Regulation of Flavonoid Biosynthesis

Project Leader

Ralf Stracke, PhD


The main focus of this research group lies on the functional analysis of transcription factors regulating flavonoid biosynthesis in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and in crops as sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) and banana (Musa acuminata).

Flavonoids are plant secondary metabolites, playing important roles in the interactions of plants with their environments: in protection against diverse biotic and abiotic stresses, in various physiological or developmental functions, and in the agronomic and industrial qualities of plant products. Furthermore, there is growing evidence for their positive effects on animal and human health. The fine regulation of flavonoid biosynthesis is achieved by combinatorial action(s) of different transcription factors, expressed in a spatially and temporally controlled manner.

The work of the Regulation of Flavonoid Biosynthesis group predominantly comprises molecular genetic and metabolite analyses, including the characterisation of mutants, gene expression studies, the analysis of protein-DNA interactions and metabolic profiling.


Ishihara H., et al. (2016). Natural variation in flavonol accumulation in Arabidopsis is determined by the flavonol glucosyltransferase BGLU6. Journal of Experimental Botany 67: 1505-1517. PubMed

Rafique M. Z., et al. (2016). Nonsense mutation inside anthocyanidin synthase gene controls pigmentation in yellow raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.). Frontiers in Plant Science 7:1892. PubMed

Stracke R., et al. (2010). Analysis of PRODUCTION OF FLAVONOL GLYCOSIDES-dependent flavonol glycoside accumulation in Arabidopsis thaliana plants reveals MYB11-, MYB12- and MYB111-independent flavonol glycoside accumulation. New Phytologist 188: 985-1000. PubMed

Stracke R., et al. (2010). The Arabidopsis bZIP transcription factor HY5 regulates expression of the PFG1/MYB12 gene in response to light and ultraviolet-B radiation. Plant, Cell & Environment 33: 88-103. PubMed

Stracke R., et al. (2007). Differential regulation of closely related R2R3-MYB transcription factors controls flavonol accumulation in different parts of the Arabidopsis thaliana seedling. The Plant Journal 50: 660-677. PubMed

Flavonoid Biosynthesis