Prof. Dr. George Coupland

Research focus

My interests are in Research Area A focused on the diversification of annual and perennial life histories. We have developed the Arabis genus as a model system for studying the evolution of annual life history from perennial. Initially we focused on the control of flowering by seasonal cues. Using mutagenesis and reverse genetic strategies in Arabis alpina we showed the involvement of orthologues of the Arabidopsis floral repressors in perennial traits such as limitation of the duration of flowering and regulation of competence to flower. More recently we have contributed extensive genomic and transcriptome analysis of A. alpina and related annual species.

The ten most important publications

  1. Wang R, Farrona S, Vincent C, Joecker A, Schoof H, Turck F, Alonso-Blanco C, Coupland G, Albani MC (2009) PEP1 regulates perennial flowering in Arabis alpina. Nature 459(7245):423-427.
  2. Wang R, Albani MC, Vincent C, Bergonzi S, Luan M, Bai Y, Kiefer C, Castillo R, Coupland G (2011) Aa TFL1 confers an age-dependent response to vernalization in perennial Arabis alpina. The Plant cell 23(4):1307-1321.
  3. Porri A, Torti S, Romera-Branchat M, Coupland G (2012) Spatially distinct regulatory roles for gibberellins in the promotion of flowering of Arabidopsis under long photoperiods. Development 139(12):2198-2209.
  4. Bergonzi S, Albani MC, Ver Loren van Themaat E, Nordström KJ, Wang R, Schneeberger K, Moerland PD, Coupland G (2013) Mechanisms of age-dependent response to winter temperature in perennial flowering of Arabis alpina. Science 340(6136):1094-1097.
  5. Andrés F, Porri A, Torti S, Mateos J, Romera-Branchat M, García-Martínez JL, Fornara F, Gregis V, Kater MM, Coupland G (2014) SHORT VEGETATIVE PHASE reduces gibberellin biosynthesis at the Arabidopsis shoot apex to regulate the floral transition. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 111(26):E2760-2769.
  6. Castaings L, Bergonzi S, Albani MC, Kemi U, Savolainen O, Coupland G (2014) Evolutionary conservation of cold-induced antisense RNAs of FLOWERING LOCUS C in Arabidopsis thaliana perennial relatives. Nat Commun 5:4457.
  7. Nakamura Y, Andrés F, Kanehara K, Liu YC, Dörmann P, Coupland G (2014) Arabidopsis florigen FT binds to diurnally oscillating phospholipids that accelerate flowering. Nat Commun 5:3553.
  8. De Montaigu A, Giakountis A, Rubin M, Tóth R, Cremer F, Sokolova V, Porri A, Reymond M, Weinig C, Coupland G (2015) Natural diversity in daily rhythms of gene expression contributes to phenotypic variation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 112(3):905-910.
  9. Willing EM, Rawat V, Mandáková T, Maumus F, James GV, Nordström KJV, Becker C, Warthmann N, Chica C, Szarzynska B, Zytnicki M, Albani MC, Kiefer C, Bergonzi S, Castaings L, Mateos JL, Berns MC, Bujdoso N, Piofczyk T, de Lorenzo L, Barrero-Sicilia C, Mateos I, Piednouel M, Hagmann J, Chen-Min-Taó R, Iglesias-Fernández R, Schuster SC, Alonso-Blanco C, Roudier F, Carbonero P, Paz-Ares J, Davis SJ, Pecinka A, Quesneville H, Colot V, Lysak MA, Weigel D, Coupland G, Schneeberger K (2015) Genome expansion of Arabis alpina linked with retrotransposition and reduced symmetric DNA methylation. Nature Plants 1(2):1-7.
  10. Hyun Y, Richter R, Vincent C, Martinez-Gallegos R, Porri A, Coupland G (2016) Multi-layered Regulation of SPL15 and Cooperation with SOC1 Integrate Endogenous Flowering Pathways at the Arabidopsis Shoot Meristem. Dev Cell 37(3):254-266.
Prof. Dr. George Coupland
CEPLAS George Coupland


+49 221 5062205

Department of Plant Developmental Biology
Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research

Carl-von-Linné-Weg 10

50829 Cologne
Heinrich Heine University
University of Cologne
Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research
Forschungszentrum Jülich