Recognizing Plant Cell authors: Franziska Fichtner

Franziska Fichtner, first author of Functional features of TREHALOSE-6-PHOSPHATE SYNTHASE1 – an essential enzyme in Arabidopsis thaliana

Current Position: Postdoctoral Research Associate, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Australia

Education: PhD in Molecular Plant Physiology at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology and the University of Potsdam, Germany; Master of Science in Plant Science at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University in Bonn, Germany

Non-scientific Interests: reading, travelling, politics, watching nice TV series and documentaries

Brief bio: I started my scientific career at the University of Muenster (Germany) where I got my Bachelor in biology. During my studies, I realized that plants where my passion and that I wanted to focus on plant biology. For that reason I moved to Bonn (Germany) where I pursued a Master’s degree in Plant Sciences. In 2013, I applied for a PhD scholarship of the International Max Planck Research School ‘Primary Metabolism and Plant Growth’ at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam (close to Berlin, Germany). There I had the great opportunity to join the group of Mark Stitt working under the supervision of John Lunn. The focus of my PhD thesis was the regulation of metabolism and development by trehalose 6-phosphate (Tre6P), a sucrose specific signaling metabolite in plants. I generated a large variety of different transgenic lines to investigate how changes in Tre6P alter the plant’s metabolism as well as its development and phenotype. After finishing my PhD thesis (2017) that got awarded with the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society, I stayed as a postdoctoral researcher to finish my work on TREHALOSE-6-PHOSPHATE SYNTHASE 1 which just got published in Plant Cell. Beginning of this year, I moved to Australia to work with Christine Beveridge as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Queensland on the regulation of shoot branching by the crosstalk of phytohormones, Tre6P and sugars.