Max Planck Instititute for Plant Breeding Research

Carl-von-Linne-Weg 10, 50829 Cologne

Prof. Dr. George Coupland

We are interested in the mechanisms by which plants control the transition from vegetative growth to flowering and how these change during evolution to generate different life histories. In Arabidopsis we decipher the regulatory logic that enables plants to perceive environmental conditions such as changes in day length and how they utilize this information to regulate the developmental switch to flowering. In addition, we study the mechanisms by which the shoot apical meristem changes its identity from producing vegetative structures such as leaves to forming flowers. 

Recently, we began to study species related to Arabidopsis that show a different pattern of flowering regulation. In particular, we have analyzed the perennial species Arabis alpina and have shown how key genes are differentially regulated compared to annual Arabidopsis to confer characteristic patterns of perennial development.

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Prof. Dr. Jane Parker (Plant Immunity)

Our aim is to understand how plants recognize microbial pathogens and defend themselves against disease. We initially undertook a genetical dissection of disease resistance signalling pathways in the model plant, Arabidopsis. Some of the pathways uncovered are triggered by specific recognition
between plant immune receptors (also known as Resistance (R) proteins) and pathogen effectors (known in this context as avirulence (avr) determinants). 

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