Latest News

March for Science Tübingen

Posted on April 22, 2017

Great turnout -- 2700 marched in Tübingen read more

Article (in German) in our local newspaper

Dangerous Mix NLR proteins in autoimmunity: higher order complexes

Posted on April 14, 2017

Activation of a Plant NLR Complex through Heteromeric Association with an Autoimmune Risk Variant of Another NLR read more

Tran, D.T.N., Chung, E.H., Habring-Müller, A., Demar, M., Schwab, R., Dangl, J.L., Weigel, D., Chae, E.

When independently evolved immune receptor variants meet in hybrid plants, they can activate immune signaling in the absence of non-self recognition. Such autoimmune risk alleles have recurrently evolved at the DANGEROUS MIX2 (DM2) nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeat (NLR)-encoding locus in A. thaliana. One of these activates signaling in the presence of a particular variant encoded at another NLR locus, DM1. We show that the risk variants of DM1 and DM2d NLRs signal through the same pathway that is activated when plant NLRs recognize non-self elicitors. This requires the P loops of each protein and Toll/interleukin-1 receptor (TIR)-domain-mediated heteromeric association of DM1 and DM2d. DM1 and DM2d each resides in a multimeric complex in the absence of signaling, with the DM1 complex shifting to higher molecular weight when heteromerizing DM2 variants are present. The activation of the DM1 complex appears to be sensitive to the conformation of the heteromerizing DM2 variant. Autoimmunity triggered by interaction of this NLR pair thus suggests that activity of heteromeric NLR signaling complexes depends on the sum of activation potentials of partner NLRs.

Awesome collaborators collecting microbe field samples!

Posted on April 13, 2017

Many thanks to Joy Bergelson, Ben Brachi, Svante Holm, Magnus Nordborg et al. read more

The Bergelson, Dean, Holm and Nordborg labs are regularly sampling Arabidopsis thaliana field sites in Sweden. Many thanks for their efforts to collect microbial samples, which we will compare to samples from Arabidopsis thaliana collected around Tübingen.

Join us as a postdoc in Computational Genomics

Posted on April 03, 2017

A post-doctoral position is available in the area of comparative genome annotation read more

More information and the full ad is here.

Moi's paper on adaptation to climate change on bioRxiv

Posted on March 20, 2017

On the potential of Arabidopsis to adapt in situ to #climatechange (with many helpers) read more

Genomic basis and evolutionary potential for extreme drought adaptation in Arabidopsis thaliana

Expósito Alonso, M., Vasseur, F., Ding, W., Wang, G., Burbano, H. A., Weigel, D.

Because earth is currently experiencing unprecedented climate change, it is important to predict how species will respond to it. However, geographically-explicit predictive studies frequently ignore that species are comprised of genetically diverse individuals that can vary in their degree of adaptation to extreme local environments; properties that will determine the species ability to withstand climate change. Because an increase in extreme drought events is expected to challenge plant communities with global warming, we carried out a greenhouse experiment to investigate which genetic variants predict surviving an extreme drought event and how those variants are distributed across Eurasian Arabidopsis thaliana individuals. Genetic variants conferring higher drought survival showed signatures of polygenic adaptation, and were more frequently found in Mediterranean and Scandinavian regions. Using geoenvironmental models, we predicted that Central European populations might lag behind in adaptation by the end of the 21st century. Further analyses showed that a population decline could nevertheless be compensated by natural selection acting efficiently over standing variation or by migration of adapted individuals from populations at the margins of the species distribution. These findings highlight the importance of within-species genetic heterogeneity in facilitating an evolutionary response to a changing climate.


Congrats Karsten Borgwardt – Full Professor ETH

Posted on March 10, 2017

We congratulate former WeigelWorld member Karsten Borgwardt read more

Prof. Dr. Karsten M. Borgwardt (*1980), currently Associate Professor at ETH Zurich, has been appointed as Full Professor of Data Mining at ETH. Karsten is a highly renowned scientist who works on one of the key problems for the modern life sciences – efficient computer-based searches in fast-growing datasets. Congratulations, Karsten!



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