Synthetic plant virology

The working group "Synthetic plant virology" deals with modified plant viruses, which allow to produce desired proteins quickly and in large quantities. The virus moves independently through the plant, replicating and producing both its own proteins and foreign proteins.

DFG project PlantVirusBone

 In collaboration with Professor Dr.-Ing. Horst Fischer, RWTH Aachen University Hospital, Department of Dental Materials and Biomaterials Research Aachen

Biomineralizing three-dimensional bioprinted hydrogels for bone tissue replacement using dedicated osteogenic peptides in high local concentrations presented on biotechnologically modified plant virus nanoparticles (PlantVirusBone)

By combining three-dimensional hydrogel-based bioprinting technology and plant virus derived nanoparticles (VNPs), we will generate cell-laden three-dimensional scaffolds for improved bone cell-mediated mineralization. 

Plant biotechnology

Recombinant therapeutic proteins and protein-based vaccines are playing an important role in modern medicine and healthcare. Plants and plant cell cultures are beginning to establish themselves in the highly competitive field of biotechnological production systems for recombinant proteins. This is because plants and plant cell cultures offer many advantages over conventional fermentation-based technologies: the low cost of large scale production, near-limit scale-up, and the ability of plant cells to perform post-translational modifications which are important to many eukaryotic proteins.

Light controllable systems on plant virus surfaces

In November 2019, the new project "functionalization of light-controllable systems on plant virus particles" will start. We congratulate Louisa Kauth on receiving the doctoral scholarship of the RWTH Graduate Program and look forward to the collaboration!!

Light controllable proteins offer the possibility to specifically control the building of protein pairs and thereby influence sundry cellular and molecular processes. These light controllable systems gain increasing interest in the field of biomedicine and biomaterial production. Light represents the effective stimulus for the binding of the protein pairs as it can be applied with a high degree of spatial and temporal control and low costs. Furthermore, the light excitation can target a precise location in the body and the light spectrum is wide.


The focus of the LignaSyn research group is the establishment of a synthetic route for the production of lignans in genetically modified bacteria. Lignans form a large group of complex natural compounds derived from the plant's shikimic acid biosynthetic pathway. They occur, for example, in plants such as valerian and taiga root, as well as in various edible plant parts of linseed and sesame seeds, cereal grains, fruits and vegetables. In addition to the use of lignans in homeopathy and prophylactic herbal medicine lignans from Podophyllum in particular have a current importance as chemotherapeutic agents in the fight against leukemia

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