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Michael Knoblauch Lab


Plant Cell Biology Group, School of Biological Sciences

coversWe investigate plant cell biological phenomena that have an impact on whole plant physiology and ultimately on food security, climate change and bioenergy crops. We utilize molecular biological-, cell biological-, and bio-imaging tools and develop new methods and protocols to enable previously impossible studies. We like lab work as well as field work and sometimes do relatively unusual things like taking microscopes into the canopy of trees or on boats, to study the cell biology of large organisms in situ. Besides the standard instrumentation for molecular biological and biochemical work, we use state of the art and cutting edge bio-imaging instrumentation. Find out more about our research.

Electric control of forisome reaction. Copyright Nature Publishing Group.


See a recent New York Times video and article on our work


We just published an article in eLife  (June 2016) on an evaluation of the pressure flow hypothesis

A new publication in eLife (Feb 2017) on phloem unloading


Selection of publications

  1. Knoblauch, M., J. Knoblauch, D.L. Mullendore, J.A. Savage, B.A. Babst, S.D. Beecher, A.C. Dodgen, K.H. Jensen, and N.M. Holbrook. (2016). Testing the Münch hypothesis of long distance phloem transport in plants. eLife. 5:e15341
  2. Knoblauch M, Vendrell M, de Leau E, Paterlini A, Knox K, Ross-Elliot T, Reinders A, Brockman SA, Ward J, Oparka K. (2015) Multispectral phloem-mobile probes: properties and applications. Plant Physiology 167 1211-1220
  3. Knoblauch J, Mullendore DL, Jensen KH, Knoblauch M (2014) Pico gauges for minimally invasive intracellular hydrostatic pressure measurements. Plant Physiology 166, 1271-1279
  4. Knoblauch M, Froelich DF, Pickard WF, Peters WS (2014) SEORious business: structural proteins in sieve tubes and their involvement in sieve element occlusion. Journal of Experimental Botany 65 1879-1893.
  5. Dettmer J, Ursache, R, Campilho, A, Miyashima, S, Belevich, I, O’Regan, S, Mullendore, DL, Yadav, SR, Lanz, C, Beverina, L, Papagni, A, Schneeberger, K, Weigel, D, Stierhof, YD, Moritz, T, Knoblauch, M, Jokitalo, E, Helariutta, Y…More. (2014) CHOLINE TRANSPORTER-LIKE1 is required for sieve plate development to mediate long-distance cell-to-cell communication. Nature Communications 5, 1-11
  6. Knoblauch M, Oparka KJ (2012) The structure of the phloem–still more questions than answers. The Plant Journal. 70 (2012) 147-156
  7. Froelich DF, Mullendore DM, Jensen KH, Ross-Elliott TJ, Anstead JA, Thompson GA, Pelissier H, Knoblauch M (2011) Phloem Ultrastructure And Pressure Flow: Sieve-Element-Oclussion-Related Agglomerations Do Not Affect Translocation. The Plant Cell, 23
  8. Knoblauch M, Peters WS (2010) Münch, morphology, microfluidics – our structural problem with the phloem. Plant, Cell, Environment 33, 1439 – 1452
  9. Mullendore D, Windt CW, Van As H, Knoblauch M. (2010) Sieve tube geometry in relation to phloem flow. The Plant Cell 22, 579-593
  10. Pelissier, HC, Peters WS, Collier R, Van Bel AJE, Knoblauch M (2008) GFP Tagging of Sieve Element Occlusion (SEO) Proteins Results in Green Fluorescent Forisomes. Plant and Cell Physiology, 49 (11), 1699-1710
  11. Knoblauch M, Noll GA, Müller T, Prüfer D, Schneider-Hüther I, Scharner D, van Bel AJE, Peters WS (2003) ATP-independent contractile proteins from plants. Nature Materials 2, 600-603
  12. Knoblauch M, Peters WS, Ehlers K, van Bel AJE (2001) Reversible calcium-regulated stopcocks in legume sieve tubes. The Plant Cell 13, 1221-1230
  13. Knoblauch M, Hibberd JM, Gray JC, van Bel AJE (1999) A galinstan expansion femtosyringe for injection of eukaryotic organelles and prokaryotes. Nature Biotechnology 17, 906-909
  14. Knoblauch M, van Bel AJE (1998) Sieves tubes in action. The Plant Cell 10, 35-50