Plant Developmental Biology

Welcome to the Professorship of Plant Developmental Biology at TUM! We are interested in the genetic and molecular basis of the regulatory pathways controlling organ development and tissue morphogenesis.

The lab is located at the TUM School of Life Sciences. It is a member of the collaborative research centre "Molecular mechanisms regulating yield and yield stability in plants" (SFB 924) and the research unit "Computational morphodynamics of plants" (FOR 2581).

Informationen bezüglich Opens internal link in current windowLehre/Teaching SoSe 2020.

Informationen bezüglich Opens internal link in current windowLehre WS20/21

The Schneitz Lab - Shaping Beauty

A mature Arabidopsis flower.
An Arabidopsis ovule.
The receptor kinase SUB contributes to cell wall surveillance. Here you see SUB:EGFP signal at plasma membrane and plasmodesmata (PD).

The Schneitz lab works on the signaling mechanisms regulating the size and shape of organs. Plant cells are encapsulated by a semi-rigid and biochemically complex cell wall. This particular feature has consequences for multiple biologically important processes, such as cell and organ growth or various stress responses. For a plant cell to grow the cell wall has to be modified to allow cell expansion, which is driven by turgor pressure generated inside the cell. The cell wall also glues together plant cells within a tissue. Thus, changes in cell wall architecture need to be monitored by individual cells, and to be coordinated across cells in a growing tissue, for an organ to attain its regular size and shape. Cell wall surveillance also comes into play in the reaction against certain stresses, including for example infection by plant pathogens, many of which break through the cell wall during infection, thereby generating wall-derived factors that can induce defense responses.

We are interested in how the dynamic remodelling of the cell wall affects development and stress responses. We focus on two main areas. We are dissecting the molecular framework underlying cell wall signaling that occurs at the interface between the plasma membrane and the cell wall. In addition, we investigate how cells coordinate their behavior during development. In particular, we study how cellular coordination affects the formation of the three-dimensional architecture of the ovule, the central female reproductive organ of higher plants.

In the experimental work the lab focuses on the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. As necessitated by the biological question the lab uses a broad range of different techniques, ranging from classical genetics and molecular biology to modern proteomic approaches, advanced imaging methodology (CLSM, FRET-FLIM), and computational cell and developmental biology.

More information about the lab can be found on this website. If you are interested in a practical course, a BSc, MSc or PhD thesis, or if you are considering to join the lab as a postdoc please contact:

Prof. Dr. Kay Schneitz: kay.schneitz[at]

The Torres Ruiz Lab - Embryo Development

The Torres Ruiz lab concentrates on the analysis of key genes of Arabidopsis thaliana involved in the elaboration of the apical region of the embryo, in particular on key genes of cotyledon development. Some of the analyzed genes also control specific processes of late plant development as well as the shape and size of the plant. More recently the lab has begun to carry out a genome- and transcriptome based project which aims to analyse polyploidy in Arabidopsis and other plants. This also includes the study of chromosome structure.

If you are interested in joining the lab please contact:

Prof. Dr. Ramon Torres Ruiz: ramon.torres[at]

Financial Support

Our present research is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), the Free State of Bavaria, and the TU Munich.