupted in the expression of the remaining four CNGCs, indicating essential functions of these channels in moss. Investigation of the established cngc KO lines has shown that three P. patens CNGCs in fact modulate tip growth in protonemata. cngc-b, cngc-c, and cngc-h single KO lines, as well as two of the cngc double KO lines, showed significantly increased elongation of protonemal cells. This effect was particularly pronounced in the cngc-b / cngc-c double knockout line, which indicates additive functional interactions between CNGCc and CNGCb.

Furthermore, experiments were performed to establish an optogenetic system in P. patens. Optogenetics is a cell biological method, which enables the control of processes in living cells by light pulses using light-sensitive proteins. In cooperation with Prof. Dr. Nagel from the University of Würzburg, transgenic P. patens lines were generated expressing a recombinant channel rhodopsin tagged with a green fluorescent protein (ChR-2-XXL::GFP). Similar channel rhodopsins have already been used successfully in neurobiology to generate light-induced action potentials. Channel rhodopsin-2 is a light-controlled cation channel from the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. On the basis of this protein, Prof. Dr. Nagel developed the ChR-2-XXL channel, which allows blue-light-controlled local stimulation of Ca2+ import through the plasma membrane. This channel was successfully expressed for the first time in P. patens, and was found to be targeted to plasma membrane of protonemata cells, an important prerequisite for its function in Ca2+ import. In addition, a dioxygenase fused to a chloroplast targeting sequence was demonstrated to be imported into chloroplasts, where this enzyme can synthesize retinal using ß-carotene as a precursor. Retinal is essential for the function of the ChR-2-XXL channel. With this system it should now be possible to examine effects on tip growth of local cell depolarization triggered by blue light stimulation.

In the “Cell Biology Divison” at FAU, the role of Rac/Rop-dependent signal cascades in the control of tip growth in plants has been investigated for many years. The work described here represents an excellent basis for the future investigation of functional interactions between Rac/Rop- and Ca2+-dependent signal cascades in the moss P. patens.

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Johanna Knab conducted this work in the FAU Division of Cell Biology under the supervision of Dr. Maria Ntefidou in the team of Prof. Dr. Benedikt Kost.

Lara Hoepfner (Münster University)

Flagella mediated adhesion of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to a solid surface. Taking advantage of TIRF microscopy both dynamics can be imaged and analyzed (down). Graphic: Lara Hoepfner

Lara Hoepfner's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster in the year 2020.

Title: Function of protein N-glycosylation in flagella mediated cell gliding

Altered N-glycan maturation of flagella membrane proteins impacts adhesion to solid surfaces however does not impede the cells gliding ability.

The biflagellate Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is a well-known model organism in research on cilia and flagella. Via their two flagella, cells are able to adhere to and glide along solid surfaces thanks to N-glycosylated membrane proteins such as flagella membrane glycoprotein FMG1-B.

Taking advantage of mass spectrometry and TIRF microscopy mutants with altered N-glycosylation were analyzed regarding changes in their flagella proteome as well as their ability to adhere and glide. Further the particular role of FMG1-B in respective dynamics was examined by characterization of two FMG1-B knock down mutants.

Altered N-glycosylation decreases the adhesion force of flagella to a surface, however, this has no impact on flagella protein targeting or the ability to glide. Further it could be shown that FMG1-B is not the only N-glycosylated protein involved in flagella membrane adhesion and gliding in contrast to the current model.

In future further N-glycosylation mutants will be analyzed regarding their ability to adhere and glide and the role of further candidate proteins involved in adhesion and gliding besides or instead of FMG1-B will be analyzed.

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Lara Hoepfner conducted this work at the institute for plant biochemistry and biotechnology in the working group of Prof. Dr. Michael Hippler.

2020

In the year 2020 DBG's representatives at the universities evaluated master theses in plant sciences. The following persons received the award (in alphabetical order):

Claudia Banse (Humboldt Universität Berlin)
Hämbindung an der GBP sorgt für Feedback-Regulation in der Tetrapyrrolsynthese

Susanne Elisabeth Bleser (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz)
Characteristics of CAM-photosynthesis and anatomic-physiological features of leaves in Aeonium (Crassulaceae)

Nicole Graumann (Universität Bielefeld)
Gene editing mittels CRISPR/Cas9-vermittelter Mutagenese in der Grünalge Volvox carteri

Levke Valena Höche (Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel)
The combined effects of population origin and inbreeding on plant traits attracting pollinating insects
more in the -> summary with images

Lara Höpfner (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster)
Function of protein N-glycosylation in flagella mediated cell gliding
more in the -> summary and image

Johanna Knab (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, FAU)
Analysis of CNGCs in Physcomitrium patens and generation of optogenetic lines and a pH marker for live-cell imaging
more in the -> summary with image

Joelle Kröll (Universität Innsbruck)
Allopolyploidy, introgression and morphological differentiation in the Pyrenean endemic Saxifraga pubescens
more in the -> summary with images

Elena Lesch (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn)
Evolution of moss RNA editing factors and their functions tested in a variety of model systems
more in the -> summary with image

Fabian Munder (Universität Hamburg)
Elucidating the Mechanism of Protein Translocation into Peroxisomes: Biophysical, Structural and in vivo Characterization of two Peroxisomal Biogenesis Proteins from Arabidopsis thaliana

Mara Schultz (Universität Rostock)
Die Rolle des Proteins HliR1 in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 bei der Stressantwort bei Starklichtverhältnissen
more in the -> summary with image

Nora Stingl (Philipps Universität Marburg)
Successful cultivation of the new model organisms Chara braunii, Spirogyra pratensis and Mougeotia scalaris in the lab and discovery of different growth behavior of various Anthoceros agrestis strains
more in the -> summary

Johanna Wiedener (Universität Leipzig)
Investigation of a mixed species cultivation concept for a continuous photosynthesis-driven hydrogen production
more in the -> summary with two images

Mara Schultz (Rostock University)

Due to the current travel restrictions, Mara Schultz received her deed not from Prof Birgit Piechulla at Rostock University, but from DBG's president, Prof Andreas Weber, at Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Schultz's new working place. Photo: private

Mara Schultz'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 2020.

Title: The role of the small protein HliR1 in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 during high light stress

Schultz characterized the physiological role of the recently annotated small protein HliR1 and detected its participation in the high light stress response in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803.

The small protein HliR1 was newly annotated by Baumgartner et al. (BMC Microbiol 28:2016) in the genome of Synechocystis, where hlir1 is located in front of the gene for superoxide dismutase (SOD). SOD is involved in the removal of reactive oxygen species in the cell, which occur in particular in the case of strong light stress.

To analyze the physiological role of HliR1 in Synechocystis, several mutants were available in which the protein-coding or RNA-coding part of hliR1 was deleted. Furthermore, a strain in which HliR1 was expressed in the mutant was examined. Schultz characterized these strains phenotypically, biochemically and molecular biologically with regard to growth under different conditions. In addition, I aimed to detect interactions of HliR1 with other proteins.

The physiological investigations showed that HliR1 plays an important role during high light stress. The mutant with the protein-coding sequence deleted could not grow in strong light, while the expression of hliR1 in this mutant abolished the phenotype. However, neither changes in the SOD activity nor an HliR1-SOD interaction could be detected that would have explained this phenotype. Investigation of protein-protein interactions suggests that HliR1 may interact with various proteins involved in building and repairing photosystem II. This finding suggests that HliR1 may play a role in the repair of photosystem II under high light stress.

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Mara Schultz conducted this work at the Institute for life sciences in the working group of Prof. Dr. Martin Hagemann.

