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Dr. Mareike Schallenberg-Rüdinger

(Postdoc/ Junior Group Leader)


Key Interest: Post-Transcriptional and Post-Translational Modification in Plant Organelles

We are interested in post-transcriptional and post-translational processes in plant organelles required to provide efficient photosynthesis and respiration.

In plant mitochondria and chloroplasts specific pyrimidines are converted on transcript level to correct genetic information. The number of the so called RNA editing sites varies widely along land plant phylogeny. First members of the RNA binding pentatricopeptide repeat protein (PPR) family were found to be key factors in RNA editing several years ago. However, until today neither the mechanism behind this process is fully understood nor the origin of the editing factors is known.

Physcomitrella We have chosen the model moss Physcomitrella patens as an early branching land plant with only low numbers of RNA editing sites in its organellar transcripts as our model organism of choice to shed further light on the process of RNA editing. Recently, we completed the assignment of all mitochondrial editing factors to their respective editing sites in this model plant. Furthermore, we are highly interested in the co-evolution of PPR proteins and RNA editing in early branching land plants with a main focus on Bryophytes (hornworts, mosses and liverworts), but also in protists with rare cases of C-to-U RNA editing just recently discovered.

The project is supported by the DFG.

Cooperation partners: Mizuki Takenaka, Kyoto University, Japan; Ian Small, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia; Peter Szoevenji, University Zürich, Switzerland; Hans-Peter Braun, University Hannover; Anja Jörg and Matthias Burger, University Ulm; Stefan Rensing, University Marburg.


new light initiative Our second project aims to answer the question of the importance of post-translational modifications (PTMs) in regulating organellar function. One highly abundant PTM in plant mitochondrial proteins is lysine acetylation. In contrast to higher land plants like A.thaliana, rice and potato, number and impact of such modifications in ancient land plants is still enigmatic. We are therefore currently investigating the organellar acetylome of the moss Physcomitrella patens and putative enzymatic factors involved in the process.

The project is part of the German initiative „Plant Mitochondria in New Light“ supported by the DFG.

Cooperation partners: Markus Schwarzländer, University Münster, Iris Finkemeier, University Münster, Veronica Maurino, University Düsseldorf, Stefanie Müller-Schüssele, University Bonn.