Plant-Systems Interaction -
Stefanie Wienkoop Group

Room: 1.311
Althanstraße 14 (UZA I)
1090 Vienna, Austria



Research Focus

COST Action 1306 PhenomenALL The quest for tolerant varieties

Integration and development of  –omics techniques, including mass spectrometry based metabolomics and proteomics with phenotyping, allows Wienkoop to gain large insights and resolve the complexity of plant-microbe interactions and metabolic adjustment processes.

Legumes like Pea, Soy and their wild type models Medicago truncatula and Lotus japonicus, are able to establish symbiotic interactions with soil microbes. Rhizobia symbiosis leads to the formation of root nodules, the organ where the mutualistic metabolic exchange between plant and bacteroids is taking place.

Wienkoop`s team investigates the metabolic exchange between plants and microbes and the influence microsymbionts have on the plant`s immune system and how this induces stress resistance upon environmental perturbations such as drought or pathogen attack.

Current PhD Students

Sebastian Schneider, Nima Ranjbar, Julian Preiner

Unraveling the proteome of the symbiosome (peribacteroid) membrane (SM)

In nodules, the SM is the interface for the metabolic exchange between plant and bacteroids. Several proteins have been identified by Wienkoop & Saalbach (2003). Wienkoop`s team and coworker recently revealed the important function of the sulfate transporter (SST1). They demonstrated that the bacteroids take up 20‐fold more sulfate than the nodule host cells. Furthermore, they showed that nitrogenase biosynthesis relies on high levels of imported sulfate. The team is currently working on the discovery of another high abundance SM protein and its function...

Interaction with rhizobia leads to increased drought tolerance

The team found that interaction with rhizobia leads to decelerated leaf senescence during drought along accelerated recovery upon re-watering. To tackle the molecular mechanism(s), responsible for this “symbiont induced stay green effect” (SISG) is one major focus of Wienkoop`s research group.

Artikel: Bodenbakterien lassen Blätter von Hülsenfrüchten bei Trockenstress langsamer welken


Microbial impact on the plant`s immune response to pathogen attack

The team also investigates the microbial impact on the plant`s immune response to pathogen attack. Symbiosis can enhance phytoalexin production for increased protection of the plants against biotic stress.


Microbial Nitrogen Cycling – From Single Cells to Ecosystems FWF funded doctoral program (DK plus) “Microbial Nitrogen Cycling”
PI of Subproject: Effects of nutrients on N-fixation of Lotus spp. and Rhizobium strains
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Tripartite symbiosis formed by Pisum sativum, rhizobia and mycorrhiza: Implications for the symbionts, the host plant and the pathogenic fungi,
FWF [P 24870-B22]
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Multilevel analysis towards drought tolerance in Legumes

FWF [P23441-B20]
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PhDs: David Lyon, Christiana Staudinger, Vlora Mehmeti, Reinhard Turetschek

PostDocs: Ma.-Angeles Castillejo, Getinet Desalegn

Masters: Christiana Staudinger, Tamara Epple, Stephan Holzbach, Reinhard Turetschek, Sebastian Schneider, Benedict Dirnberger, Mathias Kolber