Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

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Main Topics

  • Chloroplast Development
  • Leaf Senescence
  • Abiotic Stress
  • Polyamines
  • Photosynthesis
  • Carotenoids


We are interested in the regulation of leaf development in barley. Our main interest is the impact of environmental factors on late stages of leaf development (leaf senescence).

During senescence the photosynthetic apparatus located in the chloroplasts is degraded. This process is highly regulated and is affected by environmental factors like light, temperature and water. The degradation of components of the photosynthetic apparatus mobilizes nitrogen and other compounds which then are transferred to other parts of the plant. Finally, the recycled nitrogen is used for the growth of the seeds.

Leaf senescence is associated with specific changes in gene expression. The nature of the underlying molecular regulatory mechanisms is still unknown. We are interested in the following points:

  • Downregulation of photosynthetic genes.
  • Signals involved in regulation of senescence (polyamines, carbohydrates)
  • Effects of environmental factors
  • Protection against light stress during early phases of senescence

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