Project B04


Prof. Dr. Jochen Balbach

MLU Halle-Wittenberg
Institute of Physics


Dr. Debora Gasperini

Leibniz Institute for Plant Biochemistry (IPB)
Molecular Signal Processing


Impact of allelic variation in jasmonate repressors on proteoform structure, co-receptor assembly and plant performance

A master regulator of plant growth, defense, and fertility is the phytohormone jasmonate (JA-Ile) that triggers transcriptional changes necessary to promote plant fitness. During vegetative growth, JA-Ile levels are very low and JA-Ile responses are kept repressed by a modular repressor complex consisting of JASMONATE ZIM-DOMAIN (JAZ) repressors, the adaptor protein NOVEL INTERACTOR of JAZ (NINJA), and the general transcriptional co-repressors TOPLESS (TPL). However, JA-Ile levels rise rapidly in response to a stress stimulus and promote the binding between JAZs and the F-Box protein of an E3 ubiquitin ligase named CORONATINE INSENSITIVE 1 (COI1). This interaction leads to JAZs ubiquitylation and consequent degradation, liberating transcription factors (chiefly MYC2, MYC3 and MYC4) to initiate the transcription of JA-responsive genes. Although key components of JA-Ile perception and signaling have been identified, it remains unclear how can a single bioactive molecule regulate the large heterogeneity of physiological events observed for JA-Ile responses. By using the model plant Arabidopsis, the project aims to structurally and functionally characterize naturally occurring proteoforms of a key repressor of JA-Ile signalling. The project combines plant protein biochemistry with structural biology (mainly NMR spectroscopy) to uncover molecular details of underlying integration networks, and ultimately assess their impact on plant performance.

Free position in B04

PhD position, TV-L E13, 65% – Plant Expertise
TASKS // Protein expression and purification from E. coli and insect cells, Protein activity and binding assays, Analysis of morphological and cellular phenotypes in Arabidopsis
WORK PLACE // Leibniz Institute for Plant Biochemistry (IPB) Halle, Molecular Signal Processing
PI // Debora Gasperini
Job advertisement // 2024-06-03 – Project B04

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