Structural Cell Biology
Head: Dr. Michael Melzer
The "Structural Cell Biology Group" as core facility for light and electron microscopy at the Institute fulfils a dual function: (a) it provides practical and theoretical advise to other groups that wish to address research problems by sophisticated techniques of light and electron microscopy and (b) conducting own research projects.
Among ultrastructural analysis and 3-D reconstructions we mainly focus our interests on the spatial distribution of plant enzymes and molecules as analyzed by immunogold electron microscopy or fluorescence microscopy. Owing to the state-of-the-art technology in light and electron microscopy, the research group has established and offers several routine and advanced methods in microscopy and sample preparation that enable guest researchers to address a large variety of ultrastructural problems at the levels of tissue, cell, compartment and molecule.
The excellent technology platform with conventional light microscopy, confocal microscopy, transmission and scanning electron microscopy enables us to analyse metabolic and developmental processes in plants on a cell biological level and will therefore improve the understanding of the regulation of these fundamental biological processes.
In the past, light- and electron microscopy have always been physically separated with little interaction between the disciplines. In our group the two disciplines are combined, which undoubtedly will increase the possibility of inter-disciplinary microscopical approach to the scientific questions. The use of various microscope techniques and cell biological approaches aiming at the improvement of agronomically relevant traits in crops or biotechnological procedures will be followed by own research project as well as internal and external cooperations.