Recognizing Plant Direct authors: Susanne Matschi

Susanne Matschi, first author of Structure-function analysis of the maize bulliform cell cuticle and its potential role in dehydration and leaf rolling

Current Position: Postdoc at the Leibniz Institute for Plant Biochemistry in Halle/Germany

Education: PhD in Biology at Freie Universität Berlin/Germany, Diploma in Biology at Universität Regensburg/Germany

Non-scientific Interests: travelling, being outdoors with my husband and daughter, crafting (sewing, knitting, etc.), reading, music

Brief bio: I started my research career in plant science at the lab of Prof. Tina Romeis in Berlin, where I characterized the role of a calcium-dependent protein kinase in the development of Arabidopsis during my PhD. After a year of working on plant innate immunity in the lab of Prof. Cyril Zipfel at the Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich/UK, I joined the lab of Prof. Laurie Smith at UC San Diego in beautiful California. There, I completely switched gears and got to know the ‘amaizing’ model system maize, working on a variety of projects investigating the genetic basis and important functional components of the leaf cuticle in the adult maize leaf. Next to a GWA study on cuticular water loss, which had us sweat in 110 °F Arizonan heat for two summers doing maize field work in Maricopa and San Diego, and a study on the developmental maturation of the adult maize cuticle, I also worked on a project to characterize the cell-type specific cuticle of the grass-specific bulliform cells and its functional importance for these cells in the epidermis.

Nowadays, I am happily back to my origins doing biochemistry at the Leibniz Institute for Plant Biochemistry in Halle, where I joined the Department of Biochemistry of Plant Interactions under the helm of the recently appointed director Prof. Tina Romeis. Current projects involve different calcium-regulated proteins and their signaling role in diverse processes of the plant, with a focus on proteomic analyses.