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B4: Plasticity of photorespiratory activity in Arabidopsis thaliana in response to nitrogen

Prof. Dr. Alisdair Fernie

Max-Planck-Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Am Mühlenberg 1, 14476 Potsdam-Golm

Tel. +49-331-5678211, ferniempimp-golm.mpgde


Prof. Dr. Zoran Nikoloski

Institute for Biochemistry and Biology, University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24-25, 14476 Potsdam-Golm

Tel. +49-331-9776305, zoran.nikoloskiuni-potsdamde


Open positions:

Position CRC1644/B41– PhD student Nikoloski group



We will study plasticity in photorespiration to variation in nitrogen availability. Photorespiration recycles the toxic product from the oxygenation reaction of RubisCO into the central carbon metabolism; it is thus wasteful, but also essential. The rate of photorespiration is plastic to nitrogen availability. The project will combine high-throughput metabolite measurements and refined constraint-based computational modelling to estimate photorespiratory fluxes across a panel of Arabidopsis accessions grown in a range of environments. Based on this, plasticity genes will be identified and functionally analysed.


Project-related publications

Bauwe H, Hagemann M, Fernie AR (2010). Photorespiration: players, partners and origin.Trends Plant Sci. 15:330-6.

Fernie AR, Bauwe H (2020). Wasteful, essential, evolutionary stepping stone? The multiple personalities of the photorespiratory pathway.Plant J 102: 666-677.

Pandey P K, Yu J, Omranian N, Alseekh S, Vaid N, Fernie AR, Nikoloski Z, Laitinen R (2019) Plasticity in metabolism underpins local responses to nitrogen in Arabidopsis thaliana populations.Plant Direct 3: 186

Sajitz-Hermstein M, Töpfer N, Kleessen S, Fernie AR, Nikoloski Z (2016) iReMet-flux: constraintbased approach for integrating relative metabolite levels into a stoichiometric metabolic models.Bioinformatics 32(17): i755-i762.

Szecowka M, Heise R, Tohge T, Nunes-Nesi A, Vosloh D, Huege J, Feil R, Lunn J, Nikoloski Z, Stitt M, Fernie AR, Arrivault S (2013). Metabolic fluxes in an illuminated Arabidopsis rosette. Plant Cell 25: 694-714.

Tong H, Küken A, Nikoloski Z (2020) Integrating molecular markers into metabolic models improves genomic selection for Arabidopsis growth.Nature Communications 11:2410.

Wu S, Alseekh S, Brotman Y, Fernie AR (2021). Metabolomic analysis of natural variation in Arabidopsis. Methods Mol Biol 2200: 393-411