Welcome to the website of the Chair of Crop Plant Genetics
The Chair of Crop Plant Genetics investigates innate immune processes in plants with a particular focus on systemic acquired resistance (SAR). SAR is induced in the systemic (uninfected) tissues of plants that are undergoing a localised infection (e.g. on a leaf); long-distance signals inducing SAR are spread systemically through the plant by vascular transport or (in the case of volatile substances) through the air. In the latter case, the systemic tissues of the same and of the neighbouring plants recognise these molecules as 'defence cues' and prepare their own immune system to respond stronger and faster to a subsequent pathogen attack. As a result, these tissues display increased resistance to disease.
The research at the Chair of Crop Plant Genetics aims to better understand [crop] plant innate immunity to be able to use components from it for future, durable crop protection schemes and the sustainable production of high-quality crops.
For this purpose, gene editing applications based on "clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats" (CRISPR) in combination with CRISPR-associated nucleases (Cas) are used in our research. CRISPR-Cas-mediated genome editing allows mechanistic examination of genes e.g. in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), barley (Hordeum vulgare) and wheat (Triticum aestivum). By using this technology, we aim to improve our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of pathogen defence in these plants.