Recognizing Plant Direct authors: Marco Bürger

Marco Bürger, first author of In-silico analysis of the strigolactone ligand-receptor system

Current Position: Senior research associate

Education: PhD: Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology; B.S., M.Sc.: University of Osnabrück

Non-scientific Interests: reading, traveling

Brief bio: I earned a M.Sc. degree in cell biology from the University of Osnabrück, Germany. During my PhD at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology, I worked on the structural and biochemical characterization of several proteins from the α/β hydrolase superfamily. My interest in the diversity of these proteins continued when I joined Joanne Chory’s lab at the Salk Institute and started working on receptors for the phytohormone class of strigolactones (SLs). I always found it intriguing that these proteins – unlike other plant hormone receptors – are active enzymes that hydrolyze their substrates, which can make receptor-ligand studies difficult. In this paper, we pursued a computer-based approach to get more insight into the events that happen before SL hydrolysis.