Research • Educate • Connect
Towards a sustainable bioeconomy

Research • Educate • Connect
Towards a sustainable bioeconomy

Biochemical Plant Physiology | HHU Düsseldorf


Prof. Dr. Georg Groth

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Research topics and profile (related to bioeconomy)

In our research group we investigate different proteins and protein complexes from higher plants with the aim to understand the physiological importance and regulation of these proteins. A variety of biochemical, biophysical and physiological methods are applied. The focus of our work is on the following research areas:

o Plant signal transduction
In this work area, we are particularly interested in receptors and protein complexes that control the signal perception and signal transduction of the plant hormone ethylene, which plays a major role in fruit maturation and senescence. In addition to the detailed elucidation of receptor structure and function, another focus of our work is the investigation of intracellular copper transport, since this metal ion is essential for the function of the receptors.

o C4 photosynthesis
The molecular mechanisms and the regulation of C4 photosynthesis are another focus of our group. In this work, we focus on the molecular structure and the derived regulatory mechanisms of key enzymes of the C4 pathway such as phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC) and pyruvate phosphate dikinase (PPDK). Here, we are particularly interested in the structural changes of the enzymes in the catalytic mechanism, with a view to using this knowledge to develop specific inhibitors or activators. 

Contributions to BioSC

Within the BioSC, our institute deals with the sustainable increase of plant production in the following research topics:

o Specific and environmentally sound suppression of C4 weeds by regulation or inhibition of plant PEPC within the BoostFund project C4-PSH and the greenRelease FocusLab.

o Extension of the shelf life of climacteric fruits, such as apples or tomatoes, by influencing the ethylene signaling pathway through specific peptides in the framework of the BoostFund project RIPE.