link to homepage

Institute of Bio- and Geosciences

Navigation and service

Research Area
Growth and Metabolism

Optimal growth of plants and the efficiency for the use of light, water and nutrients are regulated by basic control mechanisms. The identification of these processes and the understanding of their regulation in a spatially and temporally variable environment, are object of our investigations.


Concepts linking the systematic differences in the control of tissue growth in roots and leaves with the characteristic spatial and temporal heterogeneity of their environment will be further developed to optimise resource use efficiency and growth potential. The interaction of growth with photosynthesis, photoprotection, photorespiration, primary and secondary metabolism as well as the detrimental effect of environmental contaminants are essential aspects that are taken into account for interpretation of plant growth analyses in our group.


The different spatial and temporal heterogeneities in environmental factors and resources to which leaves and roots are exposed have led to the evolution of distinct control processes to adapt tissue growth rates to environmental dynamics. Maximising growth rate potential and the potential resource use efficiency in a heterogenous environment - as given in natural systems - is a prerequisite to obtain high biomass production and quality in plants.


We optimize biomass production under standard and stress conditions in

  • model plants
  • agriculturally important crops
  • novel crops for use in biorefineries to produce energy and platform chemicals