Prof. Dr. Ralph Hückelhoven



Academic Career and Research Areas

Prof. Hückelhoven (b. 1969) researches the biological and molecular causes of plant diseases. His main interest is the natural immunity of plants. Particular attention is paid to transport and signal transduction processes in plants, in which pathogens can successfully intervene. Prof. Hückelhoven’s work covers all scale levels – from low-molecular signal through cell biology to epidemiology in open land.

After studying biology at RWTH Aachen, Prof. Hückelhoven obtained his doctorate at the University of Giessen (1999). He completed his lecturer qualification at that university in molecular phytopathology and cell biology in 2005. From 2002 to 2006, he headed up an independent German Research Foundation (DFG) junior research group on “Long-term disease resistance in barley”. Following offers from the Universities of Kiel and Hohenheim, he accepted the Chair of Phytopathology at TUM in 2006. Prof. Hückelhoven is a member of several German and international phytopathological societies and has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers.


  • Independent DFG junior research group leader (2002-2006)
  • Julius Kühn Prize of the German Phytomedical Society (2004)

Ranf S, Gisch N, Schäffer M, Illig T, Westphal L, Knirel YA, Sánchez-Carballo PM, Zähringer U, Hückelhoven R, Lee J, Scheel D: (2015) "A lectn S-domain receptor kinase mediates lipopolysaccharide sensing in Arabisopsis thaliana". Nature Immunology. 2015; 16(4): 426-433.


Hoefle C, Huesmann C, Schultheiss H, Börnke F, Hensel G, Kumlehn J, Hückelhoven R: “A barley ROP GTPase ACTIVATING PROTEIN associates with microtubules and regulates entry of the barley powdery mildew fungus into leaf epidermal cells”. The Plant Cell. 2011; 23(6): 2422-2439.


Hückelhoven R: “Cell Wall-Associated Mechanisms of Disease Resistance and Susceptibility”. Ann Rev Phytopathol. 2007; 45: 101-127.


Hückelhoven R, Dechert C, Kogel KH: “Overexpression of barley BAX inhibitor 1 induces breakdown of mlo-mediated penetration resistance to Blumeria graminis”. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003; 100(9): 5555-5560.


Schultheiss H, Dechert C, Kogel KH, Hückelhoven R: “A small GTP-binding host protein is required for entry of powdery mildew fungus into epidermal cells of barley”. Plant Physiol. 2002; 128(4): 1447-1454.