Graduate School Life Science Munich

Breadcrumb Navigation

Prof. Dr. Claude Becker

Prof. Dr. Claude Becker


Plants never grow alone but instead live in communities with microorganisms and other plants. In order to thrive in these communities, plants have evolved very different strategies to compete with their neighbors for limited resources such as nutrients, water, light, and space. Our research group is interested biochemical interactions in which plants produce and release chemical compounds to interfere with the growth or the development of their neighbors. We want to understand how these chemicals act in the plant, how they influence the complex community of soil-dwelling bacteria and fungi, and how some species have evolved to tolerate the presence of these toxic compounds.

In our second line of research, we study the role of role epigenetic marks in plant-environment interactions; we want to understand how and when epigenetic variation arises, if and how it is inherited, and whether it influences plant physiology and phenotype.


A complete list of Prof. Becker´s publications can be found here:

Ramos Cruz, D., Becker, C.§ A Critical Guide for Studies on Epigenetic Inheritance in Plants. In: Spillane C., McKeown P. (eds) Plant Epigenetics and Epigenomics. Methods in Molecular Biology, vol 2093. Humana, New York, NY.

Schandry, N., Becker, C.§ (2019) Allelopathic plants – models for studying plant-interkingdom interactions. Trends in Plant Sci, 25: 176-185.
Grehl, C., Kuhlmann, M., Becker, C., Glaser, B., Große, I. (2018) How to design a whole-genome bisulfite sequencing experiment. Epigenomics, 2: 21.

Weng, M.L., Becker, C., Hildebrandt, J., Rutter, M., Weigel, D., Fenster, C. (2019) Fine-grained analysis of spontaneous mutation spectrum and frequency in Arabidopsis thaliana. Genetics, 2011: 703-714.

Wibowo, A.*, Becker, C.*, Durr, J., Price, J., Spaepen, S., Hilton, S., Putra, H., Papareddy, R., Saintain, Q., Harvey, S., Bending, G.D., Schulze-Lefert, P., Weigel, D., Gutierrez-Marcos, J. (2018) Partial maintenance of organ-specific epigenetic marks during plant asexual reproduction leads to heritable phenotypic variation. PNAS, 115: E9145-9152.

Alonso, C., Ramos, D., Becker, C.§ (2018) The role of plant epigenetics in biotic interactions. New Phytol 221: 731–737.

Tedeschi, F., Rizzo, P., Huong, B.T.M., Czihal, A., Rutten, T., Altschmied, L., Scharfenberg, S., Grosse, I., Becker, C., Weigel, D., Bäumlein, H., Kuhlmann, M. (2018) EFFECTOR OF TRANSCRIPTION factors are novel plant-specific regulators of genomic DNA methylation in Arabidopsis. New Phytol 221: 261–278.

Dubin, M.§, Mittelsten Scheid, O., Becker, C.§ (2018) Transposons: A blessing curse. Curr Opin Plant Biol, 42: 23-29.

Stein, J., Yu, Y., Copetti, D., Zwickl, D., Zhang, L., Zhang, ZJ., Chougule, K., Gao, D., Iwata, A., Goicoechea, J., Wei, S., Wang, J., Liao, Y., Wang, M., Jacquemin, J., Becker, C., Kudrna, D., Zhang, J., Londono, C., Song, X., Lee, S., Sanchez, P., Zuccolo, A., Ammiraju, J., Talag, J., Danowitz, A., Rivera, L., Gschwend, A., Noutsos, C., Wu, CC., Kao, SM., Zeng, JW., Wei, FJ., Zhao, Q., Feng, Q., El Baidouri, M., Carpentier, MC., Lasserre, E., Cooke, R., Farias, D., Maia, L., dos Santos, R., Nyberg, K., Fan, C., Weigel, D., Jena, K., Wicker, T., Chen, M., Han, B., Henry, R., Hsing, YI., Kurata, N., de Oliveira, A.C., Panaud, O., Jackson, S., Machado, C., Sanderson, M., Long, M., Ware, D., Wing, R. (2018) Genomes of 13 domesticated and wild rice relatives highlight genetic conservation, turnover and innovation across the genus Oryza. Nature Genet, 50: 285-296.

Exposito-Alonso, M.*, Becker, C.*, Schuenemann, V.J., Reitter, E., Setzer, C., Slovak, R., Brachi, B., Hagmann, J., Grimm, D.G., Jiahui, C., Busch, W., Bergelson, J., Ness, R.W., Krause, J., Burbano, H.A., Weigel, D. (2018) The rate and potential relevance of new mutations in a colonizing plant lineage, PLoS Genet, 14(2): e1007155.