Prof. Dr. Nadine Töpfer

Research focus

Our research aims to gain a better understanding of the behavior of plant metabolic systems and their interactions. The group uses computational approaches that are centered around the analysis of large-scale metabolic networks and works closely with experimental labs. Key topics are the development of flux-balance methods to study tissue- and organ interactions, the curation and computational integration of specialized metabolism and the study of plant-environment interactions. The gained knowledge will guide metabolic engineering strategies for improved crop plant productivity and quality.

The five most important publications

  1. N Töpfer, T Braam, S Shameer, RG Ratcliffe, LJ Sweetlove (2020) Alternative Crassulacean Acid Metabolism modes provide environment-specific water-saving benefits in a leaf metabolic model. The Plant Cell, 32 (12), 3689-3705.
  2. N Töpfer, LM Fuchs, A Aharoni (2017) The PhytoClust tool for metabolic gene clusters discovery in plant genomes. Nucleic Acid Research, 45 (12), 7049-7063.
  3. J Szymański, Y Levin, L Maor-Chapell, U Heinig, N Töpfer, A Aharoni (2017) Label-free deep shotgun proteomics reveals protein dynamics during tomato fruit tissues development. The Plant Journal, 90 (2), 396-417.
  4. L* Recht, N Töpfer*, A Batushansky, N Sikron, A Zarka, Y Gibon, Z Nikoloski, A Fait, S Boussiba (2014) Metabolite profiling and integrative modeling reveal metabolic constraints for carbon partitioning under nitrogen-starvation in the green alga Haematococcus pluvialis. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 289 (44), 30387-3040. *authors contributed equally

  5. N Töpfer, C Caldana, S Grimbs, L Willmitzer, AR Fernie, Z Nikoloski (2013) Integration of genome-scale modeling and transcript profiling reveals metabolic pathways underlying light and temperature acclimation in Arabidopsis. The Plant Cell, 25 (4) 1197-1211.
Prof. Dr. Nadine Töpfer


Institute for Plant Sciences, COPT Center
University of Cologne

Luxemburger Str. 90

50674 Cologne

Heinrich Heine University
University of Cologne
Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research
Forschungszentrum Jülich