Georg Groth

1994         Dr. rer. nat., Osnabrück University
1994-1995   Postdoc at MRC Cambridge, UK
1995-2001   Assistant Professor at HHU Düsseldorf
2003-2004   Visiting Professor at Freiburg University
2005-        Professor at HHU Düsseldorf
2012-        CEPLAS Associate Investigator    

Field of Specialization
Plant Biochemistry and Physiology, Structural Biology, Molecular Bioenergetics, Plant Growth Regulators, Protein-Protein and Protein-Ligand Interactions

Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf(ドイツ)

Research Hub Group:Cutting-eddge Cell Biology international hub group

Research Highlight

  • Weeds are a severe threat to global food production. Many weeds use the C4 photosynthetic pathway, while the majority of crop plants use C3 photosynthesis. Work in our lab has identified selective inhibitors of PEP Carboxylase, a key enzyme involved in carbon fixation in the C4 pathway. Further studies on whole plant level and microbial growth studies confirm the selective effect on C4 plants, whereas C3 plants and selected soil bacteria are not affected by these substances. Recent structural work on Pyruvate Phosphate Dikinase, another essential enzyme of the C4 pathway, has resolved yet unknown conformational intermediates in the catalytic cycle of this multi-domain molecular machine which is thought to perform one of the largest single domain movements in proteins. Building on these structures and small molecule library screening, we have identified further potent inhibitors of the C4 pathway which are among the most effective PPDK inhibitors known today. Further research aims at reducing post-harvest losses and food waste. Work in our lab has uncovered a novel way to control fruit ripening by inhibiting essential protein-protein interactions in the signaling pathway of the plant hormone ethylene. Peptides masking these interactions were shown to affect ethylene responses in planta. Considering the high level of conservation in the ethylene pathway such peptide biologicals may contribute to the development of a novel family of ripening inhibitors and innovative ripening control in climacteric fruit.


  •  August 2016 – A new paper on Peptides interfering with essential protein-protein interactions in the ethylene signaling pathway causing fruit ripening delay by Prof. Georg Groth has been published in Scientific Reports and has been reported on local newspaper, radio, television and online by Informationsdienst Wissenschaft (idw), German Life Sciences Association (VBIO) and German Society for Plant Sciences (DBG).

Selected Awards and Honors

  • 2003 – 2005   Heisenberg Fellow of the DFG

  • 1999               Bennigsen-Foerder Prize, Ministry of Science and Research of North Rhine-Westphalia

  • 1994 – 1995    Marie-Curie Fellowship (European Union)

Selected Publications

  • Vollmar, M., Schlieper, D., Winn, M., Büchner, C. and Groth, G. (2009) Structure of the c14 Rotor Ring of the Proton Translocating Chloroplast ATP Synthase. J. Biol. Chem. 284: 18228-18235.

  • Dong, C.H., Jang, M., Scharein, B., Malach, A., Rivarola, M., Liesch, J., Groth, G., Hwang, I. and Chang, C. (2010) Molecular Association of the Arabidopsis ETR1 Ethylene Receptor and a Regulator of Ethylene Signaling, RTE1. J. Biol. Chem. 285: 40706-40713.

  • Bisson, M.M.A. and Groth, G. (2010) New Insight in Ethylene Signaling: Autokinase Activity of ETR1 Modulates the Interaction of Receptors and EIN2. Mol. Plant 3: 882-889.

  • Ju, C., Yoon, G.M., Shemansky, J.M., Lin, D.Y., Ying, Z.I., Chang, J., Garrett, W.M., Kessen-brock, M., Groth, G., Tucker, M.L., Cooper, B., Kieber, J.J. and Chang, C. (2012) CTR1 phosphorylates the central regulator EIN2 to control ethylene hormone signaling from the ER membrane to the nucleus in Arabidopsis. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 109: 19486-19491.

  • Gohlke, H., Schlieper, D. and Groth, G. (2012) Resolving the n-side water accessible proton pathway of F-type ATP synthase by molecular dynamics simulations. J. Biol. Chem. 287: 36536-36543.

  • Paulus, J.K., Schlieper, D. and Groth, G. (2013) Greater efficiency of photosynthetic carbon fixation due to single amino-acid substitution. Nature Communications 4: 1518.

  • Bisson, M.M.A. and Groth, G. (2015) Targeting Plant Ethylene Responses by Controlling Essential Protein-Protein Interactions in the Ethylene Pathway. Mol. Plant 8: 1165-1174.

  • Nguyen, G.T.T., Erlenkamp, G., Jäck, O., Küberl, A., Bott, M., Fiorani, F., Gohlke, H. and Groth, G. (2016) Chalcone-based Selective Inhibitors of a C4 Plant Key Enzyme as Novel Potential Herbicides. Scientific Reports 6: 27333.

  • Bisson, M.M.A., Kessenbrock, M., Müller, L., Hofmann, A., Schmitz, F., Cristescu, S.M. and Groth, G. (2016) Peptides interfering with protein-protein interactions in the ethylene signaling pathway delay tomato fruit ripening. Scientific Reports 6: 30634.

  • Minges, A., Ciupka, D., Winkler, C., Höppner, A., Gohlke, H. and Groth, G. (2017) Structural intermediates and directionality of the swiveling motion of Pyruvate Phosphate Dikinase. Scientific Reports 7: 45389.