Technical University Munich (TUM)

The Technical University of Munich (TUM) is a leading German university.  The life sciences are a major focus with approximately 80 professors in the Center of Life and Food Sciences on the TUM campus in Weihenstephan (WZW). The faculty combines expertise in biosciences, biotechnology, agronomy, forestry, ecology, ecosystem management, nutrition, food sciences and life science engineering. WZW is devoted to challenges relating to food security and dwindling fossil fuel reserves by combining fundamental and applied research and fostering interdisciplinary efforts. WZW has 6000 m2 of greenhouse area and provides agricultural experimentation facilities on 600 ha of farmland.

TUM is characterising drought responses in work package 1 and generating transgenic Populus lines in work package 5. The TUM research targets drought signalling with an emphasis on ABA signalling as the key response controlling water loss and establishing drought tolerance.

Dr Grill leads the TUM contribution to WATBIO.  He is a world-leader on ABA signalling with more than 15 years of experience in the field.  Dr Alex Christmann is head of the drought signalling group. He discovered the hydraulic signal recruited by plants for rapid communication of water deficit. His expertise covers molecular biology and plant physiology including single cell turgor measurements by the cell pressure probe and non-invasive analysis by clamping and reporter lines. Michal Kepka is an expert for analysis of drought signalling in plants and transient studies of ABA signalling in protoplasts. Johanna Berger has a long-standing experience in Populus transformation and micropropagation as well as physiological assays. Caroline Klaus is an expert gardener taking care of transgenic Populus trees.