For our research, we foremost use two model systems, which that each have distinct advantages. On the one hand, we use tale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana), which has a relatively small but very well studied genome. On the other hand, we focus on corn (Zea mays) as one of the world-wide leading crop species. Through its size, maize offers a number of experimental advantages, especially for cytology and biochemistry. In addition, we also study two close relatives of Arabidopsis thaliana, Arabidopsis arenosa and Arabidopsis lyrata, to understand what limits and what promotes the successful propagation when related species reproduce.
We utilize a broad spectrum of state-of-the-art methods in biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology and cytology. Among others we apply genome-wide and proteome-wide methods in combination with computational approaches aiming at systems-biological understanding of cell division.
Research in our department is carried by three teams: