Biochemistry/Molecular Biology of Plants
Most members of the study group are involved in biochemistry and molecular biology research on plants. The study group offers a platform to promote plant sciences within the GBM. The importance of plants for life on earth as we know it can hardly be overstated (e.g. oxygen produced by water splitting during photosynthesis). Plants as primary producers represent the basis of human nutrition. Plants in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems are main drivers of global nutrient cycles. Without a detailed understanding of plant molecular physiology and smart application of this knowledge, major challenges such as climate change and the sustainable intensification of agriculture cannot be mastered.
Plants not only dominate our planet´s ecosystems. They are fascinating study objects too. Fundamental insights into genetic, biochemical and cellular mechanisms (e.g. RNA interference, epigenetics) have been discovered in plant model systems such as Arabidopsis thaliana. Important applications are plant biotechnology or utilizing the particularly rich plant secondary metabolism (for example, to discover and produce bioactive compounds).
A main activity of the study group is the annual “Molecular Biology of Plants” meeting, where regularly the latest highlights in plant biochemistry and molecular biology research are discussed. It is a guiding principle of the meeting to give predominantly junior scientists an opportunity to show their work. In this way, progress reports from as many groups as possible are presented.