Dr. Langenbach studied biology at the RWTH Aachen University and did research with Prof. Hermann Silva at the Universidad Andrés Bello, Santiago de Chile, during his studies. In 2013, he then completed his doctorate (summa cum laude) in the research group of Jun. Prof. Dr. Katharina Göllner and Prof. Dr. Uwe Conrath in Aachen and continued his very successful work there as a postdoc. Dr. Langenbach is currently head of the Agbiotech group in Prof. Conrath's department. Already during his PhD, Mr. Langenbach has been intensively engaged in the genetic and biochemical basis of the non-resistance of Arabidopsis to the Asian Soybean Rust Fungus (ASR) Phakopsora pachyrhizi. At that time, he laid the foundation for the elaboration of the role of low-molecular secondary metabolites and the corresponding metabolism genes for resistance against the spread of the fungus in leaf tissue. These and other genes then led to the establishment of partial ASR resistance in soybeans by successfully translating the knowledge from the model plant to the crop plant. In a second interdisciplinary approach, Dr. Langenbach tries to functionalize the surface of plant leaves for plant protection. This involves the use of novel chimeric proteins that are embedded in the plant's cutucles on one side and thus remain rainproof on the leaf surface. On the other side of the peptide can be antifungal peptides, for example. These bifunctional proteins then actually reduce the development of ASR. The principle of rain resistance is very promising and may also be used in other forms of biological or chemical plant protection. It could help to fix the active ingredient at the site of its desired effect and thus help to reduce the amount of active ingredient and the environmental impact of crop protection products. Dr. Langenbach has published his research work in numerous peer-reviewed original and review articles in high quality journals and his work is receiving great attention in the field of scientific journalism. All in all, this has prompted the DPG to follow the proposal from our members and award Dr. Langenbach the Julius Kühn Prize 2020, for which we congratulate him warmly.
Source: Deutsche Phytomedizinische Gesellschaft e.V.