International Plant & Animal Genome Conference / PAG 32 • January 10-15, 2025  •  San Diego, CA, USA

P.Schulze LefertDirector, Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Germany
Tuesday, January 15, 8:45 AM / Town & Country Ballroom

Talk Title:  Establishment and Functions of the Microbiota for Plant Growth and Health


Paul Schulze-Lefert was trained in biochemistry and genetics at Marburg, Freiburg, and Cologne Universities, Germany. After a Ph.D. thesis on cis-and trans-acting factors regulating plant gene expression in response to light, he became interested in molecular processes underlying plant-microbe interactions. Major research areas are

  • the innate immune system of plants
  • mechanisms of microbial pathogenesis
  • the plant microbiota

He worked from 1989 to 1990 as postdoctoral fellow in Francesco Salamini’s department at the MPIPZ Cologne on the development of DNA marker technologies in plant genomes. In 1991 he started his own research group at the RWTH Aachen, Germany, with a focus on plant disease resistance mechanisms to fungal pathogens. From 1995 to 2000 he held a senior research position and supervised a research team on plant innate immunity in the Sainsbury Laboratory at the John Innes Centre, England. Since 2000 he is Director of the Department of Plant Microbe Interactions at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research (MPIPZ), Cologne, and Honorary Professor at the University of Cologne since 2003.
Paul is an elected EMBO member since April 2006, an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, USA since 2010, an elected member of the German National Academy of Sciences, Leopoldina since 2010, and an elected member of the American Academy of Microbiology, USA since 2011.

He is a member of the science advisory board of the Two Blades Foundation and a co-founder and advisor of AgBiome, a for-profit company that explores the crop microbiome to improve plant health.


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