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.

Most important publications

  1. Loo EP, Duran P, Pang TY, Westhoff P, Deng C, Duran C, Lercher M, Garrido-Oter R, Frommer WB (2024) Sugar transporters spatially organize microbiota colonization along the longitudinal root axis of Arabidopsis. Cell Host Microbe. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2024.02.014.
  2. Schepler-Luu V, Sciallano C, Stiebner M, Ji C, Boulard G, Diallo A, Auguy F, Char SN, Arra Y, Schenstnyi K, Buchholzer M, Loo EPI, Bilaro AL, Lihepanyama D, Mkuya M, Murori R, Oliva R, Cunnac S, Yang B, Szurek B, Frommer WB (2023) Genome editing of an African elite rice variety confers resistance against endemic and emerging Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae strains. Elife 12. doi: 10.7554/eLife.84864.
  3. Isoda R, Palmai Z, Yoshinari A, Chen LQ, Tama F, Frommer WB, Nakamura M (2022) SWEET13 transport of sucrose, but not gibberellin, restores male fertility in Arabidopsis sweet13;14. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 119(42):e2207558119. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2207558119.
  4. Moe-Lange J, Gappel NM, Machado M, Wudick MM, Sies CSA, Schott-Verdugo SN, Bonus M, Mishra S, Hartwig T, Bezrutczyk M, Basu D, Farmer EE, Gohlke H, Malkovskiy A, Haswell ES, Lercher MJ, Ehrhardt DW, Frommer WB, Kleist TJ (2021) Interdependence of a mechanosensitive anion channel and glutamate receptors in distal wound signaling. Sci Adv 7(37):eabg4298. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abg4298.
  5. Kim JY, Symeonidi E, Pang TY, Denyer T, Weidauer D, Bezrutczyk M, Miras M, Zollner N, Hartwig T, Wudick MM, Lercher M, Chen LQ, Timmermans MCP, Frommer WB (2021) Distinct identities of leaf phloem cells revealed by single cell transcriptomics. Plant Cell 33(3):511-530. doi: 10.1093/plcell/koaa060.
  6. Bezrutczyk M, Zöllner NR, Kruse CPS, Hartwig T, Lautwein T, Köhrer K, Frommer WB, Kim JY (2021) Evidence for phloem loading via the abaxial bundle sheath cells in maize leaves. Plant Cell 33(3):531-547. doi: 10.1093/plcell/koaa055.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Chen LQ, Qu XQ, Hou BH, Sosso D, Osorio S, Fernie AR, Frommer WB (2012) Sucrose efflux mediated by SWEET proteins as a key step for phloem transport. Science 335(6065):207-211. doi: 10.1126/science.1213351.
  10. Riesmeier JW, Willmitzer L, Frommer WB (1994) Evidence for an essential role of the sucrose transporter in phloem loading and assimilate partitioning. EMBO J 13(1):1-7. doi: 10.1002/j.1460-2075.1994.tb06229.x.