Welcome to Patrick Schäfer's laboratory

The challenge: Sustaining food security under changing climates

One of our most demanding global challenges is how to provide food for a fast growing world population on a steadily decreasing area of arable land. This endeavour requires a more eco-sustainable use of natural resources and asks for sustainable stress resilience solutions to face the devastating impact of climate change-associated environmental stress. In this respect root functionality is of outstanding importance for plant health, yet root resistance capacities are largely unexplored. Research in the Schäfer lab aims at identifying new ways to improve root and, thus, plant stress resistance. In this respect, we are especially fascinated by solutions developed by nature. In co-evolution with plants, beneficial microbes (symbionts) have developed unique solutions to protect their host plants. In our studies, we combine state-of-the-art lab techniques, including microbiomics, single cell-based transcriptomics in plants as well as bioinformatics-based gene and protein network analyses, to learn from beneficial symbioses on how we can improve plant health, and, thus, food security.

Contact

Head of the research group:

Prof. Dr. Patrick Schäfer
Biology II
Ulm University
89069 Ulm
Patrick-1.Schaefer(at)uni-ulm.de

Welcome to Patrick Schäfer's laboratory

 

The challenge: Sustaining food security under changing climates

One of our most demanding global challenges is how to provide food for a fast growing world population on a steadily decreasing area of arable land. This endeavour requires a more eco-sustainable use of natural resources and asks for sustainable stress resilience solutions to face the devastating impact of climate change-associated environmental stress. In this respect root functionality is of outstanding importance for plant health, yet root resistance capacities are largely unexplored. Research in the Schäfer lab aims at identifying new ways to improve root and, thus, plant stress resistance. In this respect, we are especially fascinated by solutions developed by nature. In co-evolution with plants, beneficial microbes (symbionts) have developed unique solutions to protect their host plants. In our studies, we combine state-of-the-art lab techniques, including microbiomics, single cell-based transcriptomics in plants as well as bioinformatics-based gene and protein network analyses, to learn from beneficial symbioses on how we can improve plant health, and, thus, food security.

Close research collaborations:

−    Munehiro Asally, University of Warwick, UK
−    Pascal Falter-Braun, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Germany
−    Miriam Gifford, University of Warwick, UK
−    Karl-Heinz Kogel, Justus Liebig University Gießen, Germany
−    Vardis Ntoukakis, University of Warwick, UK
−    Sascha Ott, University of Warwick, UK
−    Cécile Raynaud, Université Paris-Saclay, France
−    Weixing Shan, Northwest Agricultural & Forestry University, China
−    Orkun Soyer, University of Warwick, UK