The research in our group is strongly focused on the plant chloroplasts and transport processes in this organelle. We are particularly interested in ion transport proteins. Currently, we are working on the identification of their substrates and molecular mechanisms. In this context we are interested in organelle development, stress signals and photosynthesis. In our studies we mainly use Arabidopsis thalian as a plant model organism. With growing enthusiasm, however, we are also interested in algae.
A single plant chloroplast has about 2000 proteins, of which only a few are characterized. Our group uses DNA synthesis to design new molecular tools with which we can analyze a gene or protein function much faster.
Among other methods, interested students can learn forward and reverse genetics, molecular biology (incl. CRISPR/Cas9), confocal fluorescence microscopy, in vivo photosynthesis measurements, element analysis, organelle isolation, protein biochemistry and enzymology. For almost all applications in modern biology, good computer skills or bioinformatic knowledge are required today.
Kunz was able to carry out his postdoctoral research project as a fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Human Frontier Science Program in the USA. Our group is therefore interested in accepting international postdoc scholarship holders and supporting them in their academic development.