Willkommen im Institut für Biologie III
Molekulare Phytopathologie:






list of publications can be found using the researcherID E-7252-2014


Based on our recent collaboration with the Amorin-lab from Sao Paulo University, Plant Pathology has accepted our review on the occurence of Asian grapevine rust in Brasil.


In the spotlight: Denise Weidenbach´s paper on 'Polarized defense against fungal pathogens is mediated by the Jacalin-related lectin domain of modular Poaceae-specific proteins' is just published as
Featured article in Molecular Plant 9 (4): 514-527.

Further emphasis was put on our story by showing it on the cover:


MolPlant On The Cover Close-up views from sporulating colonies of three major leaf diseases of cereal crop plants, powdery mildew, blast and rust (top to bottom). A Poaceae-specific protein consisting of a jacalin-related lectin and dirigent domain enhances resistance against different pathogens in a trans-species specific manner. Image by: Denise Weidenbach.



In February 2016 Marco Löhrer and Ulrich Schaffrath were invited by Prof. Lilian Amorim from the University of Sao Paulo to Piracicaba Campus. Lilian is working with her group on a newly emerging threat for grape: Phakopsoara euvitis which is the causal agent for grape rust disease. The collaboration between both groups aims first at the characterization of the infection mechanisms and in a second step on the development of plant protection strategies. This pathogen is not yet present in Europe but due to climate changes an invasion of this devastating pathogen can not be excluded.


Piracicabagrape rust




In September 2015 U. Schaffrath was among the local organisers for the joint meeting of the groups from the ‘PR Proteins Workshop’ and the ‘Working Group Induced Resistance in Plants Against Insects and Diseases’ of the International Organization of Biological Control (IOBC-WPRS). The meeting which was held at the RWTH Aachen University.


group foto speaker





ASR Asian Soybean Rust is one of the most devastating threats in soybean cultivation worldwide. Today no cultivars are available which are resistant to the different isolates of the pathogen. To better understand the fungal infection biology and to foster disease management programs a consortium was build to target the genome of the fungus. In October 2015 we received the official "go" for our joined proposal on sequencing of the Asian Soybean Rust genome.
The Joint Genome Institute (United States Department of Energy) included Phakosoara pachyrhizi in the 1000 fungal genome project.





In August 2014 Ulrich Schaffrath was invited to participate in the Sino-German Summer-School on Membrane structure and function. Together with colleagues from Bonn University and Rhine-Waal University 12 students from Germany and 25 students from China were introduced in recent advances in this research field. After one week all participants agreed that this event was a great success in terms of strengthening further research collaborations.








Molecular Plant Pathology ist eine der weltweit führenden Fachzeitschriften in Bereich der Phytopathology. 

Folgende Informationen wurden der Home-page des Journals entnommen. Die frei verfügbaren Daten bieten einen exzellenten und top-aktuellen Überblick in unser  Forschungsfeld und unterstreichen nachdrücklich die Wichtigkeit unserer Forschungsobjekte. So wird als Nr. 1 der wichtigsten Pflanzenpathogene   Magnaporthe oryzae geführt, ein Pilz den wir seit Jahren intensiv bearbeiten. 

The Top 10 Fungal Pathogens in Molecular Plant Pathology


Molecular Plant Pathology published recently an excellent review on the scientific and economic impact of plant fungal pathogens? The download is for free and is an ideal article for both research and teaching purposes.
Download online


More than 100 down-loads during March 2012 and more than 4000 down-loads until August 2014!

It seems that our published book chapter still attracts a lot of attention.

The content is freely available at:Asian Soybean Rust – meet a prominent challenge in soybean cultivation
Lohrer M, Schaffrath U. Soybean - Biochemistry, Chemistry and Physiology, Tzi-Bun Ng (ed.), 2011, InTech-Open Access Publisher, Rijeka, Croatia, ISBN 978-953-307-219-7


research highlights

our research has been selected several times for
 the front cover of these journals



In Oct 2009 Dr. Schaffrath was invited by the Organizing Commitee of the 7th Hangzhou International Symposium on Plant Pathology and Biotechnology to give a presentation of RiBa-Lab ongoing work. Many thanks to Prof. Dongwei Hu, Biotechnology Institute, Zhejiang University for perfect organisation of my visit and scientific collaboration.
Science published a Special Issue on
Food security on 12 Feb 2010

Highlighted in „Armed and Dangerous“ the editors identified
the most serious biological threats; two of which are in the
Research Focus of the RiBa-Lab:
  • rice blast caused by Magnaporthe oryzae
  • Asian Soybean Rust caused by Phakopsora pachyrhizi
research networks
BioSC Zur Implementierung einer wissensbasierten Bioökonomie kooperieren die RWTH Aachen, die Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, die Friedrich-Wilhelms Universität Bonn und das Forschungszentrum Jülich unter dem Dach des Bioeconomy Science Center.


Das Riba-Lab ist an zwei Boost BOOST FUND Projekten maßgeblich beteiligt: "Priming-Active Compounds for Plant Protection" (PrimACs) and "Investigate plant-microbe interactions to improve plant health and productivity" (PlaMINT).

In beiden Projekten steht der nachhaltige Schutz der Nahrungsmittelproduktion im Fokus der Forschungsverbünde.




