I work in the Group for Genetic and Epigenetic evolution at Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research under the supervision of Ales Pecinka. My research is focused on the genetic and molecular evolution of transposable elements ("mobile" repetitive DNA elemts) in Brassicaceae species under ambient and challenging conditions.
The evolution, stability and maintenance genomes in photoautotroph organisms is one of my mayor research interests. This includes impact on and by coding, as well as non-coding DNA regions and elements driven by environmental changes.
- Björn Pietzenuk
- Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics
- Max-Planck-Institute for Plant Breeding Research
- 50829 Cologne; Germany
- +49 221 5062 467
- currently, PhD, Max-Planck-Institute for Plant Breeding Research Advisor: Ales Pecinka
- 2011, Diploma in Biology, Institute of Botany Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf; Advisor: Prof. Dr. Margarete Baier
Research topics and interests
My main scientific interests spans from the origin of life to the evolution and natural variation of photoautotroph organisms. This led me to do my PhD on a topic regarding genome and epigenome evolution under ambient and challenging conditions. With this, I was introduced into the role of transposable elements in genome maintenance and evolution. During my two years I got more and more interested about TEs, including their function, evolution and influence on genome stability and evolution.
Beside that, I am interested in muscular physiology and metabolism. This includes also interest in the molecular biology and physiology of muscular and metabolic disease.Further, I like to understand the function (molecular and physiological) of steroids, supplements and drugs. Thereby, I wanna know how abuse of these can lead to muscular and metabolic dysfunction (most likely by organ insufficiency).
- current research: "Epigenetic regulation of repetitive DNA in A. lyrata"
- Diplomathesis: "Natural variation and its constraints: Comparison of chloroplast ascorbate peroxidases in higher plants"
It is and was always a pleasure for me to teach young students. During my studies I have had numerous possibilities to do so and getting experience. In my opinion, it is always necessary to do science and also teach new students in theory and practice.
- Tutor in a practical course of “functional anatomy and morphology of plants” (WS
05/06, WS 06/07, WS 07/08, WS 08/09 and WS 09/10 at HHU Düsseldorf)
- Tutor in “functional anatomy and morphology of plants (cytology, histology and organs of cormophyta)” and “systematic botany” (WS 2008/2009 at HHU Düsseldorf)
- Tutor in a practical course of Modul Bio 7 about DNA fingerprinting, cloning and plasmid restriction (SS 2008/2009 at HHU Düsseldorf)
- Tutor in a practical course of Modul Bio 3 “Zoology – strains of animals” (SS 2010 at HHU Düsseldorf)
- Jusczack I, Rudnik R, Pietzenuk B, Baier M Natural genetic variation in the expression regulation of the chloroplast antioxidant system among Arabidopsis thaliana accessions. Physiologica Plantarum doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3054.2012.01602.x (2012). 
- 1st International Symposium "Adaptomics" within the SPP1529; Poster: "Interspecific comparison of Transposable elements in A. thaliana and A. lyrata under heat conditions" (2014)
- 3rd European Workshop on Plant Chromatin; Talk: "Epigenetic regulation of Transposable elements ins A. thaliana and A. lyrata under ambient and heat conditions" (2013)