Faculty of Biological Sciences

Welcome to the Plant Cell Biology & Biotechnology Research lab.

Professor Jurgen Denecke
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These pages are a voluntary contribution to introduce the research team and our activities.
Please use the links above and the menus within the individual pages. This web-site introduces you to current and past Group members, summarises the involvement of the group in undergraduate and graduate Teaching, the Training programmes we offer to students at the University of Leeds as well as international training programmes, our involvement in promoting the Public understanding of science, and of course our current PhD projects. For more detailed information about the science, we suggest you start with the Research pages and study some of our Publications.
For any other information, contact Prof. Denecke directly.

Research focus

We study the secretory pathway, a group of several membrane bound organelles that play key functions in virtually every process of eukaryotic life. Thousands of proteins, as well as all complex carbohydrates are synthesized by organelles of this system and delivered through vesicular traffic to their correct locations. It is a fundamental area of plant biology that impacts on plant stress physiology, development, growth and the biosynthesis of renewable plant products. Research in our group is mainly curiosity- and hypothesis-driven, to break new frontiers in basic understanding. We use biochemical transport assays, cellular engineering and in vivo imaging techniques to capture the exciting micro-cosmos of plant cells.

Why plants?

The plant secretory pathway is the primary production platform for proteins (food and medicine) and polysaccharides (fuel, food and materials) on earth. More importantly, life as we know it depends totally on the plants of our planet, those that grow at present and those in prehistoric times that we still find as fossil fuel until it is used up. With rapidly growing energy prices, awareness of the importance of plants is increasing, and the European Technology Platform document “Plants for the future” now sees the exploitation of plants as a major European research objective over the next 25 years. A thorough understanding of the molecular mechanisms of traffic and sorting along the secretory pathway is essential to exploit this system effectively.