Research at the biochemistry division focuses around basic aspects of molecular plant biochemistry, plant physiology and plant biotechnology. This includes studies within the following areas:

  • Photosynthetic carbon fixation and its use for the synthesis of low and high molecular weight compounds of primary and secondary metabolism
  • Regulation of plant metabolism by biotic and abiotic environmental stimuli
  • Post-harvest physiology of vegetative and generative storage organs
  • Regulatory networks integrating simultaneously operating metabolic pathways
  • Improved food and feed sources with reduced allergenic potential and increased nutritional value
  • Synthetic Biology  

With these studies we aim at contributing to the improvement of agronomic performance of crop plants. In addition, analytic tools for monitoring subtle changes in transcript, protein and metabolite abundance are developed and provided for modern plant. Beside plants, fungi, viruses and bacteria are included in our research and serve as models for plant-microbial interactions.

Research Groups

Uwe Sonnewald

Plant Biochemistry and Biotechnology

Main research interests of the Plant Biochemistry and Biotechnology group are focused on the regulation of plant primary metabolism and the biotechnological improvement of crop plants.

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Sophia Sonnewald

Molecular Physiology/ Transcriptomics

The research group aims at understanding sink-source regulation during plant development with special emphasis on control of potato tuber dormancy. In addition, sink-source regulation is studied during interaction between plants and phytophatogenic bacteria to unravel how bacteria modify plant metabolism to their own benefit.

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José María Corral García

Biocomputing and Molecular breeding

The aim of our research is the discovery of genes, markers, and signalling molecules associated to plant traits for improving crop characteristics, quality and productivity. Therefore, we use the latest molecular and bioinformatics technologies for the generation, analysis and integration of multi-omic data (genome, transcriptome, proteome, metabolome and phenome) in order to disclose the genetic basis of plant complex traits.

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Jörg Hofmann


The Bioanalytics group established a HPLC- and GC-based technology platform enabling the qualitative and quantitative analysis of biomolecules. This includes targeted and untargeted metabolite profiling.

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Christian Koch

Yeast Cell Biology

Research of the Yeast Cell Biology group is mainly concerned with the analysis of gene regulation and cell division in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Using mostly genetic and biochemical techniques, we study transcription factors involved in cell cycle regulation, stress response and gene silencing.

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