Professor Andreas Weber is Professor of Plant Biochemistry at Heinrich Heine University. His research interests include function and evolution of C4 photosynthesis and photorespiration; cellular compartmentation of metabolic networks in plants; endosymbiosis and the evolution of plastids; and algal functional genomics and biology of the Cyanidiales. His longstanding interest in metabolite transport underpins his C4 rice research, which focuses on the identification and characterization of transporter proteins
Professor Peter Westhoff is Professor of Plant Developmental and Molecular Biology at HHU. His previous work dealt with the molecular evolution of C4 photosynthesis in the genus Flaveria and the analysis of thylakoid membrane biogenesis in the C3 plant Arabidopsis thaliana. His group is presently working on the discovery of cis-regulatory elements involved in mesophyll and bundle sheath specific gene expression in C4 dicots and rice. The group is also identifying genes required for bundle sheath cell differentiation in Arabidopsis, aiming to use this information to alter the rice bundle sheath.
Shirin Zamani Nour is currently a postdoc in Andreas Weber’s lab at Heinrich-Heine University. She gained her PhD in plant molecular biology from the University of Cologne/Max-Planck Institute joint graduate program. Prior to that she completed an MSc in Tropical and International Agriculture at the Georg-August University of Goettingen. Her C4 rice research is focused on the identification of transporter proteins, with the goal of inserting maize transporter proteins into chloroplast membranes of rice.
Florian Döring is currently a PHD student at the Heinrich-Heine University in Peter Westhoff’s group. His research focuses on the development of the bundle sheath and is aimed to find genes that could be used and modified in order to make C3 bundle sheath cells more accessible to the evolution of C4 photosynthesis. For this purpose, he uses Arabidopsis thaliana as a model species and performs large scale forward genetic screens, in which he is mainly searching for changes in bundle sheath morphology and numbers as well as changes in chloroplast numbers and sizes.