Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Werr

Research focus

Research is focussed on two aspects of shoot apical meristem (SAM) function:
i) the specification of lateral organ founder cells at the SAM periphery outside the central stem cell zone and initial stages of morphogenesis such as the formation of marginal and plate meristems for leaf expansion in Arabidopsis thaliana,
ii) macro-evolutionary studies on the origin of and/or adaptations in stem cell fate promoting functions such as that of WUSCHEL and close relatives that experimentally guide comparative evolutionary development studies in the Arabidopsis model.

The ten most important publications

  1. Kirch T, Simon R, Grünewald M, Werr W. (2003) The DORNRÖSCHEN/ENHANCER OF SHOOT REGENERATION1 gene of Arabidopsis acts in the control of meristem ccll fate and lateral organ development. Plant Cell 15:694-705.
  2. Bommert P, Lunde C, Nardmann J, Vollbrecht E, Running M, Jackson D, Hake S, Werr W. (2005) thick tassel dwarf1 encodes a putative maize ortholog of the Arabidopsis CLAVATA1 leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinase. Development 132:1235-45.
  3. Nardmann J, Werr W. (2006) The shoot stem cell niche in angiosperms: expression patterns of WUS orthologues in rice and maize imply major modifications in the course of mono- and dicot evolution. Mol Biol Evol. 23:2492-504.
  4. Nardmann J, Reisewitz P, Werr W. (2009) Discrete shoot and root stem cell-promoting WUS/WOX5 functions are an evolutionary innovation of angiosperms. Mol Biol Evol. 26:1745-55
  5. Chandler JW, Jacobs B, Cole M, Comelli P, Werr W  (2011) DORNRÖSCHEN-LIKE expression marks Arabidopsis floral organ founder cells and precedes auxin response maxima. Plant Mol Biol.76:171-8
  6. Nardmann J, Werr W. (2012) The invention of WUS-like stem cell-promoting functions in plants predates leptosporangiate ferns. Plant Mol Biol. 78:123-34
  7. Nardmann J, Werr W. (2013) Symplesiomorphies in the WUSCHEL clade suggest that the last common ancestor of seed plants contained at least four independent stem cell niches. New Phytol. 199:1081-92
  8. Comelli P, Glowa D, Chandler JW, Werr W (2015) Founder-cell-specific transcription of the DORNRÖSCHEN-LIKE promoter and integration of the auxin response. J Exp Bot. 2015 Oct 1 doi: 10.1093/jxb/erv442
  9. Dolzblasz A, Nardmann J, Clerici E, Causier B, van der Graaff E, Chen J, Davies B, Werr W, Laux T. (2016) Stem Cell Regulation by Arabidopsis WOX Genes. Mol Plant 9:1028-39
  10. Frerichs A, Thoma R, Abdallah AT, Frommolt P, Werr W, Chandler JW  (2016)The founder-cell transcriptome in the Arabidopsis apetala1 cauliflower inflorescence meristem. BMC Genomics 17:855
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Werr
CEPLAS Wolfgang Werr


 +49 221 470-2619

Botanical Institute, Cologne Biocenter
University of Cologne

Zülpicher Straße 47b

50674 Cologne

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