Logo der Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung (Link zur Startseite) Im Rahmen der Innovationsförderung unterstützt die BLE das Forschungsvorhaben "aqua.protect". Ulrich Schaffrath koordiniert diesen Verbund, der aus 4 öffentlichen Forschungseinrichtungen und 2 Firmen besteht. Ziel des Vorhabens ist die Evaluierung eines neuartigen Pflanzenschutzverfahrens bei dem ein Produkt zur Anwendung kommt, welches zuvor schon in der Lebensmittelhygiene eingesetzt wurde.


Das umwelt- und gesundheitsverträgliche Produkt "aqua.protect" basiert auf Wasser, das elektrochemisch aktiviert und in Zusammenhang mit einem zu entwickelnden Prognoseverfahren gezielt auf die Pflanzen aufgebracht wird. Es verbleiben keine schädlichen Rückstände auf den Pflanzen. Um die Wirksamkeit des aqua.protect gegen verschiedene Krankheitserreger, die Ertragsausfälle und Qualitätsverluste verursachen, zu untersuchen und ein Verfahren zur Anwendung in der Praxis zu entwickeln, hat sich ein Verbund von Forschungsinstituten und Firmen unter Führung der RWTH Aachen zusammengeschlossen. Die Projektlaufzeit ist auf insgesamt 38 Monate festgelegt.


read more ...




The RiBa-Lab is part of the DURESTrit consortium in a project funded in a European Research Area. ERA-CAPS aimed in promoting sustainable collaboration in plant sciences through coordinating and funding excellent transnational research.

Nonhost resistance (NHR) is the most durable and broadly acting form of resistance plants posses to ward off the majority of pathogens regularly occurring within the environment within which they live. In order to exploit NHR in future crop protection concepts we need to understand why the minority of adapted host pathogens can circumvent or suppress NHR and what defense- or accommodation-related proteins, signalling pathways or structural components of their host plants are targeted in order to establish disease. n the ERA-NET consortium TritNONHOST, plus a number of related projects e.g. funded within the German GABI program (BMBF), we identified a number of genes and genetic loci in barley and wheat that are associated or correlated with NHR to three major fungal pathogens including powdery mildews. The new project will result in the deeper characterization and validation of previously identified strong NHR candidates, with a special emphasis on receptor-like kinases, and in the identification of new NHR components introduced into barley or wheat by wide crosses or genetic engineering. This will deepen our understanding of NHR in cereals and provide materials and know-how for the exploitation of NHR by translational research.






Eingebettet in das BMBF-Rahmenprogramm "Nationale Forschungsstrategie BioÖkonomie 2030" wird das RiBa-Lab im Rahmen der Förderaktivität "Pflanzenbiotechnologie der Zukunft" in folgendem Verbundprojekt gefördert:

Gezielte Nutzung von Genen der basalen Abwehr für Pathogenresistenz in Gerste (BARLEY-FORTRESS)


BARLEY-fortress is an international research consortium for the targeted exploitation of basal defense genes in barley with the aim to introgress and engineer broad and durable pathogen resistance into this major crop.




The RiBa-Lab is part of the TRINONHOST consortium in a project funded by the European Research Area Plant Genomics.

The ERA-PG has the ambition to further structure the plant genomics scientific and technological programmes in Europe. The particular aim of TRINONHOST is to evaluate the potential of nonhost resistance by doing a global, differential gene-expression analysis, comparing compatible host and nonhost interactions which will allow the identification of common, plant species-specific and pathogen species-specific pathways involved in nonhost resistance in wheat and barley. The outputs from this project will provide a new level of understanding of the fundamental inner workings of the biology of nonhost resistance in cereals that will provide the European plant breeding industry with the knowledge and tools required to achieve sustainable resistance to major pathogens.




The RiBa-Lab was part of the EURICE consortium in a project funded by the 5th EU-framework.


The general aim of this project was to improve and evaluate the use of potential anti-fungal genes in controlling rice blast disease and stem rots in Europe where they represent the most important and widespread diseases. This approach aimed to improve our knowledge on the use of resistance genes to tailor new rice cultivars enhanced in resistance, for stable and reliable use of transgene technology in wider programmes for rice crop protection.



dissemination work

Das  Rice-Barley-Lab beteiligt sich regelmäßig an Informationsveranstaltungen für Schülerinnen und Schüler im Vorfeld der Studienentscheidung.

MINT-Bio-Camp 2009: Im Frühjahr 2009 fand zum ersten Mal an der RWTH Aachen in Zusammenarbeit mit dem MINT-EC Verein (Verein Mathematisch-naturwissenschaftlicher Excellence-Center an Schulen e.V.) ein Bio-Camp für Schülerinnen und Schüler aus dem gesamten Bundesgebiet statt.

 (Photo: Peter Winandy)

RWTH-Schüler-Uni 2009: Im Sommer 2009 fand dann für die Schulen des Aachener Umlandes zum ersten Mal eine Schüler-Uni statt. Hiermit soll interessierten Schülerinnen und Schüler die Möglichkeit geboten werden sich einen Einblick von den Studienmöglichkeiten an der RWTH Aachen zu schaffen.
Die Schüler-Uni wird auch in den Sommerferien 2010 wieder stattfinden.

 (Photo: RiBa-Lab)



PD Dr. Ulrich Schaffrath