Johanna Wiedener (University Leipzig)

Schematic illustration of a mixed species approach of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 (Syn6803) and a heterotrophic aerobic bacterium to remove oxygen from the reaction to enable hydrogen production by the cyanobacterium (top) and co-cultivation as a biofilm in a capillary reactor (bottom). Graphic and photo: Johanna Wiedener

Johanna Wiedener's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Leipzig University in the year 2020.

Title: Investigation of a mixed species cultivation concept for a continuous photosynthesis-driven hydrogen production

A mixed species cultivation using a photosynthetic cyanobacterium and an oxygen consuming heterotrophic bacterium enables light-driven and continuous hydrogen production from water.

Hydrogen is considered as the energy carrier of the future. In addition to a technical generation of hydrogen by electrolysis of water using renewable energies (solar/wind power), biological approaches are also possible. Promising are cyanobacteria, which also can split water by the means of light to ‘’win’’ electrons for biosynthesis. This process is known as oxygenic photosynthesis. In cyanobacteria the electrons obtained from water splitting can alternatively "flow" into the enzymatic synthesis of hydrogen.

The present work deals with the light-driven hydrogen production of the model strain Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 – particularly to the dilemma that the hydrogenases necessary for hydrogen production, obtain electrons from photosynthesis but are at the same time inactivated by the oxygen also generated during photosynthesis. In this master thesis, the milieu was kept anaerobic for the first time by co-cultivating Synechocystis with a heterotrophic bacterium. Thereby a hydrogen synthesis was achieved that could be measured over several hours. It could be proven that the electrons for hydrogen synthesis indeed originate from photosynthetic water splitting. Furthermore, the observations could also be transferred to an alternative cultivation concept: a bacterial biofilm. 'Multi-species' biofilms represent the natural lifestyle of microorganisms and offer the advantage of improved tolerance to unfavorable environmental conditions. From a technical point of view, they allow a long-term, stable cultivation of microorganisms. If sufficient nutrient sources are present, they can generate all their needed elements by themselves and are also able of self-regeneration. In biofilms a significant hydrogen production was documented even after several weeks. It was proven that it is in fact the cyanobacterial partner that produces this hydrogen. Although many problems still need to be solved, this work has taken the biological approach of hydrogen production a significant step towards application.

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Johanna Wiedener conducted this work at the Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) Leipzig in the department Solar Materials of Prof. Andreas Schmid under supervision of PD Dr. Stephan Klähn.

Elena Lesch (Bonn University)

PPR78 is responsible for C-to-U RNA editing in the model moss Physcomitrium patens at two sites: cox1eU755SL and rps14eU137SL. The editing factor remains conserved among mosses even when editing is not needed anymore because a U is already present in the RNA and when editing is completely absent or heavily reduced as here exemplarily shown for Anomodon attenuatus. Editing at another site, ccmFNeU1465RC, was discovered and may explain the retention of functional PPR78 orthologs in these species. Hypnum cupressiforme lacking editing at all sites may be a first candidate where PPR78 is absent. Introducing PPR78 and its targets into the bacterium Escherichia coli led to specific C-to-U editing at all three sites. Graph: Elena Lesch

Elena Lesch's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn in the year 2020.

Title: Evolution of moss RNA editing factors and their functions tested in a variety of model systems

The expression of moss RNA editing factors in evolutionary distant model species allows new insights into their mode of operation and into the co-evolution with their targets.

Plant RNA editing induces site-specific conversion of cytidines (C) into uridines (U) in plant chloroplasts and mitochondria. RNA-binding pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) proteins have the key role of binding to the RNA targets and converting Cs into Us. PPR78 is such a nuclear encoded C-to-U RNA editing factor that targets two mitochondrial RNA editing sites in the cox1- and in the rps14-mRNA in the model moss Physcomitrium patens. Many other moss species were surveyed for the presence of PPR78 and it was found to be conserved even in species, where editing is extremely reduced or not needed at all because Us are already present at these positions (corresponding to thymidine in the genes at the DNA level; see figure). Suspecting a yet unrecognized target site for PPR78 we could successfully predict bioinformatically and subsequently confirm a further editing target in the ccmFN RNA. Moreover, we succeeded to transfer PPR78 into the bacterium Escherichia coli, which was recently established by us as a bacterial model system for RNA editing (Oldenkott et al.[1]).  We found that PPR78 could not only perform C-to-U conversions at the previously known editing sites in cox1 and rps14 but also at the newly identified site in ccmFN. Altogether the new data are promising for future attempts to specifically introduce changes to RNA transcript sequences in diverse organisms.

[1] Oldenkott, B., Yang, Y., Lesch, E., Knoop, V., Schallenberg-Rüdinger, M. (2019): Plant-type pentatricopeptide repeat proteins with a DYW domain drive C-to-U RNA editing in Escherichia coli. Commun Biol 2, 85. https://doi.org/10.1038/s42003-019-0328-3

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Elena Lesch conducted this work at the Institute of Cellular and Molecular Botany in the „Molecular Evolution“ lab under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Volker Knoop and Dr. Mareike Schallenberg-Rüdinger.

21. Jan 2021

DBG has awarded prizes for the best Master theses

The awardees received the deeds for their genteic, physiologic or evolution-related research projects. Photos: some of the awardees with the contact persons of the universities

Sorry, in German only

Auch wenn  die Verleihungen und die Übergabe der Urkunden dieses Jahr Pandemie-bedingt auf Distanz und nicht bei Abschlussfeiern stattfanden, konnte die DBG wieder mehrere herausragende Master-Abschlussarbeiten in den Pflanzenwissenschaften auszeichnen. Die vielfältigen Arbeiten aus den 12 Hochschulen, von denen die DBG Mitteilungen erhielt, thematisierten: 

  • CAM-Photosynthese und physiologische Charakteristika
  • Pflanzenmerkmale und Attraktivität für bestäubende Insekten
  • wie eine Glykosilierung die Geißel-Bewegung beeinflusst
  • Evolution der RNA im Moos Physcomitrium patens
  • Tetrapyrrol-Synthese
  • in vivo-Analyse der Protein Translokation in Peroxisomen
  • physiologische Stressantwort in Synechocystis
  • neue Modellorganismen zur Erforschung der frühen Landpflanzen-Evolution
  • wie Genom-Duplikationen und wiederkehrende Hybridisierung die Artbildung beeinflusst
  • zwei neue Methoden: neu etabliertes optogenetisches System, Genom-Editierung mittels CRISPR/Cas9 in der Grünalge Volvox carteri
  • wie man kontinuierlich Wasserstoff produzieren könnte, wenn man verschiedene Organismen geschickt miteinander kombiniert.

Die DBG dank den Kontaktpersonen an den Universitäten, für Ihr Engagement bei der Auswahl der besten Master-Arbeiten des vergangenen Jahres, die in diesem Jahr mehrheitlich an weibliche Forschende verliehen wurden.

Zu den Titeln, Preisträger*innen, Bildern und Abstracts

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17. Mar 2021

First HOT-TOPIC workshop focusses on plant RNA

RNAs in plants will be the topic of the first Eduard Strasburger HOT-TOPIC workshop. Under the title It’s in your RNA - Emerging new techniques to unravel transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation in plants on a global scale and funded by the DBG the conference for early career plant scientists will take place hopefully in presence at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research at Bielefeld University on 18th and 19th November 2021. As soon as invited speakers are confirmed, and programme as well as website are established / registration is possible the organizers Dr. Marlene Reichel and Dr. Elisabeth Fitzek-Campbell (both from Bielefeld University) will inform you here.

2021

In the year 2020 DBG's representatives at the universities evaluated master theses in plant sciences. The following persons received the award (in alphabetical order):

Paul Buschbeck (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz)
Cloning and functional characterization of enzymes involved in the violaxanthin synthesis of chromalveolates
more in the -> summary and image

David Clara (Universität Innsbruck)
Do natural seed bacterial microbiota play a role in soybean germination?
more in the -> summary and images

Josephine Dieckmann (Universität Rostock)
Ist die 2-Phosphoglycolat vermittelte Regulation der ADP-Glucose-Pyrophosphorylase an der Bewegung der Stomata beteiligt?

Maxim Faroux (Universität Kiel)
The aquaporin PIP2;1 as a potential interaction partner of PSKR1
more in the -> summary and image

Maleen Hartenstein (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg)
Examination of interspecific plasmodesmata and anatomical characterization of infection sites between Cuscuta reflexa and its host plants
more in the -> summary and image

Anna-Sophie Hawranek (Universität Wien)
The impact of recurrent origins and gene flow on the genetic structure of allopolyploid marsh orchids (Dactylorhiza, Orchidaceae)
more in the -> summary and image

Jessica Klekar (TU Dresden)
Karyotype evolution within the genus Beta
more in the -> summary and images

Madita Knieper (Universität Bielefeld)
The role of cyclophilin CYP20-3 in the redox regulatory network of chloroplasts
more in the -> summary and image

Julia Metzsch (Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen)
Investigation into the status Jurinea cyanoides (L.) Rchb., in a nature conservation context
more in the -> summary and image

Kristina Munzert (Philipps-Universität Marburg)
Characterisation of mutants suppressing the hypersusceptibility of starch-free Arabidopsis thaliana to Colletotrichum higginsianum
more in the -> summary and image

Lea-Franziska Reekers (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster)
A detailed localization analysis of enzymes involved in Lewis a-epitope formation in Arabidopsis thaliana
more in the -> summary

Ronja Rüdel (Salzburg University)
Experimental evolution of zinc tolerance in Pseudomonas syringae infecting zinc accumulating plants
more in the -> summary

Michelle Schlösser (Bonn University)
Characterization of the ER-localized glutaredoxins GRXC3 and GRXC4 in Arabidopsis
more in the -> summary and image

Sebastian Triesch (Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf)
Evolution of differential gene expression patterns in Brassicaceae with C3-C4 photosynthesis
more in the -> summary and image

Dorothea Vesely (Leipzig University):
Investigation of terpene biosynthesis in cyanobacteria
more in the -> summary and image

Raphael von Büren (Universität Basel)
Contrasting habitat requirements of the abundant alpine tussock graminoids Carex curvula und Nardus stricta
more in the -> summary and images

Julia Metzsch (Justus Liebig University Giessen)

The endangered species Sand Silvercrack Jurinea cyanoides in a nature reserve in Southern Germany. Photo: Julia Metzsch

Julia Metzsch's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Justus Liebig University Giessen in the year 2021

Title: Investigation into the status Jurinea cyanoides (L.) Rchb., in a nature conservation context

This work analyses the reasons for the decline in the thistle Jurinea cyanoides and should help to protect this species.

Jurinea cyanoides (L.) Rchb. is a native and threatened species in Germany, whose populations continue to decline despite various conservation measures. This paper therefore aims to provide an overview of the status of the species and to identify possible reasons for the loss of J. cyanoides.

For this purpose, a population genetic analysis using AFLP (Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism) was performed. A comparative site characterization was made based species lists. Finally, conservation measures were evaluated.
The results showed that a decline of J. cyanoides due to population genetic reasons could be excluded. The site-specific characterizations measures did not provide clear results. Furthermore, grazing by sheep and donkeys was a positively evaluated measure, while fencing of the areas is rather not recommended.

The results obtained here should contribute to the protection of the endangered species J. cyanoides.

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Julia Metzsch conducted this work at the Institute of Botany in the research group of Prof. Dr. Wissemann (Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen) an in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Birgit Gemeinholzer (Universität Kassel).

Maleen Hartenstein (Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg)

Confocal microscope image of a cross-section through an haustorium of Cuscuta reflexa, 8 days after the infection of Arabidopsis thaliana. C. reflexa connects to the vascular tissue of its host. Cell walls were stained with pseudo-Schiff propidium iodide. Scale bar: 150 µm. Image: Maleen Hartenstein

Maleen Hartenstein's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg in the year 2021

Title: Examination of interspecific plasmodesmata and anatomical characterization of infection sites between Cuscuta reflexa and its host plants

The parasitic plant Cuscuta reflexa manipulates its host and induces the formation of interspecific plasmodesmata to gain unrestricted access to the assimilates of its host plant.

Plasmodesmata are essential for cell-cell communication and the exchange of macromolecules between neighboring cells and tissues in higher plants. The parasitic plant Cuscuta reflexa (engl. dodder) forms symplastic connections to its host plants via plasmodesmata. C. reflexa is a shoot parasite without roots and leaves and completely dependent on nutrients of its hosts. To gain access to host plant assimilates, C. reflexa penetrates the host tissue with haustoria. Searching hyphae grow out of the haustoria and establish a direct connection to the vascular tissue oft the host plant via plasmodesmata. Therefore, C. reflexa is being used as a model to study newly formed interspecific plasmodesmata.

In this work, the anatomy of the contact sites between the searching hyphae of C. reflexa and the host phloem was investigated. For this purpose, pseudo-Schiff propidium iodide (PS-PI)-staining was established as a method for the visualization of interspecific contact sites. PS-PI staining was used to visualize the characteristic hand structure of searching hyphae of C. reflexa that specifically connected to host phloem cells. For further studies of the infection sites, different marker lines were infected with C. reflexa. It was demonstrated that C. reflexa induces the formation of new phloem tissue in the host. Infection of another marker line revealed that C. reflexa induces the formation of new plasmodesmata in the phloem and cortical tissue of the host. Furthermore, it was shown that C. reflexa connects symplastically to the cher1 mutant, although cher1 is impaired in the formation of complex plasmodesmata. Last, it was demonstrated that upon the infection with C. reflexa, the expression of several plasmodesmata-associated genes of A. thaliana is induced.

However, the signal that triggers the formation of plasmodesmata between host and parasite is still unknown and thus subject to future investigation.

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Maleen Hartenstein conducted this work at the Division of Molecular Plant Physiology under the supervision of PD Dr. Ruth Stadler in the group of Prof. Dr. Markus Albert.

Anna-Sophie Hawranek (Vienna University)

Left: Analyses of genetic population structure as well as estimations of migration rates show stronger gene flow from the diploid parental species to their tetraploid daughter species than vice versa. Following our data, but also previous research (e.g. Balao et al. 2016 Heredity 116 p. 351-361), the exchange of genetic material between the three tetraploids is taking place until today. Right: The evolutionary history of three allotetraploid marsh orchids features three independent origins during warmer periods within the Quaternary. As previously shown (Brandrud et al. 2020 Systematic Biology 69 p. 91-109), our results identify Dactylorhiza majalis as the oldest species, followed by D. traunsteineri and the recently-formed species D. purpurella. The effective population size Ne (that fraction of a population contributing to reproduction) reflects the age, as well as the different dispersal patterns of the three species. The older D. majalis and D. traunsteineri have a significantly higher Ne as compared to D. purpurella. However, following our results, Ne for D. traunsteineri exceeds that of the oldest D. majalis – an observation which can be explained by the higher degree of continuity of D. majalis’ distribution area. In contrast, D. traunsteineri grows in three disjunct areas. Graphs: Anna-Sophie Hawranek

Anna-Sophie Hawranek's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Vienna University in the year 2021

Title: The impact of recurrent origins and gene flow on the genetic structure of allopolyploid marsh orchids (Dactylorhiza, Orchidaceae)

Using genomic data, advanced bioinformatic analyses and coalescent approaches, this thesis elucidates the evolutionary history of three sibling allotetraploid marsh orchids.

Whole genome doubling, resulting in polyploidy, has been important for the evolution of plants and other organisms. Marsh orchids are Eurasian species that are often threatened due to the scarcity of their preferred habitats – five of these are the subject of this study: the three sibling allotetraploids Dactylorhiza majalis, D. purpurella and D. traunsteineri together with their parental species, the diploids D. fuchsii and D. incarnata.

The presented study relies on a reference genome of Dactylorhiza incarnata (the paternal species) to analyse genome-wide sequences of over 200 individuals of the three tetraploid species. Specific polyploid-adapted bioinformatic programs enabled addressing population genetic questions by considering the tetraploid set of chromosomes.

As seen in population genetic cluster analyses, the genetic structure of allopolyploid marsh orchids is influenced by geographical isolation on the one hand, and overlapping distribution areas on the other. Further, significantly more gene flow goes from the diploid parental species to the allopolyploids than vice versa. Also, within the allopolyploids a large amount of genetic material is exchanged. Therefore, the three focal polyploid species are not yet fully reproductively isolated from each other. Nevertheless, at least three different gene pools are found, broadly assignable to the three described species.

Despite their frequency across (macro)evolution, the actual formation of polyploids are rare events. Polyploid populations initially have small sizes and little genetic variation. The narrow gene pool can get expanded by hybridisation with relatives and this seems to be also the case in marsh orchids.

A look further back into the past discloses for the investigated polyploids three independent origins from the same parental species within interglacials (i.e., warmer periods) during the Quaternary. Demographic modelling confirms previous results regarding the succession of allopolyploids: with approx. 594,000 years D. majalis is found to be the oldest of the three species. It is a vigorous, large orchid, distributed in continental Europe. Dactylorhiza traunsteineri is estimated to be approx. 430,000 years old. This species shows a disjunct distribution area with an allopatric zone (i.e., it occurs without the other two allopolyploids) in Scandinavia, a sympatric area with D. majalis in the Alps and a second sympatric area with D. purpurella on the British Isles. This type of distribution can promote high genetic variability and could be reflected in the higher effective population size as compared to D. majalis. The youngest of the three analysed species is D. purpurella with approx. 3,100 years. This species occurs on the British Isles and parts of Western Scandinavia.

The chosen methodology is based on a Bayesian approach of assigning the polyploid genomic sequences to their respective diploid origins. This enabled analyses of each of the subgenomes apart from each other as diploid data sets. The developed bioinformatic scripts for data processing are also provided in the thesis’ appendix.

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Anna-Sophie Hawranek conducted this work at the Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research in the working group of Assoc.-Prof. Dr. Ovidiu Paun.

Read more in Hawranek's thesis: https://plantgenomics.univie.ac.at/fileadmin/user_upload/p_plantgenomics/News/Hawranek_DactThesis.pdf

Jessica Klekar (TU Dresden)

Comparison of selected beet species of the sections Beta (upper row) and Corollinae (lower row). All plants were ultivated under greenhouse conditions, adult plants are older than one year, young plants are about four months old. Images: J. Klekar

Jessica Klekar's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at TU Dresden in the year 2021

Title: Karyotype evolution within the genus Beta

By barcoding of the chromosomes of sugar beet and closely related species, it was possible to detect major structural changes as species boundaries.

Cytogenetics, as an important branch of genetics, deals with chromosome structure and composition in order to link these to phenotypic phenomena. In most plants, chromosomes cannot be distinguished on the basis of simple staining so that karyotyping is not readily possible. To address this lack for sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) and related wild beets, we developed a two-colour barcode for karyotyping the nine chromosome pairs of sugar beet through fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and applied it to the genomes of closely related species. In addition to confirming the pericentric inversion on chromosome 5 of Beta patula, a paracentric inversion on chromosome 7 of Beta macrocarpa was identified using an altered barcode. The knowledge gained about the structural chromosomal differences between the species should not be understood exclusively as species boundaries, but may also be indications of the high heterogeneity of the wild species. This could become relevant for breeding if resistance genes to diseases can be identified on the affected chromosomes of the wild species, which are not (or no longer) present in the cultivated sugar beet.

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Jessica Klekar conducted this work at the Chair of Plant Cell and Molecular Biology in the research group of Dr. Tony Heitkam.

Kristina Munzert (Philipps-Universität Marburg)

Exemplary display of the screening of hypersusceptibility suppressor mutants in starch-free A. thaliana background. Plants were infected with C. higginsianum after 12 days to select for resistant mutants compared to the starch-free A. thaliana mutant pgm (red markers). Photo: Kristina Munzert

Kristina S. Munzert's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Kristina Munzert Philipps University Marburg in the year 2021

Title: Characterisation of mutants suppressing the hypersusceptibility of starch-free Arabidopsis thaliana to Colletotrichum higginsianum

Munzert mapped Arabidopsis suppressor mutants of carbohydrate-dependent pathogen hypersusceptibility and characterised alterations in their defence responses.

Starch-free Arabidopsis plants show a strongly increased susceptibility to the hemibiotrophic pathogen C. higginsianum, as the lack of carbohydrate availability limits the defence response of the plant. This affects, for example, the composition of the plant cell wall as a penetration barrier, as well as the production of secondary metabolites for pathogen defence. Using a forward genetic approach, EMS-mutagenized starch-free plants were identified that showed suppression of hypersusceptibility. The selected mutants were examined via biochemical analysis and infection assays. It was shown that the increased resistance was partially established in the early biotrophic interaction with C. higginsianum and that there were changes in cell wall composition, as well as in the production of secondary metabolites. The specific changes in pectin and hemicellulose polymers of the cell wall could directly affect the penetration success of C. higginsianum or influence the induced defence response of the plant. Elevated levels of the phytohormone salicylic acid and the phytoalexin camalexin were detected partially independent of pathogen infection and could indicate priming of the mutants with defence compounds prior to infection and could account for early established resistance. In addition to physiological characterization, causative mutations in the genome of the selected mutants were mapped by next-generation sequencing.

Anthracnose caused by Colletotrichum spp. is a severely yield-reducing plant disease, the effects of which could be mitigated by a better understanding of plant defences following Colletotrichum spp. infestation.

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Kristina S. Munzert conducted this work at the Department of Biology of Philipps University of Marburg under supervision of Dr. Timo Engelsdorf in the group of Prof. Dr. Lars Voll.

Ronja Rüdel (Salzburg University)

Ronja Rüdel's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Paris Lodron University Salzburg in the year 2021

Title: "Experimental evolution of zinc tolerance in Pseudomonas syringae infecting zinc accumulating plants"

This study provides evidence that pathogens can rapidly evolve higher zinc tolerances in vitro and are therefore able to infect plants, which have accumulated increased concentrations of zinc. This result supports the Elemental Defence Hypothesis and reveals a connection between plant pathogens and the evolutionary trait of metal hyperaccumulation in plants.

The enhanced uptake and storage of heavy metals in plants may function as a protection mechanism of the plant against herbivores or pathogens, which is known as the “elemental defence hypothesis”. This study aimed to investigate the ability of plant pathogens to coevolve with hyperaccumulating plants by adapting to altered metal concentrations.

In this study, in vitro experimental evolution of a Pseudomonas syringae pv. maculicola standard laboratory strain was performed to possibly evolve strains exhibiting increased zinc tolerance. Further, in vitro assessment of zinc tolerance of the evolved bacterial strains was conducted to characterize enhanced zinc tolerances. This was followed by in planta infection assays to investigate the ability of the evolved, zinc tolerant bacterial strains to infect the zinc accumulating plant Noccaea caerulescens.

The results of this study provide evidence that it is possible to evolve strains towards higher zinc tolerance in only few rounds of experimental evolution. The evolved strains were able to infect plants, which had accumulated intermediate to high concentrations of zinc, while the original Pseudomonas syringae strain showed reduced growth rates in those plants. These results support the “elemental defence hypothesis” and reveal coevolutionary processes in plant pathogens adapting to metal hyperaccumulating plants.

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Ronja Rüdel conducted this project under supervision by Dr. Anja Hörger in the group of Prof. Hans-Peter Comes at the Department of Biosciences at the University of Salzburg.

Sebastian Triesch (Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf)

GUS staining of an Arabidopsis thaliana leaf. In two genetically modified A. thaliana lines, the GUS reporter gene was expressed under the control of two regulatory elements (promoters). The C3 variant of the promoter causes GUS-mediated blue coloration of the entire leaf. The regulatory region from the C3-C4 intermediate shows a structural genetic variation and mediates GUS staining only along the leaf veins. Image. Sebastian Triesch

Sebastian Triesch's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf in the year 2021

Titl: Evolution of differential gene expression patterns in Brassicaceae with C3-C4 photosynthesis

C3-C4 intermediate plants provide an insight into the evolution of the highly complex C4 photosynthesis. In this work, genetic mechanisms underlying C3-C4 intermediate photosynthesis were investigated.

Photosynthesis, the central pathway for energy production in plants, suffers from the affinity of the enzyme Rubisco to atmospheric oxygen. When Rubisco reacts with oxygen, toxic by-products are formed. Therefore, over 60 times independently in evolution, the so-called C4 photosynthesis, a more efficient form of plant metabolism, arose. C4 photosynthesis is highly complex and occurs in only a few important crop plants. Plants that are “on the evolutionarily path” to C4 photosynthesis can help to better understand its evolution and find the genetic mechanisms that underlie it. These C3-C4 intermediate plants include, for example, Diplotaxis tenuifolia, also known as rocket. 

To investigate the genetic underpinnings of C3-C4 intermediate photosynthesis, the genomes of over 20 species from the crucifer family (Brassicaceae) were used. Specifically, genetic traits that correlate with the occurrence of the C3-C4 intermediate phenotype were sought.

An important strategy in the evolution of C3-C4 intermediate photosynthesis is the cell-specific activity of certain genes. In this work, it was shown that a gene that plays an important role in photosynthesis is active in C3-C4 plants only along the leaf veins (see figure). In C3 plants, however, the gene is active throughout the leaf. At the genetic level, it was shown that a mobile DNA element (transposon) is selectively present in the regulatory region (promoter) of the gene only in C3-C4 plants. Interestingly, in three different species with C3-C4 intermediate photosynthesis, different types of structural variation can be found. Thus, in the evolution of C3-C4 photosynthesis, the same genetic mechanisms were probably found independently to shift the activity of the target gene specifically along the leaf veins.

The results of this work not only show how evolution finds similar genetic solutions to existing problems; they also point to possible starting points for genetic modification of plants. Highly complex phenotypes such as C4 photosynthesis can be introduced into crop plants once the basic genetic mechanisms that led to the natural evolution of the traits are understood.

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Sebastian Triesch conducted this work the Institute of Plant Biochemistry (Cluster of Excellence on Plant Sciences, CEPLAS) led by Prof. Dr. Andreas P. M. Weber.

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Paul Buschbeck (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz)

β-Carotene is an obligate educt for the biosynthesis of the xanthophyll violaxanthin (A). The two hydroxyl groups in the structural formula of violaxanthin are highlighted in green and the two epoxide groups in red. In B, a leaf of the tobacco plant Nicotiana benthamiana infiltrated on the right half of the leaf with an agrobacteria suspension is shown. The agrobacteria mediated the transformation of leaf cells with genes of the unusual violaxanthin synthesis from chromalveolate algae, whose gene products catalyze the conversion of β-carotene to violaxanthin. Heterologous expression of these genes resulted in more than a doubling of the violaxanthin content compared to the untreated half of the leaf (C, HPLC chromatogram normalized to chlorophyll a). This bypassed the intermediate formation of zeaxanthin, which is required in endogenous violaxanthin synthesis of land plants. Graph: Paul Buschbeck

Paul Buschbeck's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in the year 2021.

Title: Cloning and functional characterization of enzymes involved in the violaxanthin synthesis of chromalveolates

Transient implementation of a novel violaxanthin synthesis pathway in tobacco leaves by means of heterologous expression of algal enzymes resulted in a doubling of violaxanthin content compared to wild-type tobacco.

The superphylum Chromalveolata comprises a polyphyletic group of algae whose plastids originally arose from secondary endosymbiosis with an early red alga. With respect to the photosynthetic apparatus of chromalveolates, one of the most striking features compared to green algae or land plants is the high pigment diversity. This diversity is particularly striking for the carotenoids, which belong to the lipophilic pigments. An obligate intermediate for the biosynthesis of many important carotenoids of chromalveolates is the xanthophyll violaxanthin.

The synthesis of violaxanthin in land plants proceeds via the hydroxylation of β-carotene to zeaxanthin and the subsequent epoxidation of zeaxanthin to violaxanthin. Interestingly, previous studies led to the hypothesis that some chromalveolates may have an alternative violaxanthin biosynthetic pathway that differs from the pathway of land plants.

To investigate this hypothesis, in vivo characterizations of the substrate specificity of putative carotenogenic enzymes from different chromalveolates were performed. For that purpose, the corresponding algal genes were cloned and transiently expressed in tobacco leaves using Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. In tobacco leaves a certain amount of β-carotene is accessible to the heterologous enzymes when they are targeted to the plastids as the site of endogenous carotenoid biosynthesis. Thus, β-carotene could serve as a substrate of the heterologous enzymes and as an educt for novel carotenoid biosynthesis pathways catalyzed by the algal enzymes. Based on the pigment stoichiometries in the transformed tobacco leaves measured by HPLC, the substrate specificity of the heterologous enzymes could be deduced.

By this means, an alternative violaxanthin biosynthesis pathway catalyzed by algal enzymes was transiently implemented in tobacco leaves, bypassing zeaxanthin as an intermediate. Notably, the violaxanthin content in the transformed tobacco leaves was more than doubled compared to the wild type. Determination of the substrate specificities of the corresponding algal enzymes provided evidence that chromalveolate algae such as the well-known diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum possess the genetic makeup to catalyze an alternative violaxanthin synthesis pathway that avoids the formation of zeaxanthin as intermediate. This finding opens further interesting avenues of research, such as the question of the selection pressure that led to the evolution of an alternative violaxanthin synthesis pathway in chromalveolates.

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Paul Buschbeck conducted this work at the Institute of Molecular Physiology in the group of Dr. Martin Lohr.

Raphael von Büren (Basel University)

Vegetation survey at a wind-exposed microsite (2805 m asl), with view to the Rhone Valley (Valais, Switzerland). Foto: Raphael von Büren

Raphael von Büren's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Basel University in the year 2021

Title: Contrasting habitat requirements of the abundant alpine tussock graminoids Carex curvula and Nardus stricta

Winter frost (due to missing snow cover) and different frost resistance explain the occurrence of Carex curvula and Nardus in the alpine belt. This extends the understanding of the fundamental niche of the two most abundant graminoid species in the Alps.

Aim: “Where and why does a species exist” represents a fundamental question in plant ecology. Nevertheless, the actual physiological range limits of alpine plant species remain largely unexplored. I aim at identifying the cold range limits of the two most abundant tussock-forming graminoid species on acidic soils above the climatic treeline in the European Alps: Carex curvula ssp. curvula (Cyperaceae) and Nardus stricta (Poaceae).

