Skip to main content

B7: Phenotypic plasticity of starch metabolism in Arabidopsis thaliana

apl. Prof. Dr. habil. Joerg Fettke

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

Tel. +49-331-9772653, joerg.fettkeuni-potsdamde


Prof. Dr. Nadine Töpfer

Institute for Plant Sciences, Cluster of Excellence on Plant Sciences (CEPLAS), University of Cologne, Office: COPT Center Luxemburger Str. 90 / Post: Zülpicher Str. 47b, 50674 Köln

Tel. +49 221-470-89648, ntoepferuni-koelnde



B7 (Fettke, Töpfer) will investigate the plasticity of starch metabolism to variation in nitrogen availability and to day length. Plants synthesize transitory starch during the day and degrade it at night to sustain metabolism, including nitrogen assimilation. The project will determine reaction norms for starch-metabolism traits for Arabidopsis accessions in response to different nitrogen levels and to differences in day length. Descriptors of these reaction norms will be used as phenotypes in quantitative-genetic analysis, and a kinetic model of starch metabolism will quantify the contribution of different starch-related parameters to this metabolic plasticity.


Project-related publications

Mahlow S, Hejazi M, Kuhnert F, Garz A, Brust H, Baumann O, Fettke J. 2014 Phosphorylation of transitory starch by α-glucan, water dikinase during starch turnover affects the surface properties and morphology of starch granules.New Phytologist 203; 495–507.

Malinova I, Alseekh S, Feil R, Fernie A R, Baumann O, Schottler M A, Lunn J E, Fettke, J. 2017. Starch Synthase 4 and Plastidal Phosphorylase Differentially Affect Starch Granule Number and Morphology.Plant Physiol, 174, 73-85.

Malinova I, Mahlow S, Alseekh S, Orawetz T, Fernie A R, Baumann O, Steup M, Fettke, J. 2014. Double knockout mutants of Arabidopsis grown under normal conditions reveal that the plastidial phosphorylase isozyme participates in transitory starch metabolism.Plant Physiol, 164, 907-21.

Malinova I, Mahto H, Brandt F, AL-Rawi S, Qasim H, Brust H, Hejazi M, Fettke J. 2018. EARLY STARVATION1 specifically affects the phosphorylation action of starch-related dikinases.Plant J. 95: 126-137.

Töpfer N, Braam T, Shameer S, Ratcliffe  RG, Sweetlove  LJ. 2020. Alternative Crassulacean Acid Metabolism modes provide environment-specific water-saving benefits in a leaf metabolic model. The Plant Cell, 32 (12), 3689-3705.

Recht L*, Töpfer* N, Batushansky A , Sikron N , Zarka A, Gibon Y, Nikoloski Z, Fait A, Boussiba  S. 2014. Metabolite profiling and integrative modeling reveal metabolic constraints for carbon partitioning under nitrogen-starvation in the green alga Haematococcus pluvialis. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 289 (44), 30387-3040.

Töpfer N, Scossa F, Fernie AR, Nikoloski Z. 2014. Variability of metabolite levels is linked to differential metabolic pathways in Arabidopsis's responses to abiotic stresses. PLoS Computational Biology, 10 (6), e1003656.

Töpfer N, C Caldana, S Grimbs, L Willmitzer, AR Fernie, Z Nikoloski. 2013. Integration of genome-scale modeling and transcript profiling reveals metabolic pathways underlying light and temperature acclimation in Arabidopsis.The Plant Cell, 25 (4) 1197-1211.