User:B. Pietzenuk

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I am a post-doctoral researcher in the Lab of Ute Krämer at the Ruhr-University Bochum. Here, I am using my expertise in comparative genomics, transcriptomics, and repeatomics to investigate heavy metal tolerance in higher plants. My general research interest is the physiology, genetics, and evolution of abiotic stress response in photoautotroph organisms.

In addition, I have a huge interest and knowledge in fitness and bodybuilding. Here, I use my knowledge in muscular physiology and supplement science to educate and consult athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

Contact Info

Björn Pietzenuk (2016)
  • Dr. Björn Pietzenuk
  • Department of Molecular Genetics and Physiology of Plants ND 2/24
  • Ruhr-University Bochum
  • Universitätsstraße 150
  • 44801 Bochum; Germany
  • +49 234 32-29958
  • Contact


  • Currently Post-doctoral Researcher; Department of Plant Physiology; Ruhr-University Bochum
  • Nov. 2015 - Feb. 2016 Post-Doctoral Researcher; Max-Planck-Institute for Plant Breeding Research Advisor: Ales Pecinka
  • PhD in Biology (Botany) from the University of Cologne; Thesis: Repeated Evolution of Heat Responsiveness in Brassicaceae COPIA Transposable Elements
  • 2011 - 2015 PhD Student, 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 scientific interest span from the origin of life to the evolution, adaptation 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. Here, I was introduced to the role of transposable elements in genome maintenance and evolution. The work on my PhD thesis was bioinformatics and wet-lab biology as well. To this day, I use my scientific expertise in bioinformatics and wet-lab biology to investigate the trait of heavy-metal accumulation in plants. Our goal is to understand the mechanism, evolution and physiology of this trait and how we can use this to clean metal contaminated soils to avoid toxic metal contaminations in crops, vegetables and fruits.

  • Current research focus: "Comparative analysis of gene expression and regulation among heavy metal and non-heavy metal hyperaccumulators"
  • Previous Research focus: "Evolution and epigenetic regulation of Transposable Elements in Brassicaceae"
  • Ph.D.-thesis: "Repeated evolution of heat responsiveness among Brassicaceae COPIA transposable elements"
  • Diploma thesis: "Natural variation and its constraints: Comparison of chloroplast ascorbate peroxidases in higher plants"

Further Interests

I have a keen interest and huge knowledge in muscular physiological, training and supplement science.. As a dedicated scientist, I like to stay informed and educated in this field by critically reading the newest research articles within this field. I also use my knowledge to educate and consult people in training, nutrition and supplement science to build and remain a strong and healthy body.



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.

  • A-Modul 190085 Molekularbiologie der Pflanzen "Einführung in die Bioinformatik / RNA-sequencing" (WiSe 2017/18) Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • A-Modul Bioinformatik "Plant Transcriptomics" (SoSe2017) Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • 190010 Grundlagen der Pflanzenphsiologie "Pflanzeninhaltsstoffe" (SoSe 2017) Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • 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 cormophyte)” 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)


  • Pietzenuk, B., C. Markus, H. Gaubert, N. Bagwan, A. Merotto, E. Bucher and A. Pecinka (2016). "Recurrent evolution of heat-responsiveness in Brassicaceae COPIA elements." Genome Biology 17(1): 209.
  • 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]