Prof. Dr. Claus Schwechheimer


Plant Systems Biology

Academic Career and Research Areas

Professor Schwechheimer (b. 1967) explores the basic principles of plant growth, primarily using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. He focuses in particular on the processes controlled by the small protein ubiquitin. Using genomic and proteomic approaches, he comes up with working hypotheses, which he then investigates using genetic, biochemistry and cell biology methods. His research is focused on gaining an understanding of the gibberellic acid signal path and the deubiquitinating enzymes of the MPN+ protein family.

Professor Schwechheimer studied biology and biotechnology at the Universities of Heidelberg and Strasbourg. He completed his doctorate at the University of East Anglia (Norwich, UK). Thanks to a German Research Foundation (DFG) grant, he spent three years as a postdoc at Yale University. In 2001, he became independent research group leader at the University of Tübingen’s Center for Plant Molecular Biology. In 2008, he accepted a professorship at TUM. Professor Schwechheimer has acted as spokesperson for the the SFB924 since 2011 and was a co-coordinator of the DFG priority program SPP1365. He furthermore fulfills the role of a DFG Liaison Officer at TUM.


  • Nirit and Michael Shaoul Fellowship for Visiting Scholars, Tel Aviv University (2015)
  • DAAD Short term docenture, declined (2015)
  • JSPS Travel Fellowship (2007)
  • DFG Postdoctoral Fellowship (1999-2001)
  • Stipend Eliteförderung Baden-Württemberg (1991-1994)

Key Publications (alle Publikationen)

Marhava P, Bassukas AEL, Zourelidou M, Kolb M, Moret B, Fastner A, Schulze WX, Cattaneo P, Hammes UZ, Schwechheimer C*, Hardtke CS*: "A molecular rheostat adjusts auxin flux to promote root protophloem differentiation". Nature. 2018; 558 (7709): 297-300. *Corresponding authors.


Lutz U, Nussbaumer T, Spannagl M, Diener J, Mayer KF, Schwechheimer C: "Natural haplotypes of FLM non-coding sequences fine-tune flowering time in ambient spring temperatures in Arabidopsis". Elife. 2017; 15 (6): e22114.


Weller B, Zourelidou M, Frank L, Barbosa IC, Fastner A, Richter S, Jürgens G, Hammes UZ, Schwechheimer C: "Dynamic PIN-FORMED auxin efflux carrier phosphorylation at the plasma membrane controls auxin efflux-dependent growth". Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2017; 114(5): E887-E896.


Barbosa IC, Zourelidou M, Willige BC, Weller B, Schwechheimer C: "D6 PROTEIN KINASE activates auxin transport-dependent growth and PIN-FORMED phosphorylation at the plasma membrane". Dev Cell. 2014; 29(6): 674-85.


Schwechheimer C, Serino G, Callis J, Crosby WL, Lyapina S, Deshaies RJ, Gray WM, Estelle M & Deng XW: “Interactions of the COP9 signalosome with the E3 ubiquitin ligase SCFTIR1 in mediating auxin-response”. Science 2001: 292; 1379-1382.