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Institute of Biomaterials and biomolecular Systems

The Institute of Biolmaterials and biomolecular Systems comprises the departments of Bioenergetics, Biophysics, Molecular Biology and Virology of Plants, Plant Biotechnology, Animal Physiology and Biomaterials. As soon as possible, a Tenure Track Professorship "Intelligent biointegrative Systems" shall be established. An overview of research topcis of the departments can be found here.

 

Research update:

FigureHoermiller I, Ruschhaupt R, Heyer AG (2018) Mechanisms of frost resistance in Arabidopsis thaliana. Planta DOI: 10.1007/s00425-018-2939-1.

Survival of sub-zero temperatures can be achieved by either avoiding or tolerating extracellular ice formation. Conflicting evidence has been presented showing that detached leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana are either freeze avoiding or tolerant.Thermal imaging of three natural Arabidopsis accessions from different habitats revealed that a southern accession behaved as freeze avoiding in the non-acclimated state, while the northern accessions and all cold acclimated plants were freezing tolerant. The fact that duration of the freezing event affected tissue damage points to cell dehydration as the main cause of damage.[more]


FigureBrauner K, Birami B, Brauner HA, Heyer AG (2018) Diurnal periodicity of assimilate transport shapes resource allocation and whole plant carbon balance. Plant J,  doi: 10.1111/tpj.13898

Plants are the only relevant primary producers of biomass on our plant, and thus resource allocation within a plant is of prime importance. A combination of gas exchange measurements for whole plants, including the root system, with recordings of long distance assimilate transport and diurnal dynamics of primary metabolites was used to set up a whole plant carbon balance. This uncovered strong impact of periodicity of inter-organ transport on efficiency of carbon gain. Fine tuning of starch, sugar and carbonis acid metabolism is needed to minimize deflections in assimilate transport, which reduce carbon gain as a result of exaggerated root respiration. [more]


FigureMünster A, Hauber W (2017) Medial Orbitofrontal Cortex Mediates Effort-related Responding in Rats. Cereb Cortex Nov 17:1-11, doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhx293.

The neural circuitry regulating cost/benefit-related decisions is still poorly characterized. We addressed this issue using choice tasks in rodents that offer response options differing in terms of costs, i.e. required effort, and benefits, i.e. reward magnitude. Moreover, we applied methods to assess and manipulate neuronal activity. Our data demonstrate for the first time, that a subregion of the frontal cortex, i.e. the orbitofrontal cortex, plays a key role in cost/benefit-related decision-making. As some neuropsychiatric disorders are characterized by orbitofrontal dysfunction and poor decision-making, our findings may have clinical implications.  [more]

Departments of the Institute:

BioenergetikBiophysikMolBioPlantBiotechTierphysiologieZoologie