Peroxisomes are cell organelles that are present in all organisms and are essential for the cells of nearly all organisms on earth, including animals, fungi and plants. These "microbodies" are well-known for their important physiological functions in photorespiration, fatty acid beta-oxidation and ROS metabolism.
However, due to technological challenges many enzymes, metabolic pathways and important functions of plant peroxisomes have remained largely uncharacterized to date.
To define the proteome of plant peroxisomes our group developed experimental proteome technology for the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana.
Complementary to this experimental (and laborious) approach we developed, in collaboration with Dr. Thomas Lingner of University of Goettingen, Germany, computational prediction algorithms.
These are used to predict the major class of peroxisomal matrix proteins carrying peroxisome targeting signals type 1 (PTS1) from genome sequences
At the molecular level our research focuses on the function of plant peroxisomes in plant innate immunity.
Recent activities also center on the enzymes and metabolic pathway that facilitate plant adaptation to environmental stress conditions such as heat
Recently we also have become interested in the evolution of plant peroxisomes and started analyzing and comparing the proteome of peroxisomes from higher plants and microalgae.
In biotechnological research activities we are trying to understand and optimize fatty acid metabolism in microalgae to increase their enormous productivity of oil. Omega-3 rich oil from microalgae is of high interest to Norwegian aquaculture for farmed fish (more on Microalgal research).