research Groups

Genomics
We identify genes in plants that are responsible for agricultural or agronomic properties. To this end, we analyse their genome-wide expression at the level of transcription. For this purpose, in particular comparative questions are suitable: e.g. high- vs. low producers, or resistant / tolerant vs. sensitive varieties. From all detectable genes of a plant, those are identified which show a reproducible difference in their mRNA level between two or more contrasting phenotypes. The advances in sequencing technology with ever-increasing amounts of data coupled with decreasing costs enable comprehensive analyses of gene expression with unprecedented sensitivity and accuracy.

Molecular Plant Breeding
The working group "Molecular Plant Breeding" deals with application-oriented aspects for the improvement of cultivated plants. The methodological spectrum includes plant tissue culture techniques, molecular biological analyses and also the genetic transformation of plant cells. We are interested in the medicinal plant St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum), the leguminous faba bean (Vicia faba) and a special form of sycamore maple, the wavy grain maple (Acer pseudoplatanus). 

Fruit Diseases
The working group "fruit diseases" deals with important diseases and pests in Rhineland-Palatinate orchards. It is specialized in phytoplasma and virus diseases, but also works on the topic "spotted wing drosophila". In these areas, the working group is also networked nationally and internationally. Our main interests are the phytoplasma diseases "apple proliferation", "European stone fruit yellows" and "pear decline" as well as Sharka disease and the spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii).

Proteomics
Die Proteomik (englisch proteomics) umfasst die Erforschung des Proteoms mit biochemischen Methoden. Das Proteom umfasst die Gesamtheit aller in einer Zelle oder einem Lebewesen unter definierten Bedingungen und zu einem definierten Zeitpunkt vorliegenden Proteine. Die Proteomik versucht, sämtliche Proteine im Organismus zu katalogisieren und ihre Funktionen zu entschlüsseln. Sie beinhaltet die Expressionsanalyse, Lokalisierung, sowie die Untersuchung von Funktion und Interaktion der in einem Organismus vorhandenen Proteine.

Grapevine Biotechnology
Two-thirds of the production value of Rhineland-Palatinate agriculture is achieved through specialty crops, above all through viticulture, which covers more than 60% of the German wine-growing regions. The working group "grapevine biotechnology" aims to support the competitiveness and future viability of the wine industry in Rhineland-Palatinate through research projects and specific services in the field of viticulture. The application of molecular biological and biotechnological methods and in vitro-culture form the basis for the development of new problem-solving approaches for the control of grapevine diseases.

RNA-mediated Gene Regulation
RNA-mediated gene regulation mainly comprises gene inactivation processes, which are summarized under the term RNA interference. In eukaryotes, RNAi is induced by double-stranded RNA. RNAi can silence genes at the transcriptional, post-transcriptional and translational levels. Because of the diversity with which RNAi can interfere with the gene regulation of almost all eukaryotes, the elucidation of RNAi processes is still one of the most important works in biology and medicine.

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