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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 New York Times video and article on our work

Check out more on our research in the textbook “Campbell Essential Biology 6e” on page 632

Just published: Plants can discriminate touch from letting go. Nature Plants





Selection of publications (click publications for a full list)

  1.  Howell AH, Volkner C, McGreevy P, Jensen KH, Waadt R, Gilroy S, Kunz H-H, Peters WS, Knoblauch M (2023) Pavement Cells Distinguish Touch From Letting Go. Nature Plants
  2. Liu Y, Vasina VV, Kraner ME, Peters WS, Sonnewald U, Knoblauch M (2022) Proteomics of isolated sieve tubes from Nicotiana tabacum: sieve element-specific proteins reveal differentiation of the endomembrane system. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2112755119.
  3. Benjamin T Julius, Tyler J McCubbin, Rachel A Mertz, Nick Baert, Jan Knoblauch, DeAna G Grant, Kyle Conner, Saadia Bihmidine, Paul Chomet, Ruth Wagner, Jeff Woessner, Karen Grote, Jeanette Peevers, Thomas L Slewinski, Maureen C McCann, Nicholas C Carpita, Michael Knoblauch, David M Braun (2021) Maize Brittle Stalk2-Like3, encoding a COBRA protein, functions in cell wall formation and carbohydrate partitioning. The Plant Cell
  4. Knoblauch J, Knoblauch M, Vasina VV, Peters WS, 2020. Sieve elements rapidly develop ‘nacreous walls’ following injury− a common wounding response? The Plant Journal102, 797-808.
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. Knoblauch J, Mullendore DL, Jensen KH, Knoblauch M (2014) Pico gauges for minimally invasive intracellular hydrostatic pressure measurements. Plant Physiology 166, 1271-1279
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. Knoblauch M, Oparka KJ (2012) The structure of the phloem–still more questions than answers. The Plant Journal. 70 (2012) 147-156
  11. 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
  12. Knoblauch M, Peters WS (2010) Münch, morphology, microfluidics – our structural problem with the phloem. Plant, Cell, Environment 33, 1439 – 1452
  13. Mullendore D, Windt CW, Van As H, Knoblauch M. (2010) Sieve tube geometry in relation to phloem flow. The Plant Cell 22, 579-593
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. Knoblauch M, Peters WS, Ehlers K, van Bel AJE (2001) Reversible calcium-regulated stopcocks in legume sieve tubes. The Plant Cell 13, 1221-1230
  17. 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
  18. Knoblauch M, van Bel AJE (1998) Sieves tubes in action. The Plant Cell 10, 35-50