Two new MSc students join the lab

We are happy to welcome Sooyun Lee and Tilman Jacob to the Designer Glycans lab. Sooyun first joined us for an internship in February to evaluate fluorescent reporters in Pichia pastoris. She will now start her MSc research thesis on secreting proteins from yeast to modify extracellular glycans.

Tilman is a first-year MSc student at the Martin Luther University, who will initially work as a research assistant. Having previously worked with G-protein-coupled receptors in human cell lines, he is not afraid to investigate some our of membrane-bound glycosyltransferases.

View their profiles on The Team page.

Register now for the Leibniz Symposium on Plant Cell Walls

Debora Gasperini, Katharina Bürstenbinder and Catalin Voiniciuc are co-organizing the Leibniz Plant Biochemistry Symposium 2021. This annual conference will be focused on Plant Cell Walls this year, and will be held as an online event for the first time.

We have an exciting speaker line-up and there will be free registration for participants from around the world. Space is limited, so don’t miss out.

Register now:

Symposium website: Link

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February publication update

We are happy to have contributed to a new publication that appeared in Science Advances on the February 10. This study unveils how jasmonate signaling is initiated in the korrigan1 (kor1) cellulose-deficient mutant, and multiple ways in which it can be complemented. The work was lead by Stefan Mielke in Debora Gasperini’s research group at IPB Halle.


Catalin Voiniciuc performed the cell wall analyses, and would like to acknowledge the valuable technical assistance of Christine Wagner and Bo Yang. The Science Advances study was originally available as a pre-print:


February also marks the release of a correction to the Voiniciuc et al. (2018) Plant Physiology study of pectin biosynthetic enzymes. Unfortunately, there was an accidental mix-up of GAUT11 and another GAUT protein expressed at the same time. Catalin would like to thank the co-authors for reporting the problem affecting Figure 5 and Supplemental Figure 4A, and repeating the experiments. The corrigendum has addressed this issue and shows that the original results and conclusions that GAUT11 is a galacturonosyltransferase (GalAT) that elongates homogalacturonan (HG) are unaffected.

Original article:


New publication in New Phytologist

Our revised manuscript on the roles of branched xylan and heteromannan (previously available as a preprint) in controlling seed mucilage properties and early growth in salt stress has now been peer-reviewed.

Read the open-access article here:

New publication on wheat mannan

A collaborative study of mannan polysaccharide production in wheat (Triticum aestivum) is now published in the journal Plant Science. Wheat-like polymers that normally accumulate in the developing endosperm of the grain were produced in two heterologous hosts by the expression of a single enzyme, TaCSLA12. Additional mannan-related genes were identified in the wheat endosperm but were not essential for making the polysaccharides in yeast. Moreover, a wheat-like mannan production in a glucomannan-deficient Arabidopsis thaliana triple mutant (csla2 csla3 csla9) did not alter the plant morphology.

Congratulations to our colleagues at INRAE (Nantes, France; who led the study), the Joint BioEnergy Institute (Berkeley, California), Rothamsted Research (UK), and Heinrich Heine University (Düsseldorf, Germany; where our experimental work was conducted).


Fig. 2 from the study. Subcellular localization of enzymes that may be involved in mannan production. (Source:

Fig. 3 from the study. Quantification of beta-mannan production in yeast cells after plant enzyme expression. (Source: