Research Group Assimilate Allocation and NMR

Head: Dr. Ljudmilla Borisjuk


Our research aims a better understanding of the relationships between assimilate supply, metabolism and seed architecture, thereby uncovering mechanisms for improved traits in major crop plants.


We investigate growth processes in seeds and specific physiological features (e.g. assimilate translocation, distribution of metabolites and storage products, pattern formation). The plant seed is regarded as living multi-organ system. Its functionality relies on interactive processes among tissues/sub-organs. While current omics-approaches try to dissect the living plant into its (thousands of) components, our attempt is to characterize their in vivo interplay.


We develop topographical, in vivo approaches to identify key factors determining the flow and partitioning of assimilates into starch, lipids and storage proteins in the developing seed. Preferred plant models are cereals (wheat, barley) and oilcrops (rapeseed).



Our approaches crucially rely on novel, non-destructive and imaging procedures, based on nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), infrared spectroscopy and optical sensors. Additionally, we make use of classical biochemical tools like mass spectrometry and molecular biological tools.