Methods: Soil temperatures (-3 cm) and other environmental variables were measured in situ at high spatial-temporal resolution, resulting in 115 well-characterized microsites (thermal conditions, snow cover duration, soil chemistry, vegetation composition, Landolt indicator values). By combining these observational data with freezing resistance (electrolyte leakage, tetrazolium vital staining, regrowth capability) at 38 of these microsites, I tried to explain the two graminoids’ distribution mechanistically.

Results: Carex and Nardus clearly segregated along different microsites. Neither soil chemistry (pH, C/N-ratio, phosphorus), nor growing degree hours and duration of the growing season (thus snowmelt date) played a decisive role. The occurrence was strongly affected by low soil temperature minima in winter. Carex occurred at sites with and without protecting snow cover and resisted low soil temperatures (-13 °C). Nardus was absent at microsites with short snow cover duration and soil minimum temperatures below -5 °C. Electrolyte leakage analyses unveiled higher freezing resistance of Carex leaves (mean LT50: -16.1 °C) compared to Nardus leaves (-13.3 °C) during the growing season. Towards the end of the growing season, foliar hardening was observed in both species. Tetrazolium vital staining revealed higher freezing resistance in young (belowground) shoots of Carex compared to Nardus, with shoot apices tolerating lowest temperatures. However, a vital shoot apex alone cannot ensure regrowth after winter. Crucial were intact vascular tissues (phloem, xylem) and roots, all less tolerant to freezing than apical tissues.

Main conclusions: Cold range limits were defined by thermal extreme values (sharp thresholds for survival) and not through gradual effects of soil temperature (thermal growth constraints). The study highlights the importance of incorporating (I) ground-truth microclimatic data in topographically diverse alpine environments as well as (II) a species’ freezing resistance to explore its survival limit at the cold edge of the fundamental niche.

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Raphael von Büren conducted this work at the Department of Environmental Sciences in the Physiological Plant Ecology PPE research group (Prof. Dr. Ansgar Kahmen) under the supervision of Dr. Erika Hiltbrunner.

> to image tetrazolium-stained shoots of both grasses

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Maxim Faroux (Kiel University)

FRET analyses showed that the aquaporin PIP2;1 (violet) is in spatial proximity to the phytosulfokine receptor PSKR1 (red) in the plasma membrane. The kinase domain (KD) of PSKR1 phosphorylates cytosolic fragments of PIP2;1 in vitro. Graph: Maxim Faroux (CAU Kiel)

Maxim Faroux's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Kiel University in the year 2021

Title: The aquaporin PIP2;1 as a potential interaction partner of PSKR1

The aquaporin PIP2;1 exists in close proximity to PSKR1 in the plasma membrane and might be a kinase substrate of PSKR1

The peptide hormone phytosulfokine (PSK) is perceived by the membrane-bound LRR-receptor kinases PSKR1 and PSKR2 in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plants lacking both receptors are smaller. Three types of Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) analyses were established to study proximity between PSKR1 and PIP2;1: FRET sensitized emission (FRET SE), using both confocal laser scanning microscopy and a plate reader, and FRET acceptor photobleaching (FRET AB). Data from FRET AB indicated spatial proximity between PIP2;1 and PSKR1 and phosphorylation of PIP2;1 by the kinase domain of PSKR1 was shown in vitro. Phosphosite mapping and functional analysis of the PIP2;1 phosphosites will provide insight into PIP2;1 regulation by PSKR1.

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Maxim Faroux conducted this work at the botanical institute in the group of Prof. Dr. Margret Sauter.

Excusively from early career scientists for young scientists

On application the DBG supports the meetings of early career scientists and researchers to further their scientific exchange of expertise. The society especially fosters the building of interdisciplinary and trans-sectional networks among emerging scientists.

The DBG invites applications from young scientists to be funded for the organization of the Eduard Strasburger-Workshop for early career scientists. A small group of graduates can apply for the funding under the auspices of a senior scientist from a scientific institution. The workshop is supposed to last about two days (including a networking evening) and shall address 25 to 40 participants. The DBG offers to support such an event with up to 5.000 Euros. 

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Vorschläge können jederzeit eingereicht werden

If you want to conduct a Eduard Strasburger-Workshop please contact the president and submit the necessary application form.

David Clara (Innsbruck University)

Soybean seeds (left) and their associated microbial community (up: shown as bacterial colonies) form a biological unit. Do bacteria naturally occurring in inner seed structures play a role in successful germination (right: germinated soybean seeds)? Graph: David Clara

David Clara's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Innsbruck University in the year 2021

Title: "Do natural seed bacterial microbiota play a role in soybean germination?"

In contrast to previous studies, we isolated naturally occurring bacterial seed endophytes and investigated their role during germination.

Seeds are known to interact dynamically with their associated microorganisms (i.e., the seed microbiota), which include endophytes (i.e., microorganisms spending at least part of their lifetime in inner seed structures). How they contribute to germination is unclear. We isolated a high number of bacterial colonies from soybean cotyledons and embryonic axes of different cultivars during germination, which were then characterised molecularly. Furthermore, we modified the seed microbiota and analysed the effects on seed germination. The molecular characterisation revealed a high bacterial endophyte diversity and differences between seed compartments and cultivars. A reduction of the microbial load had no effect on seed germination under sterile suboptimal conditions. Selective modifications of the seed microbiota led partly to germination promotion under a selected suboptimal condition, indicating the potential of a certain fraction of the microbiota. A detailed understanding of the dynamics between seeds and its microbiota during germination is crucial as the seed offers the possibility to design plant embryos that start life with an optimised microbiota.

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Read whole thesis at Innsbruck University: https://diglib.uibk.ac.at/ulbtirolhs/download/pdf/6554723?originalFilename=true

David Clara conducted this work at the Department of Botany in the research group of Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ilse Kranner under supervision of assoz. Prof. Thomas Roach and Dr. Davide Gerna.

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Madita Sophie Knieper (University Bielefeld)

CYP20-3, a peptidyl-prolyl-cis/trans-isomerase, is an important regulatory hub in the redox-regulatory network of chloroplasts, controlling for example thiol synthesis and detoxification of ROS. The oxylipin 12-oxophytodienoic acid, which is generated from α-linolenic acid, has been shown to exert a redox-dependent regulatory effect on the activity of CYP20-3. Protein model structures were generated using SWISS MODEL based on the templates 1f8n.1.A (LOX2), 1zvc.1.A (AOC2), 3.cli.1.A (AOS), 4vrf.1.A (Cyp20-3), 6jvu.1.A (SAT1) and 5zte.1.A (2-CP). Graph: Knieper

Madita Sophie Knieper's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Bielefeld University in the year 2021

Title: The role of cyclophilin CYP20-3 in the redox regulatory network of chloroplasts

A redox-dependent modulation of the PPIase activity of cyclophilin CYP20-3, an important regulatory hub in the redox network of chloroplasts, by the oxylipin 12-oxophytodienoic acid was determined, implying a tight coupling of different stresses (e.g. wounding) and defense mechanisms such as enhanced thiol synthesis.

The chloroplast is a metabolically active compartment of plant cells and, in addition, acts as sensor and transducer of environmental cues, e.g. by coordinating redox and diverse hormonal signaling pathways. The cyclophilin CYP20-3 is localized in the chloroplast stroma and displays at least four functions as target of thiol redox regulation, binding partner of 2-cysteine peroxiredoxin, receptor of oxylipins and regulator of the cysteine synthase complex. Thereby, CYP20-3 plays a major role in plant responses to oxidative stress.

The α-β-unsaturated cyclic ketone 12-oxophytodienoic acid (12-OPDA) is synthesized by a short enzyme cascade in the chloroplast, combining 13-lipoxygenases, allene oxide synthase and allene oxide cyclase starting with α-linolenic acid as substrate. 12-OPDA synthesis is strongly stimulated in high light, upon wounding and various stresses. 12-OPDA is independent regulator and in addition precursor of jasmonic acid.

To deeper explore the regulatory role of 12-OPDA on the CYP20-3 activity, 12-OPDA was synthesized with recombinantly produced enzymes and purified via rp-HPLC. CYP20-3 wild type protein and two cysteineàserine variants were incubated with 12-OPDA, and the peptidyl prolyl cis/trans isomerase activity measured photometrically. Surprisingly, the incubation with 12-OPDA had an ambivalent effect on the catalytic activity of CYP20-3. 12-OPDA inhibited reduced CYP20-3 but activated oxidized protein. This pattern was observed for wild type CYP20-3 and its cysteineàserine variant (C129S), whereas the activity of the variant C176S was unaffected by 12-ODPA. It is concluded that the cysteinyl residue 176 is essential for binding 12-OPDA to CYP20-3.

These and additional results from the thesis deepen our understanding of the crosstalk between 12-OPDA and thiol redox regulation using the example CYP20-3. CYP20-3 is a node of signal integration under diverse stress conditions.

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Madita Sophie Knieper conducted this work at the faculty of biology of Bielefeld University in the research group of Prof. Dr. Karl-Josef Dietz.

Lea-Franziska Reekers (Münster University)

Lea-Franziska Reekers's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Westfälische Wilhelms-University Münster in the year 2021.

Title: A detailed localization analysis of the enzymes involved in Lewis a-epitope formation in Arabidopsis thaliana

The study shows a way to visualize the full-length version of Arabidopsis Galactosyl­transferase 1 (GalT1) for the first time, which – besides studying its own localization – also allowed to investigate a possible interaction with the follow-up enzyme Fucosy­transferase c (FucTc).

N-glycans are attached co-translationally to nascent glycoproteins in the ER lumen (Abeijon & Hirsch­berg, 1992; Helenius & Aebi, 2002), and become further modified during travelling through the Golgi apparatus (Faye et al., 1989). The last modifications in plant cells are synthesized by the membrane-anchored enzymes GalT1 and FucTc, which results in complex-type N-glycans with terminal Lewis-a epitopes (Fitchette-Laine et al., 1997; Leonard et al., 2002). These epitopes on plant secretory glycoproteins were immunologically detected only at the TGN and the plasma membrane/cell wall. However, Arabidopsis FucTc localized as C-terminal reporter fusion not only in the Golgi apparatus, but preferentially at the perinuclear ER (Rips et al., 2017).

In my thesis I have investigated a possible cause for this phenomenon by analyzing multiple reporter fusions via CLSM microscopy upon transient expression in proto­plasts. The protoplasts were either prepared from A. thaliana wildtype or knock-out mutants that I had obtained by the CRISPR/Cas9 system for the FUCTc and GALT1 genes. Thereby I could show that GalT1 (Strasser et al. 2007), which could not be visualized as full-length version so far, is a factor involved in releasing FucTc from the perinuclear ER to the Golgi. Moreover, also FucTc seems to influence the localization of GalT1, which further supports an interaction of the two enzymes in the secretory system. My work has therefore contributed to solving a puzzle in plant cell biology.  

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Lea-Franziska Reekers conducted this work at the Institute of Plant Biology & Biotechnology (IBBP, WWU Münster) in the group of Prof. Dr. Antje von Schaewen.

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Referenzen

Abeijon, C., & Hirschberg, C. B. (1992). Topography of glycosylation reactions in the endoplasmic reticulum. Trends in Biochemical Sciences, 17(1), 32–36. doi.org/10.1016/0968-0004(92)90424-8

Faye, L., Johnson, K. D., Sturm, A., & Chrispeels, M. J. (1989). Structure, biosynthesis, and function of asparagine‐linked glycans on plant glycoproteins. Physiologia Plantarum, 75(2), 309–314. doi.org/10.1111/j.1399-3054.1989.tb06187.x

Fitchette-Laine, A.-C., Gomord, V., Cabanes, M., Michalski, J.-C., Saint Macary, M., Foucher, B., Cavelier, B., Hawes, C., Lerouge, P., & Faye, L. (1997). N-glycans harboring the Lewis a epitope are expressed at the surface of plant cells. The Plant Journal, 12(6), 1411–1417. doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-313x.1997.12061411.x

Helenius, J., & Aebi, M. (2002). Transmembrane movement of dolichol linked carbohydrates during N-glycoprotein biosynthesis in the endoplasmic reticulum. Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology, 13(3), 171–178. doi.org/10.1016/S1084-9521(02)00045-9

Leonard, R., Costa, G., Darrambide, E., Lhernould, S., Fleurat-Lessard, P., Carlue, M., Gomord, V., Faye, L., & Maftah, A. (2002). The presence of Lewis a epitopes in Arabidopsis thaliana glycoconjugates depends on an active  4-fucosyltransferase gene. Glycobiology, 12(5), 299–306. doi.org/10.1093/glycob/12.5.299

Rips, S., Frank, M., Elting, A., Offenborn, J. N., & von Schaewen, A. (2017). Golgi α1,4-fucosyltransferase of Arabidopsis thaliana partially localizes at the nuclear envelope. Traffic, 18(10), 646–657. doi.org/10.1111/tra.12506

Strasser, R., Bondili, J. S., Vavra, U., Schoberer, J., Svoboda, B., Glössl, J., Léonard, R., Stadlmann, J., Altmann, F., Steinkellner, H., & Mach, L. (2007). A unique β1,3-galactosyltransferase is indispensable for the biosynthesis of N-glycans containing Lewis a structures in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Cell, 19(7), 2278–2292. doi.org/10.1105/tpc.107.052985

Michelle Schlösser (Bonn University)

A: Different algorithms predict different topologies for AtGRXC4 or even secretion as a soluble protein. B: Schematic illustration of redox-based topology analysis (ReTA) in which GRXC3 and GRXC4 were fused to roGFP2 at their N- and C-termini. Binary readout of roGFP2 fluorescence directly indicates localization in the ER (oxidized) or cytosol (reduced). C: Expression of N- and C-terminal fusions of GRXC4 with roGFP2 in Nicotiana tabacum. After acquisition of two images with excitation at 405 nm (magenta) and 488 nm (green), the colour of the superimposed single images (merge) indicates the orientation of the protein in the membrane (green: cytosol; magenta: ER lumen). Images: Michelle Schlößer

Michelle Schlösser's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Bonn University in the year 2021

Title: Characterization of the ER-localized glutaredoxins GRXC3 and GRXC4 in Arabidopsis

Arabidopsis thaliana GRXC3 and GRXC4 are type II membrane proteins in the ER lumen with high in vitro oxidative activity towards roGFP2 as a substrate, which suggests that the two oxidoreductases are involved in oxidation of protein thiols in the ER.

Class I glutaredoxins (GRXs) are small oxidoreductases that use reduced glutathione (GSH) as a co-factor to reduce or oxidize substrate proteins. The Arabidopsis genome encodes six class I GRXs of which GRXC3 and GRXC4 are generally assumed to be secreted. Some algorithms for prediction of transmembrane proteins, however, predict both proteins as single-spanning membrane proteins with an N-terminal transmembrane domain (TMD) albeit with different orientations in the membrane as either type I or type II proteins. While such a membrane anchor could prevent the proteins from being secreted further functional analysis then requires also knowledge about the protein orientation relative to the respective membrane. Fusion of GRXC3 and GRXC4 with redox-sensitive GFP2 (roGFP2) at their N- and C-termini and expression in tobacco indicates both proteins as type II ER membrane proteins with their catalytic domains oriented towards the lumen. Additional studies with only the TMDs fused to roGFP2 showed that the TMDs alone are sufficient to keep roGFP2 in the ER and thus are likely to act as membrane anchors that simultaneously restrict the localization of both proteins to the ER.

