Prof. Dr. Wolf B. Frommer

Research focus

Carbon allocation is critical for crop yield. Our group studies nutrient transport processes in plants, both regarding yield potential and yield when infected by pathogens. We use a wide range of tools to identify the key transporters, for example for carbohydrates in order to study everything from structure to function and regulation. A main tool set includes fluorescent biosensors for a wide range of small molecules, from sugars to hormones. We develop tools for monitoring the activity of proteins in vivo (in particular fluorescent transport activity sensors). We surgically engineer permissive sites in transporters that act as susceptibility factors to create robust broad-spectrum pathogen resistance in crop plants.

The five most important publications

  1. Kim J-Y, Symeonidi E, Pang TY, Denyer T, Weidauer D, Bezrutczyk M, Miras M, Zöllner N, Hartwig T, Wudick MM, Lercher M, Chen L-Q, Timmermans MCP, Frommer WB (2021) Distinct identities of leaf phloem cells revealed by single cell transcriptomics. The Plant Cell. doi: 10.1093/plcell/koaa060.
  2. Eom JS, Luo D, Atienza-Grande G, Yang J, Ji C, Thi Luu V, Huguet-Tapia JC, Char SN, Liu B, Nguyen H, Schmidt SM, Szurek B, Vera Cruz C, White FF, Oliva R, Yang B, Frommer WB (2019) Diagnostic kit for rice blight resistance. Nat Biotechnol 37(11):1372-1379. doi: 10.1038/s41587-019-0268-y.
  3. Sosso D, Luo D, Li QB, Sasse J, Yang J, Gendrot G, Suzuki M, Koch KE, McCarty DR, Chourey PS, Rogowsky PM, Ross-Ibarra J, Yang B, Frommer WB (2015) Seed filling in domesticated maize and rice depends on SWEET-mediated hexose transport. Nature Genetics 47(12):1489-1493.
  4. Jones AM, Xuan Y, Xu M, Wang R-S, Ho C-H, Lalonde S, You CH, Sardi MI, Parsa SA, Smith-Valle E, Su T, Frazer KA, Pilot G, Pratelli R, Grossmann G, Acharya BR, Hu H-C, Engineer C, Villiers F, Ju C, Takeda K, Su Z, Dong Q, Assmann SM, Chen J, Kwak JM, Schroeder JI, Albert R, Rhee SY, Frommer WB (2014) Border Control-A Membrane-Linked Interactome of Arabidopsis. Science 344(6185):711-716.
  5. Lin IW, Sosso D, Chen LQ, Gase K, Kim SG, Kessler D, Klinkenberg PM, Gorder MK, Hou BH, Qu XQ, Carter CJ, Baldwin IT, Frommer WB (2014) Nectar secretion requires sucrose phosphate synthases and the sugar transporter SWEET9. Nature 508(7497):546-549. doi: 10.1038/nature13082.