The group currently has two major research foci:
1. The structural and physiological of model plant like Arabidopsis thaliana to changing environmental conditions like elevated temperatures.
2. The structural characterization of so-called plant-microbe interfaces (PMI), which represents to interaction site or more precisely the membrane between microbes like rhizobia or arbuscular mycorrhiza and host plants like Lotus.
To fulfill their role within a living organism, the localization as well as their 3-dimensional distribution and organization of certain proteins is absolutely crucial. As our group is responsible for the electron microscopic facility with several high-end microscopes and preparation units, we are not only investigating the protein localization in and the ultrastructure of plant cells but also in other eukaryotic systems and various microorganisms. A primary localization of GFP-fusion proteins using a confocal fluorescent microscope is followed by high-resolution immunogold localization studies using a high-pressure freezer and subsequent transmission electron microscopy. For the 3-dimensional organization of the cells, FIB/SEM tomography is the method of choice. Amongst others, we are investigating the ultrastucture of the cold-loving euryarchaeon Candidatus ‚Altiarchaeum hamiconnexum’ (strain SM1) or the so-called Lokiarchaea.
This offers a great variety of projects with the application of electron microscopical preparation and illustration methods as common feature.