Prof. Dr. Kay Schneitz

Academic Career and Research Areas

Prof. Schneitz (b. 1962) explores the basic molecular principles of flower development and plant reproduction. His group focuses in particular on intercellular communication mechanisms. These control pattern formation in the ovule – the female reproductive organ in higher plants – and tissue morphogenesis in flowers.

After studying molecular and cellular biology at the University of Basel’s Biozentrum, he did his doctorate in Basel and Zurich on the genetic basis of development in Drosophila (1992). After receiving a grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Ciba-Geigy Jubilee Foundation, he did postdoctoral research under Prof. R. E. Pruitt at Harvard University (1992/1995). During this time, he decided to switch to the field of plant development. Returning to Switzerland and the University of Zurich, he received a START Fellowship in 1998. Since 2002, he has been an associate professor at TUM. He is the editor of a number of scientific journals.


  • EMBO Young Investigator (2001)
  • START Fellowship (1998)

Key Publications

Vaddepalli P, Herrmann A, Fulton L, Oelschner M, Hillmer S, Stratil TF, Fastner A, Hammes UZ, Ott T, Robinson DG, Schneitz K: „The C2-domain protein QUIRKY and the receptor-like kinase STRUBBELIG localize to plasmodesmata and mediate tissue morphogenesis in Arabidopsis thaliana.” Development. 2014; 141: 4139-4148.


Enugutti B, Kirchhelle C, Oelschner M, Torres Ruiz RA, Schliebner I, Leister D, Schneitz K: „Regulation of planar growth by the Arabidopsis AGC protein kinase UNICORN.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2012; 109: 15060-15665.


Fulton L, Batoux M, Vaddepalli P, Yadav RK, Busch W, Andersen SU, Lohmann JU, Schneitz K: "DETORQUEO, QUIRKY and ZERZAUST represent novel components involved in organ development mediated by the receptor-like kinase STRUBBELIG." PLoS Genetics. 2009; 5(1): e10000355.


Chevalier D, Batoux M, Fulton L, Pfister K, Yadav RK, Schellenberg M, Schneitz K: "STRUBBELIG defines a novel receptor kinase-mediated signaling pathway regulating organ development in Arabidopsis." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2005; 102(25): 9074-9079.


Schneitz K, Hülskamp M, Kopczak SD, Pruitt RE: "Dissection of sexual organ ontogenesis: a genetic analysis of ovule development in Arabidopsis thaliana." Development. 1997; 124(7): 1367-1376.