Department of Plant Physiology


Plants must recognize pathogens as non-self and defend themselves. Plants employ a molecular ‘surveillance system’ to detect pathogens and an intricate cellular communication system to transmit the information to the nucleus. In the nucleus specific genes are activated or repressed in response to actively help the plant fight for survival. In addition to active defence mechanisms plants often have natural pre-formed antibiotics. Research in all of these areas is carried out in the Department and agriculturally important crops, such as soybean and cereals like rice, barley and wheat, as well as model plants, like the small weed Arabidopsis thaliana, are being investigated.

The Department hast he following research groups working in the area of Molecular Plant Pathology:

Garlic-Group: Prof. Alan J. Slusarenko B.Sc. (Hull), Ph.D. (London)
RiceBarley-Lab : PD Dr. Ulrich Schaffrath Dipl.-Biol., Dr. rer. nat. (Aachen)
Schlaich-Lab: PD Dr. Nikolaus Schlaich Dipl.-Biol., Dr. rer. nat. (Heidelberg)

Applied Plant Pathology
Prof. Dr. Bernd Böhmer Director, Agricultural Extension Service for North Rhein Westphalia, Honorary Professor at the RWTH