Birte Schwarz - AG Bauer

Gene and protein interaction networks for adaptation to iron deficiency stress    

As for most living organisms, iron (Fe) is an essential micronutrient for plants. As a cofactor in the electron transport chain, Fe is essential for photosynthetic efficiency. Lack of Fe leads to leaf chlorosis caused by affected chlorophyll synthesis. However, surplus Fe in cells can be toxic. Strictly controlled Fe homeostasis therefore is crucial for the health of the plant.

Under Fe deficient conditions, the root Fe acquisition machinery is activated by the central regulator FIT (FER-like Fe deficiency-induced transcription factor). While Fe uptake and transport mechanisms and transcriptional regulation of the Fe deficiency response have been under extensive research, cellular events on the protein level, such as the sensing and signaling mechanisms of Fe deficiency (or Fe surplus) as well as post-transcriptional processes regulating Fe homeostasis remain largely elusive.

One valuable approach on the way of discovering participants and illuminating the interplay of Fe homeostasis proteins is the analysis of gene co-expression networks.

On the basis of the co-expression network of genes that are upregulated upon Fe deficiency, my project aims to: 


I)             Gain insight into the interplay of network members at the protein level, identify key players and understand their role in the Fe deficiency response


II)           Identify cis-regulatory elements (CREs) governing gene expression upon Fe deficiency


Starting date: 02.02.2015 / PhD student

Thesis committee members: Petra Bauer, Georg Groth, Marion Eisenhut

Mini Academic CV: 

  • 2014: Master of Science in Biosciences/Lifesciences, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

    • Title: “Analysis of Arabidopsis thaliana transcription factors potentially involved in the regulation of AtSEO promoters”

  • 2011: Bachelor of Science in Biosciences, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

    • Title: “Microbial food chain in gypsum heaps – the role of the sulfur oxidizing bacteria”


Photo of

Birte Schwarz

Gebäude: 26.13
Etage/Raum: 02.26
Tel.: +49 211 81-13533
Verantwortlich für den Inhalt: E-Mail sendenDr. Petra Fackendahl