SFB 1101 Molecular Encoding of Specificity in Plant Processes


Prof. Dr. Klaus Harter

Collaborative Research Center 1101 at the University of Tübingen

(CRC- SonderForschungsBereich SFB)

Aim and description

Within the recent year many key player proteins have been identified in plant organisms, which play a crucial role in the plant´s physiology, growth and development and adaptation to environmental cues. The determination of the molecular-mechanistic function of these key players has to be next step in plant molecular biology. A very important but often unsolved scientific question is of how these key players exert their specific activity inside the nucleus, the cytoplasm, in the membrane and the endomembrane system and by cell-cell communication.

Therefore, the central interest of the CRC 1101 is the “Molecular Encoding of Specificity in Plant Processes” is of how specificity of biological processes is achieved on molecular-mechanistic level. The encoding of specificity can, thereby, be realized on different level: From structural changes of single molecules and proteins, over the specific and dynamic interaction of molecules to higher order complexes and the intracellular trafficking and sorting of molecules up to the systemic distribution of specificity-mediating factors over cell borders.

The requirement for the success of the SFB 1101 is, however, a multi-disciplinary research approach based on the wide scientific knowledge and a diverse methodical portfolio of the contributing institutes. This is guaranteed by the scientific and technological strength and synergistic interaction of the Center for Plant Molecular Biology (ZMBP) of the University of Tübingen, the participating institutes of the Max-Planck-Society (MPG) at the Tübingen campus and three associated research groups of the Centre for Organismal Studies (COS) of the University of Heidelberg.

The CRC 1101 is divided in four interlocked research areas: (A) “Specificity by Subcellular Sorting”, (B) “Specificity through Regulators of Growth and Development”, (C) “RNA-Mediated Specificity” and (D) “Receptor-Mediated Specificity”, in which the encoding of specificity of diverse processes will be studied.

The following scientific issues are particularly in the focus of the CRC 1101:

  • What are the mechanistic, functional principles of biological molecules which are responsible for growth and development and adaptation to the environment?
  • How is the interaction of these molecules regulated, and which role do processes such as intra- and subcellular localization play there?
  • How do selected plant molecules function during encoding of specificity at nanometer and atomic scale?

To address these issues spectroscopic, light and electron microscopic and force microscopic tools and techniques will be further or newly developed. These techniques will ease the recording of quantitative data useful for the mathematical modeling and simulation of processes which are responsible for the encoding of specificity especially at subcellular and cellular level.

In the medium we would like to be able to make predictions about the dynamics of specificity-mediating processes in the plant´s growth and development and adaptation to the environment. Long-term this should open the possibility to create amended or novel cell properties in plants by a synthetic biological approach.

Based on the existing international graduate program “Cellular and Molecular Biology of Plants” (GP-ZMBP) the CRC 1101 offers a structured, multi-disciplinary education, which brings together graduate students of nano-biophysics, biochemistry, structural biology, molecular biology, cell biology developmental biology, physiology and mathematical modeling.

SFB 1101 Secretary

Ute Lutterschmid
University of Tübingen
Center for Plant Molecular Biology (ZMBP)
Auf der Morgenstelle 32, Raum 6X16
72076 Tübingen

+49 7071 29-78677

Fax: +49 (0)7071 29 3287

sfb1101spam prevention@zmbp.uni-tuebingen.de


Prof. Dr. Klaus Harter
University of Tübingen
Center for Plant Molecular Biology (ZMBP)
Auf der Morgenstelle 32
72076 Tübingen

+49 7071 29-72605

klaus.harterspam prevention@uni-tuebingen.de

Deputy Speaker

Prof. Dr. Claudia Oecking
University of Tübingen
Center for Plant Molecular Biology (ZMBP)
Auf der Morgenstelle 32
72076 Tübingen

+49 7071 29-76679

claudia.oeckingspam prevention@uni-tuebingen.de