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Professor Gerhard Leubner brings seed biology research to School of Biological Sciences

Posted on 22/05/2012

Prof Gerhard Leubner

Professor Gerhard Leubner has recently taken up the position of Chair of Plant Biochemistry at the School of Biological Sciences, Royal Holloway, University of London. He joins the College from the University of Freiburg and will spend his first year transitioning his seed biology research group from Germany to England.

Prof Leubner, said: “Our group has long research experience in basic and applied seed biology. The role of the seed covering layers for germination, water uptake, seed storage, after-ripening and dormancy release is an important research focus of our lab. Interdisciplinary projects and cross-species approaches with model, crop and wild plant species is part of our expertise.

“Seeds are the delivery systems for agricultural biotechnology. High quality seed leads to excellent seedling performance in the field. It is the basis of successful companies that breed crop plants for seed production.”

Prof Leubner’s seed research projects focus on environmental factors such as light, temperature, water, allelochemicals and abiotic stress, and on plant hormones as endogenous regulators, such as gibberellins, abscisic acid, ethylene, auxin, jasmonates, cytokinins and brassinosteroids.

He received his PhD in plant physiology & biochemistry from Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany in 1990 and is widely published. He has worked at Cornell University, New York and Friedrich Miescher Institute, Basel, Switzerland.

He will lead the, ‘vSEED Minisymposium: Seed Systems Biology’, being hosted at Royal Holloway, University of London on Monday 28 May.

Tina Steinbrecher (seed biomechanics), Antje Voegele (abiotic stress responses), Kai Graeber (seed dormancy) and Andreas Ebertz (seed microbe interactions) constitute the core research group.

For more information on Prof Leubner and the seed biology work of his group, please visit ‘The Seed Biology Place’ website at www.seedbiology.eu


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