Our Research

We study the acquisition of the micronutrient iron by plant roots, storage and transport of this micronutrient throughout the plant. Our aim is to understand the regulatory processes, iron signals, the gene and protein networks coordinating the iron homeostasis responses with regard to plant development and environmental aspects. We combine tools from various biological disciplines, like physiology, genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry and cell biology.

We utilize plant model systems, particularly Arabidopsis thaliana, to identify and characterize novel gene functions for iron nutrition and regulation in plants. Mineral nutrient use efficiency is crucial for optimal plant growth and biomass production. Iron is often not readily bio-available and plays a fundamental role in many redox reactions and electron transport processes such as photosynthesis. Free cellular iron is toxic and may cause oxidative stress.

Our research results are applied to design novel plant growth practices and breeding strategies to increase the mineral use efficiency of plants in the rhizosphere and to enhance the nutritional quality of plant-derived products.

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Head of Institute

Prof. Dr. Petra Bauer

Institut für Botanik
Heinrich Heine Universität
Universitätsstr. 1
Building: 26.13
Floor/Room: 02.36
Phone +49 211 81-13479


Martina Hänig

Institut für Botanik
Universitätsstraße 1
Building: 26.13
Floor/Room: 02.34
40225 Düsseldorf
Phone +49 211 81-14727
Fax +49 211 81-12881
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