Professor Nikolaus Amrhein
“Rounding up on Roundup®: The Mode of Action of Glyphosate and its Consequences”
Among the biotic constraints to food production, weed competition has the highest harvest loss potential. Since its commercial introduction in 1974, the broad-spectrum, non-selective herbicide glyphosate (N-phosphonomethylglycine, trade name Roundup®) has become the dominant herbicide worldwide. Its mode of action as an enzyme inhibitor of the aromatic amino acid biosynthesis pathway was revealed 1980 by Steinrücken and Amrhein. The outstanding success of the development of herbicide-resistant crops has been a major advance in the reliability of in-crop weed control, but weeds with diverse herbicide resistance mechanisms are now arising. Nikolaus Amrhein’s research focused on metabolic processes in plants, especially the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids and phenylpropanoid compounds, the enzymes in these pathways and their inhibitors.