TUM – Technical University of Munich Menü

Academic Career and Research Areas

Dr. Stefanie Ranf (*1978) studies immune sensing and immune defence of pathogens in plants. Her research focuses on the perception of lipopolysaccharide from bacterial cell walls through plant immune sensors. These findings allow not only a deeper understanding of the plant immune system on the molecular level but are also useful for the development of resistant crop plants in context of sustainable plant protection.

Dr. Ranf studied biochemistry at the Universität Regensburg, where she got her diploma in 2003. She worked as visiting scientist at the University of South Carolina, USA. From 2005 to 2012 Dr. Ranf worked at the Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry in Halle (Saale). In 2011 she got her PhD from the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle. Since 2013 Dr. Ranf leads a research group at the chair of phytopathology at the Wissenschaftszentrum Weihenstephan. Since 2015 Dr. Ranf is a member of the Collaborative Research Centre 924 and since 2016 scholar of the Emmy Noether Programme of the German Research Foundation.


    • Julius Kühn Award of the German Scientific Society for Plant Protection and Plant Health (2016)
    • Emmy-Noether fellowship of the German Research Foundation (2016)
    • Award of “Wissenschaftspreis der Stadt Freising” (2015)
    • Award of the Luther-Urkunde of the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle/Wittenberg (2012)
    • Foreign exchange scholarship of the German National Academic Foundation (Oct 2003-Oct 2004)

    Key Publications (all publications)

    Kutschera A, Dawid C, Gisch N, Schmid C, Raasch L, Gerster T, Schäffer M, Smakowska-Luzan E, Belkhadir Y, Vlot AC, Chandler CE, Schellenberger R, Schwudke D, Ernst RK, Dorey S, Hückelhoven R, Hofmann T, Ranf S: “Bacterial medium-chain 3-hydroxy fatty acid metabolites trigger immunity in Arabidopsis plants”. Science. 2019; 364: 178-181.


    Kutschera A, Schombel U, Wrobel M, Gisch N, Ranf S: “Loss of wbpL disrupts O-polysaccharide synthesis and impairs virulence of plant-associated Pseudomonas strains”. Molecular Plant Pathology. 2019; 10.1111/mpp.12864.


    Kutschera A, Ranf S: “The multifaceted functions of lipopolysaccharide in plant-bacteria interactions”. Biochimie. 2019; 159: 93-98.


    Ranf S: “Sensing of molecular patterns through cell surface immune receptors”. Current Opinion in Plant Biology. 2017; 38: 68-77.


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