To further study the function of GRXC3 and GRXC4, both proteins were synthesized as recombinant proteins and purified. Like their cytosolic siblings, both proteins are capable of reversibly reducing and oxidizing roGFP2 as an artificial substrate protein. Surprisingly, however, in comparison to cytosolic GRXC1 the catalytic properties of GRXC3 and GRXC4 appear to be shifted towards the oxidizing reactions in which addition of glutathione disulfide leads to oxidation of roGFP2.

Taken together, these studies show a revised localization of GRXC3 and GRXC4 with the catalytic functions being likely involved in oxidative protein folding in the ER. The results of this Master thesis thus set the base for further functional analysis of these proteins.

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Michelle Schlösser conducted this work at the Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation (INRES) under supervision of Dr. José Ugalde and Prof. Dr. Andreas Meyer.

Dorothea Vesely (Leipzig University)

Award winner Dorothea Vesely received the award certificate from Prof. Severin Sasso, group leader and DBG's contact person at Leipzig University (right). Dr. Raimund Nagel led the scientific project of the awarded master thesis.

Dorothea Vesely's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Leipzig University in the year 2021.

Title: Investigation of terpene biosynthesis in cyanobacteria

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Dorothea Vesely conducted her work at Leipzig University's Institute of Biology under the supervision of Dr. Raimund Nagel in the group of Prof. Severin Sasso.

11. Jan 2022

Prizes for the best Master theses awarded

Awardees received their certificates from the responsible contact persons of the DBG. The photos visualize two presentations of certificates as well as a glimpse into the diversity of research topics. Photos (clockwise, starting top left): Raphael von Büren, Maleen Hartenstein, Maxim Faroux, Julia Metzsch, Andreas Holzinger, Paul Buschbeck, Andreas Weber

16 excellent Master theses in the plant sciences were awarded by our Society in the preceding year. The awarded persons (twelve female and four male scientists) did research in the following topics and questions:  

At which site parasites infect host plants; how plant defence strategies against pathogenic bacteria evolved; plant-microbe interactions; evolution of C3-C4 intermediate photosynthesis; localization of membrane transport proteins; genetic structure of allopolyploid marsh orchids; karyotype evolution in sugar beet; role of cyclophilin in the redox regulatory network; status of the threatened plant Sand Silvercrack; terpene biosynthesis in cyanobacteria; functional characterization of enzymes involved in violaxanthin biosynthesis; pathogen hypersusceptibility and defence in Arabidopsis suppressor mutants; localization analysis of enzymes involved in Lewis a-epitope formation; glutaredoxins as well as habitat requirements of alpine tussock graminoids.

The prizes, which have been awarded for eight years in a row by now, are supported by a certificate and a financial appreciation and were coordinated at the participating universities thanks to DBG’s local representatives. DBG congratulates all awardees, thanks the contact persons involved and wishes all awardees success in their further careers.  

All awardees’ names and titles of the master theses are listed here

Read more

BT22: Application for Travel Grants

The DBG supports young scientists actively taking part in the Botanik-Tagung (28 August to 1 September 2022 in Bonn, Germany) and provides a maximum of 100 travel grants up to 350 Euros for early career participants.

Requirements

  • You must be a member of the DBG (membership applications are possible any time; become a member)
  • You are a young scientist doing a PhD or writing your Master thesis without holding a full position
  • You are working on a topic of plant science
  • You are presenting a poster or giving a (short) oral presentation
  • You provide evidence of your expenses with receipts after the conference
  • Multiple financial support is excluded

Application

Please complete the > application form, which will be transmitted to the treasurer of the DBG. You will receive a notice afterwards.

Deadline

Please submit your application for a travel grant (read details here) until 24th May 2022 the latest. The travel grants to visit the Botanik-Tagung, International Conference of the German Society for Plant Sciences (in Bonn, Germany, 28 August to 1 September 2022), will be allocated according to the order in which applications are received. Being fast therefore is of advantage.

Decision

You will receive an e-mail regarding the approval of your travel grant application.

Reimbursements

Traveling Costs

DBG reimburses either a second-class train or bus ticket or it covers the travel allowance for car usage.

Accommodation Costs

The DBG reimburses accommodation costs not exceeding the maximum of the legally established levels of the tax office.

Registration fee

The DBG reimburses registration fee.

Wilhelm Pfeffer Prize of the DBG

The Wilhelm Pfeffer Prize is awarded by the DBG's Wilhelm Pfeffer Foundation for an outstanding PhD thesis (dissertation) in the field of plant sciences and scientific botany. It is considered to promote young scientists.

The Prize comprises

  • a document comprising the name of the award winner, the title of the award winning thesis togehter with its date and place of publication. The document is underwritten by the president of the Wilhelm Pfeffer board
  • a sum of € 2500.-
  • a travel allowance for the award winner to join the "Botanikertagung" where the prize will be presented.

The Wilhelm Pfeffer Prize cannot be allocated to more than a single person.

Proposing candidates

Proposals can be made by full members or honorary members of the German Botanical Society only. No one can propose his/her own PhD thesis.

Proposals should comprise a written outline why the thesis is of special value, a Curriculum Vitae, and a publication list of the proposed candidate, if available.

The candidates should have received their PhD from a scientific university. The candidates may not exceede 30 years of age when finished their PhD. Times of military or civil services and parenting times may be excluded. The thesis should be younger than three years upon proposal.

The award winner is obliged to present his/her thesis in an oral presentation of about 30 minutes after the presentation of the prize. The oral presentation will be integrated into the programme of the annual conference of the German Botanical Society (Botanikertagung). The manuscript of the oral presentation will be submitted to the editors of Plant Biology.

Survey and deadline

More information about the procedures are in the constitution of the Wilhelm Pfeffer Foundation (published in Plant Biology 7 (2005), # 6, pages N15-N17).

The person named in the announcement has to receive complete proposals in an electronic version until the date cited in the announcement.

01. Feb 2022

50 Travel Grants for a Lab Visit

DBG offers travel grants for early career scientists, who want to visit another lab / institute for example to leanr new methods and scientific techniques or to initiate pilot studies with up to 400 Euros each. 

> application process

> payment of grants

> online application form

01. Feb 2022

BT22: Application for Travel Grants

The DBG supports young scientists actively taking part in the Botanik-Tagung (28 August to 1 September 2022 in Bonn, Germany) and provides a maximum of 100 travel grants up to 350 Euros for early career participants.

Requirements

  • You must be a member of the DBG (membership applications are possible any time; become a member)
  • You are a young scientist doing a PhD or writing your Master thesis without holding a full position
  • You are working on a topic of plant science
  • You are presenting a poster or giving a (short) oral presentation
  • You provide evidence of your expenses with receipts after the conference
  • Multiple financial support is excluded

Application

Please complete the > application form, which will be transmitted to the treasurer of the DBG. You will receive a notice afterwards.

Deadline

Please submit your application for a travel grant (read details here) until 24th May 2022 the latest. The travel grants to visit the Botanik-Tagung, International Conference of the German Society for Plant Sciences (in Bonn, Germany, 28 August to 1 September 2022), will be allocated according to the order in which applications are received. Being fast therefore is of advantage.

Decision

You will receive an e-mail regarding the approval of your travel grant application.

Reimbursements

Traveling Costs

DBG reimburses either a second-class train or bus ticket or it covers the travel allowance for car usage.

Accommodation Costs

The DBG reimburses accommodation costs not exceeding the maximum of the legally established levels of the tax office.

Registration fee

The DBG reimburses registration fee.

> Application form

> Reimbursement