Latest News

Congrats to Moi (again): Forbes 30 under 30

Posted on March 25, 2020

Recent WeigelWorld graduate Moi Expositio-Alonso selected by Forbes read more

Moises Exposito-Alonso named a member of the 2020 class of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Europe list in science and healthcare

Out of the thousands of nominees, the 30 finalists in each of the 10 categories comprise “the world’s most impactful community of young entrepreneurs and game-changers,” said the publication in announcing his selection.  

“Growing up in southern Spain, I saw how Mediterranean forests may be transformed by climate change into arid deserts,” said Moi. “My childhood desire to halt this destructive trend manifested in a career pursuing the answers to fundamental questions about genetics, ecology, and evolution, which I believe are key to solving the global biodiversity crisis.”

Moi received his PhD at the end of 2018 for work on plant adaptation to climate change. Today, he leads a team at the Carnegie Institution that conducts large-scale ecological and genome sequencing experiments to generate maps of a species’ genomic susceptibility to climate change that may guide policymakers and management efforts in how to respond to this global challenge.   

Cell Host Microbe: NLR-dependent & -independent functions of RPW8/HR p...

Posted on February 26, 2020

Atypical resistance protein RPW8/HR triggers oligomerization of NLR immune receptors read more

Atypical Resistance Protein RPW8/HR Triggers Oligomerization of the NLR Immune Receptor RPP7 and Autoimmunity

Lei Li et al., Cell Host Microbe, published Feb 26, 2020.

In certain plant hybrids, immunity signaling is initiated when immune components interact in the absence of a pathogen trigger. In Arabidopsis thaliana, such autoimmunity and cell death are linked to variants of the NLR RPP7 and the RPW8 proteins involved in broad-spectrum resistance. We uncover the molecular basis for this autoimmunity and demonstrate that a homolog of RPW8, HR4 Fei-0, can trigger the assembly of a higher-order RPP7 complex, with autoimmunity signaling as a consequence. HR4 Fei-0-mediated RPP7 oligomerization occurs via the RPP7 C-terminal leucine-rich repeat (LRR) domain and ATP-binding P-loop. RPP7 forms a higher-order complex only in the presence of HR4 Fei-0 and not with the standard HR4 variant, which is distinguished from HR4 Fei-0 by length variation in C-terminal repeats. Additionally, HR4 Fei-0 can independently form self-oligomers, which directly kill cells in an RPP7-independent manner. Our work provides evidence for a plant resistosome complex and the mechanisms by which RPW8/HR proteins trigger cell death.

Detlef to receive Novozymes Prize

Posted on February 21, 2020

Lifetime achievement award comes with 3 million kr read more

"The 2020 Novozymes Prize is being awarded to Professor Detlef Weigel (photo) for his outstanding research contributions that have led to groundbreaking new knowledge of the genetic structure of plants. His work has had major impact on developing innovative biotechnological solutions for crop improvement and understanding how plants adapt to the environment. The Novo Nordisk Foundation awards the Prize, which is accompanied by DKK 3 million."

Congratulations Moi! Award of the American Society of Naturalists

Posted on February 13, 2020

Moises Exposito-Alonso receives 2020 Jasper Loftus-Hills Young Investigator Award of the American Society of Naturalists read more

The American Society of Naturalist's Young Investigator Award goes to applicants who completed their PhD three years preceding the application deadline or are in their last year of a PhD program.

PhD studentship applications open!

Posted on January 28, 2020

Deadline for next IMPRS round: February 29, 2020 read more

International Max Planck Planck Research School (IMPRS) "From Molecules to Organisms"

Talented junior scientists are offered the opportunity to earn a doctorate under excellent research conditions in Tübingen.  Fully-funded projects are offered at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, the Friedrich Miescher Laboratory and the University of Tübingen, alongside a structured supporting program. The working language of our school is English.

WeigelWorld is currently seeking students interested in long-read assemblies and the functional analysis of plant microbes and microbiomes.

Apply now!




Commentary on Earth Biogenome project

Posted on December 01, 2019

Please take genome assembly quality into account read more

The Earth BioGenome project: Opportunities and Challenges for Plant Genomics and Conservation

Moises Exposito Alonso, Hajk Georg Drost, Hernán A. Burbano & Detlef Weigel
Plant Journal | 01 December 2019

Sequencing them all. That is the ambitious goal of the recently launched Earth BioGenome Project (Lewin et al., 2018), which aims to produce reference genomes for all eukaryotic species within the next decade. In this Perspective, we discuss the opportunities of this project with a plant focus, but highlight also potential limitations. This includes the question of how to best capture all plant diversity, as the green taxon is one of the most complex clades in the tree of life, with over 300,000 species. For this, we highlight four key points: (1) the unique biological insights that could be gained from studying plants, (2) their apparent underrepresentation in sequencing efforts given the number of threatened species, (3) the necessity of phylogenomic methods that are aware of differences in genome complexity and quality, and (4) the accounting for within?species genetic diversity and the historical aspect of conservation genetics.


Upcoming Events


MiKo Talk Nicole Gerardo

Sept 30, 3 pm

Title: "tbc"


MiKo Talk Joanna Wysocka

Oct 7, 3 pm

Title: "tbc"


MiKo Talk Matthias Erb

Oct 14, 3 pm

Title: "tbc"