The Institute of Plant Biochemistry is employing the concepts of systems and synthetic biology to unravel the molecular mechanisms of plant photosynthesis and carbon assimilation. Within this context, our research specifically focuses on (i) C4 photosynthesis, (ii) photorespiration, (iii) intracellular solute transport and partitioning of primary metabolites, (iv) photosynthetic extremophiles, and (v) the function of peroxisomes. Our research provides the scientific knowledgebase and paradigms for the design of next-generation crops with increased photosynthetic performance.
The production of renewable resources competes for arable land with crop production for feed and food. Solving this conflict will require (i) a sustainable increase of plant productivity without increased input of scarce resources, such as water and nutrients and land use, and (ii) the production of renewable resources on marginal land. The Institute of Plant Biochemistry is investigating the molecular mechanisms of C4 photosynthesis and photorespiration, thereby providing the blueprints for the design of novel, highly efficient crops with minimized resource requirements. Through genomic, transcriptomic, and metabolomic analyzes of plant species that have evolved to cope with the challenges of marginal lands, we study the molecular mechanisms of adaption to limited resource availability, a prerequisite for the development of novel crops adapted to such environments.