Prof. Dr. Ute Höcker

Research focus

Our research focuses on the role of protein degradation in light-controlled development of Arabidopsis thaliana. Our studies include the analysis of seedling deetiolation, leaf shape and photoperiodic regulation of flowering time. Within CEPLAS, we are interested in the development of a C4-type leaf as well as in the role of light in the differentiation of the C4 syndrome and perennialism.

The ten most important publications

  1. Holtkotte X, Dieterle S, Kokkelink L, Artz O, Leson L, Fittinghoff K, Hayama R, Ahmad M, Hoecker U (2016) Mutations in the N-terminal kinase-like domain of the repressor of photomorphogenesis SPA1 severely impair SPA1 function but not light responsiveness in Arabidopsis. Plant J.
  2. Zhu L, Bu Q, Xu X, Paik I, Huang X, Hoecker U, Deng XW, Huq E (2015) CUL4 forms an E3 ligase with COP1 and SPA to promote light-induced degradation of PIF1. Nat Commun 6:7245.
  3. Ordonez-Herrera N, Fackendahl P, Yu X, Schaefer S, Koncz C, Hoecker U (2015) A cop1 spa mutant deficient in COP1 and SPA proteins reveals partial co-action of COP1 and SPA during Arabidopsis post-embryonic development and photomorphogenesis. Molecular plant 8(3):479-481.
  4. Chen S, Lory N, Stauber J, Hoecker U (2015) Photoreceptor Specificity in the Light-Induced and COP1-Mediated Rapid Degradation of the Repressor of Photomorphogenesis SPA2 in Arabidopsis. PLoS genetics 11(9):e1005516.
  5. Balcerowicz M, Ranjan A, Rupprecht L, Fiene G, Hoecker U (2014) Auxin represses stomatal development in dark-grown seedlings via Aux/IAA proteins. Development 141(16):3165-3176.
  6. Balcerowicz M, Hoecker U (2014) Auxin - a novel regulator of stomata differentiation. Trends in plant science 19(12):747-749.
  7. Maier A, Schrader A, Kokkelink L, Falke C, Welter B, Iniesto E, Rubio V, Uhrig JF, Hülskamp M, Hoecker U (2013) Light and the E3 ubiquitin ligase COP1/SPA control the protein stability of the MYB transcription factors PAP1 and PAP2 involved in anthocyanin accumulation in Arabidopsis. Plant J 74(4):638-651.
  8. Weidler G, Zur Oven-Krockhaus S, Heunemann M, Orth C, Schleifenbaum F, Harter K, Hoecker U, Batschauer A (2012) Degradation of Arabidopsis CRY2 is regulated by SPA proteins and phytochrome A. The Plant cell 24(6):2610-2623.
  9. Rolauffs S, Fackendahl P, Sahm J, Fiene G, Hoecker U (2012) Arabidopsis COP1 and SPA genes are essential for plant elongation but not for acceleration of flowering time in response to a low red light to far-red light ratio. Plant Physiol 160(4):2015-2027.
  10. Ranjan A, Fiene G, Fackendahl P, Hoecker U (2011) The Arabidopsis repressor of light signaling SPA1 acts in the phloem to regulate seedling de-etiolation, leaf expansion and flowering time. Development 138(9):1851-1862.
Prof. Dr. Ute Höcker
CEPLAS Ute Höcker


+49 221 4706897

Institute for Plant Sciences, 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