Prof. Dr. Alfons Gierl


Professor emeritus since October 1, 2015

Academic Career and Research Areas

Professor Gierl’s area of expertise is plant genetics, particularly primary and secondary metabolism and the enzymes involved, as well as the impact of evolution.

Professor Gierl (b. 1950) initially studied computer sciences at TUM and then biology at LMU Munich. During his degree and doctoral work at Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry he investigated the mechanism of transcription in bacteria. His research over the subsequent 10 years at Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding in Cologne involved DNA transposons and methods for gene isolation. Since 1993, he has held the Chair of Genetics at TUM where his primary research interests have been in the chemical defense strategies of plants.


Yu Z, Haberer G, Matthes M, Rattei T, Mayer KF, Gierl A, Torres-Ruiz RA: "Impact of natural genetic variation on the transcriptome of autotetraploid Arabidopsis thaliana". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U S A. 2010; 107: 17809-14.


Frey M, Stettner C, Paré PW, Schmelz EA, Tumlinson JH, Gierl A: "A herbivore elicitor activates the gene for indole emission in maize". PNAS. 2000; 97 (26): 14801-14806.


Frey M, Chomet P, Glawischnig E, Stettner C, Grün S, Winklmair A, Eisenreich W, Bacher A, Meeley RB, Briggs SP, Simcox K, Gierl A: "Analysis of a chemical plant defense mechanism in grasses". Science. 1997; 277, 696-699.


Frey M, Reinecke J, Grant S, Saedler H, Gierl A: "Excision of the En/Spm transposable element of Zea mays requires two element-encoded proteins". EMBO J. 1990; 9: 4037-4044.


Martin W, Gierl A, Saedler H: "Molecular evidence for pre-Cretaceous angiosperm origins". Nature. 1989; 339: 46-48.