Janina Maß - AG Lercher

Data Mining Plant Genomes - Clues for the Evolution of C4 Photosynthesis

C4 photosynthesis is an add-on to the evolutionary older and wide-spread C3 pathway. In contrast to C3 plants, C4 plants use a preceding step of carbon fixation in order to concentrate CO2 around RuBisCO, which leads to an increased photosynthetic efficiency. The C4 pathway evolved multiple times independently among the angiosperms and can be considered a text book example of convergent evolution. The evolution of the C4 pathway has left traces in the genomes and transcriptomes of affected species.
We use comparative genomics and transcriptomics to examine the genetic features underlying C4 photosynthesis. Interlinking of various resources, such as publicly available plant genome information as well as integrating data from non-model species (eg RNA-Seq), together with phylogenetic analysis are used to find candidate genes for C4 evolution.  

Starting date: 01.01.2010 / PhD student (Fast-Track)

Thesis committee members: Martin Lercher, Andreas Weber, Shin-Han Shiu

Mini Academic CV:

  • 2009
    • BSc. in Computer Science at Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf Thesis: Comparative Transcriptomics of High-Throughput Sequencing Data


Külahoglu C, Denton AK, Sommer M, Maß J, Schliesky S, Wrobel TJ, Berckmans B, Gongora-Castillo E, Buell CR, Simon R, De Veylder L, Bräutigam A, Weber APM (2014) Comparative transcriptome atlases reveal altered gene expression modules between two Cleomaceae C3 and C4 plant species. Plant Cell, in press.

Bräutigam A, Kajala K, Wullenweber J, Sommer M, Gagneul D, Weber KL, Carr KM, Gowik U, Maß J, Lercher MJ, Westhoff P, Hibberd JM, Weber AP (2011) An mRNA blueprint for C4 photosynthesis derived from comparative transcriptomics of closely related C3 and C4 species. Plant Physiology, Vol.155, no.1, 142-156.

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Janina Maß

Responsible for the content: E-MailDr. Petra Fackendahl