Last week, two German newspapers published an article regarding the results of the recent Nature Plants publication produced by our three ICIPS members:
– “Das genetische Geheimnis der widerstandsfähigen Farne” written by Hildegard Kaulen and published in the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine is including an interview of our ICIPS member : Prof. Günther Theissen (FKU, Jena) &
– „Warum Farne Gene horten“ published in the newspaper Gießener Anzeiger is also including interviews of our two ICIPS members: Prof. Annette Becker & Clemens Rössner (JLU, Gießen)!

Last week, two ICIPS members (Prof. Annette Becker & Prof. Stefanie Müller-Schüssele) presented the ICIPS research unit (FOR 5098) and their respective works to the 3rd Annual MadLand2022 Meeting in Herzogenhorn (within the Black Forest), near Freiburg.

Two days ago (on the 12th of September 2022), The New York Times newspaper published an article entitled „Cracking the Case of Giant Fern Genome“ written by Oliver Whang using the recent Nature Plants paper of our three ICIPS members as reference!

Justus-Liebig University published a press release entitled “Überlebenskünstler: Warum Farne Gene horten” about the publication produced by three of our ICIPS members (see previous News Info) published in Nature Plants about “Dynamic genome evolution in a model fern”.

This press release has been forwarded on the 6th of September by VBIO Verband Biologie, Biowissenschaften & Biomedizin in Deutschland.

International research teams, including three ICIPS members (Prof. Annette Becker, PhD student Clemens Rössner & Prof. Günther Theissen) sequenced and described the fern genome at chromosomal level !! They published their results on 1rst of September in Nature Plants :

D. Blaine Marchant et al. (2022), “Dynamic genome evolution in a model fern”; Nature Plants 2022, DOI: 10.1038/s41477-022-01226-7.

Last month, Julian Garrecht (JLU, Gießen) presented a poster about his PhD project at the Botanik-Tagung 2022 (International Conference of the German Society for Plant Sciences), which took place in Bonn (Germany) from the 28th of August to the 1st of Sptember. His poster (P-298) was titled: “Using protoplasts transformation to assess the efficiency of multiple guideRNAs of a CRISPR/Cas system
in planta
“. Prof. Annette Becker (JLU, Gießen) was his co-author.

Four other ICIPS members (Prof. Annette Becker, Prof. Stephanie Müller-Schlüssele, Prof. Thomas Dresselhaus, Prof. Sabine Zachgo) were participating to this event by being co-authors of poster or oral presentations.

Sophie Tiedemann (UR, Regensburg) presented a poster about her PhD project at the 26th ICPSR Prague 2022 conference, which took place in Prague (Czech Republic) from the 20th to the 24th of June. His poster (P112) was titled: “Evolution and function of secreted small cysteine-rich EC1 proteins“. Prof. Stefanie Sprunck (UR, Regensburg) was one of her co-authors.

Last month, Robin Schulz (FSU, Jena) presented a poster about his PhD project at the EURO EVO DEVO 2022 conference, which took place in Napoli (Italy) from the 30th of Mai to the 3rd of June. His poster (P007) was titled: “Establishing the fern Ceratopteris as a model system to investigate the evolutionary origin of the seed“. Prof. Günther Theissen (FSU, Jena) was one of his co-authors.

Two other ICIPS members participated to this event in Napoli : Prof. Sabine Zachgo (OU, Osnabrück) gave a talk about “How stressful was plant terrestrialization? Contribution of transcription factors and redox processes in land plant adaptation” during the session N°12 focusing on “Conquering Land: the first steps of plants and animals towards terrestrialization” chaired by Prof. Annette Becker (JLU, Giessen) on Thursday morning 2nd of June.

Sophie Tiedemann started her PhD degree this month (Mai 2022) at the University of Regensburg. She will be supervised by Assoc. Prof. Stefanie Sprunck and her DFG project is titled: “Evolutionary history of ECA1 gametogenesis-related proteins and their roles in seed plant reproduction“.

Prof. Thomas Dresselhaus seeks two highly motivated postdoctoral researchers (m/f/d) to work in the field of maize reproductive biology. The positions (100% TV-L E13 salary – 4 years each) could be extended and offer the possibility to further qualify as independent principal investigator. Both positions are available immediately. The Position #2 is part of the DFG Research Unit ICIPS (Innovation and Coevolution in Plant Sexual Reproduction) and shall study the evolution of gametophytic communication systems by analyzing RALF and ROS signaling using maize and Physcomitrium as model systems.

Melanie Trupp started her PhD degree this month (March 2022) at the University of Osnabrück. She will be supervised by Prof. Sabine Zachgo and her DFG project is titled: “Contribution of the TGA/NPR network and redox regulation to the evolution of sexual reproduction“.

Robin Schulz started his PhD degre last month (December 2021) at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena. He will be supervised by Prof. Günther Theißen and his DFG project is titled: “On the Origin of the seed habit“.



(modified pictures of Ceratopteris richardii from and of Christmas tree designed by

Another Julian, Julian Ingelfinger, started his PhD degree in December at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern. He will be supervised by Prof. Stefanie Müller-Schüssele and his DFG project is titled: ROS bursts in plant growth and fertility: Evolution and diversification of the NADPH oxidase family.

The first Introduction/Kickoff Meeting of the ICIPS research unit (FOR 5098) took place online (due to Covid regulations) on Tuesday 14th of December from 14:30 to 18:00.

All PIs were present and introduced themselves and their new ICIPS members (e.g., PhD students, postdocs and/or technical assistants) to the whole research unit.

Julian Garrecht started his PhD degree in November at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen. He will be supervised by Prof. Annette Becker and his DFG project is titled: “400 million years of faith – how the transcriptional regulators LUG and SEU co-evolved to become key regulators of reproductive development in A. thaliana“.

Romain Scalone will be the new scientific coordinator of the whole ICIPS research unit – FOR 5098 – and started his work in November. He is located within the Becker Group at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen.

Happy to announce that our new DFG funded research unit:

ICIPS (for Innovation and Coevolution In Plant Sexual reproduction) is ready to get started !