User:B. Pietzenuk

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I am post-doctoral researcher 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 epigenetic evolution of transposable elements in Brassicaceae species under natural and challenging conditions. I am very interested in the function, evolution, contribution and influence of TEs on gene regulation, genome stability and evolution.


Contact Info

Björn Pietzenuk (2015)
Björn Pietzenuk (2015)
  • B. Pietzenuk
  • Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics
  • Max-Planck-Institute for Plant Breeding Research
  • 50829 Cologne; Germany
  • +49 221 5062 467
  • Contact


Research topics and interests

My 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 work on my Ph.D. I got more and more interested in TEs and their function, evolution, contribution and influence on genome stability and evolution in plants as well as in animals.

Beside that, I am very interested in human physiology and metabolism. Here I am very interested in muscular and metabolic function, regulation and diseases. I like to understand the function of steroids, supplements and drugs on muscular and metabolic function. Thereby, I am interested in how abuse of these can lead to muscular and metabolic dysfunction.

  • current research: "Evolution of stress responsiveness of transposable elements"
  • Ph.D.-thesis: "Repeated evolution of heat responsiveness among Brassicaceae COPIA transposable elements"
  • 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.

  • supervision of bachelor student in applied evolutionary biology (computer based approaches) at the Max-Planck-Institute of Plant Breeding Research (2015)
  • 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)


  • Rawat V, Abdelsamad A, Pietzenuk B, Seymour DK, Koenig D, et al. (2015) Improving the Annotation of Arabidopsis lyrata Using RNA-Seq Data. PLoS ONE 10(9): e0137391. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0137391
  • 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). [1]
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