Research Group
Stress metabolism

Photosynthetic organisms are the basis of virtually all life on Earth. Plant growth and productivity are intricately affected by stress factors in their environment, impacting on agricultural crops and wild plant species alike. We study plant stress response, including to the stress factors related to climate change, such as drought and elevated temperature. We use chromatography and mass spectrometry (HPLC, LC-MS/MS and GC-MS), and non-invasive techniques (e.g., infrared thermography and chlorophyll fluorescence) to decipher biochemical mechanisms related to acclimation and adaptation of photosynthetic life-forms to challenging environments, using a broad array of models, including seeds, lichens, microalgae and vascular alpine plants.

Left: Schematic of the life cycle of a halophyte plant, from seed germination to seed production; figure taken from Kranner and Seal. 2013, Functional Plant Biology 40: 848-859, DOI: 10.1016/j.sajb.2013.02.010; middle: field work on a reciprocal transplantation experiment with Arabidopsis arenosa; right: the lichen Xanthoria parietina (top segment) is an intricate symbiosis between a fungus (right) and a green alga (left); photo credits: Fabio Candotto Carniel.

Main research topics

  • Plant stress response in times of climate change
  • Acclimation of photosynthetic organisms to their environment
  • Seed biology: seed quality traits such as longevity, vigour and dormancy
  • The lichen symbiosis: cross talk between fungi and algae

Research group leader

Ilse Kranner


Administrative and technical staff

  • Otto Dämon
  • Bettina Lehr
  • Christine Rossetti

Emeriti and retired staff

Research Assistants

  • Clara Bertel

Graduate students

  • Ana Akiko Pfleger
  • Vanessa Couto Soares
  • Nicki Marami-Zonouz
  • Moritz Stegner
  • Hooman Norouzi
  • Rainer Nora
  • Shuang Zhang

Master and diploma students

  • Verena Felgitsch
  • Laurie Proes
  • Christine Rosetti
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