Plant genetic networks – from databases to computational modeling

Functional Genomics

Using a systems biology approach, we are modeling biochemical pathways and regulatory processes that affect plant function and development. Among the central biochemical pathways in plants, isoprenoid synthesis produces key molecules for cellular function and metabolites of pharmacological interest. Genetic or biochemical disruption of pathway flux triggers changes in gene expression and metabolite end products. We are linking databases to explore the interdependence of biochemical pathway information and regulatory networks. A similar approach is applied to cell cycle regulation, which is the basis for developmental and differentiation processes.

The complete analysis of the chloroplast proteome is at the frontiers of understanding the organelle as a functional system. Exploiting advanced technologies and computing algorithms, we are discovering many novel proteins. Their genetic characterization will provide important new information on chloroplast pathways. The combined knowledge from systems approaches will allow us to model and predict plant functions.


Recent Publications

  • Mutations in DNA polymerase δ subunit 1 co-segregate with CMD2-type resistance to Cassava Mosaic Geminiviruses.
    Lim YW, Mansfeld BN, Schläpfer P et al.
    Nat Commun 13, 3933 (2022). Doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-31414-0
  • The haplotype-resolved chromosome pairs of a heterozygous diploid African cassava cultivar reveal novel pan-genome and allele-specific transcriptome features
    Qi, Weihong; Lim, Yi-Wen; Patrignani, Andrea; Schlapfer, Pascal; Bratus-Neuenschwander, Anna; et al.
    Gigascience 10.1093/gigascience/giac028  2022
  • Novel rice iron biofortification approaches using expression of ZmYS1 and OsTOM1 controlled by tissue-specific promoters
    Kawakami, Yuta; Gruissem, Wilhelm; Bhullar, Navreet K.
    Journal Of Experimental Botany  10.1093/jxb/erac214  JUN 2022
  • Natural Variation in Vitamin B-1 and Vitamin B-6 Contents in Rice Germplasm
    Mangel, Nathalie; Fudge, Jared B.; Gruissem, Wilhelm; Fitzpatrick, Teresa B.; Vanderschuren, Herve
    Frontiers In Plant Science  10.3389/fpls.2022.856880  APR 4 2022
  • Current progress and challenges in crop genetic transformation
    Anjanappa, Ravi B.; Gruissem, Wilhelm
    Journal Of Plant Physiology  10.1016/j.jplph.2021.153411  JUN 2021
  • Efficient Genetic Transformation and Regeneration of a Farmer-Preferred Cassava Cultivar From Ghana
    Elegba, Wilfred; McCallum, Emily; Gruissem, Wilhelm; Vanderschuren, Herve
    Frontiers In Plant Science10.3389/fpls.2021.668042  MAY 25 2021
  • Diurnal dynamics of the Arabidopsis rosette proteome and phosphoproteome
    Uhrig, R. Glen; Echevarria-Zomeno, Sira; Schlapfer, Pascal; Grossmann, Jonas; Roschitzki, Bernd; et al.
    Plant Cell And Environment,  10.1111/pce.13969, MAR 2021
  • Multiplying the efficiency and impact of biofortification through metabolic engineering
    Van Der Straeten, Dominique; Bhullar, Navreet K.; De Steur, Hans; Gruissem, Wilhelm; MacKenzie, Donald; et al.
    Nature Communications  DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-19020-4  OCT 15 2020
  • Genome Wide Analysis of the Transcriptional Profiles in Different Regions of the Developing Rice Grains
    Wu, Ting-Ying; Mueller, Marlen; Gruissem, Wilhelm; Bhullar, Navreet K.
    Rice  DOI: 10.1186/s12284-020-00421-4  SEP 7 2020
  • Morpho-physiological and molecular evaluation of drought tolerance in cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz)
    Orek, Charles; Gruissem, Wilhelm; Ferguson, Morag; Vanderschuren, Herve
    Field Crops Research  DOI: 10.1016/j.fcr.2020.107861  SEP 15 2020
  • Screening for Resistance in Farmer-Preferred Cassava Cultivars from Ghana to a Mixed Infection of CBSV and UCBSV
    Elegba, Wilfred; Gruissem, Wilhelm; Vanderschuren, Herve
    Plants-Basel  DOI: 10.3390/plants9081026  AUG 2020 
  • The Cassava Source-Sink project: opportunities and challenges for crop improvement by metabolic engineering
    Sonnewald, Uwe; Fernie, Alisdair R.; Gruissem, Wilhelm; Schlaepfer, Pascal; Anjanappa, Ravi B.; et al.
    Plant Journal   DOI: 10.1111/tpj.14865  AUG 2020
  • Symplasmic phloem unloading and radial post-phloem transport via vascular rays in tuberous roots of Manihot esculenta
    Mehdi, Rabih; Lamm, Christian E.; Bodampalli Anjanappa, Ravi; Muedsam, Christina; Saeed, Muhammad; et al.
    Journal Of Experimental Botany,, OCT 15 2019
  • Haplotype-resolved genomes of geminivirus-resistant and geminivirus-susceptible African cassava cultivars
    Kuon, JE; Qi, WH; Schlapfer, P; Hirsch-Hoffmann, M; von Bieberstein, PR; Patrignani, A; Poveda, L; Grob, S; Keller, M; Shimizu-Inatsugi, R; Grossniklaus, U; Vanderschuren, H; Gruissem, W
    BMC BIOLOGY, 17 (1):10.1186/s12915-019-0697-6 SEP 18 2019
Gruissem Wilhelm

Prof. Dr. em. Wilhelm Gruissem
ETH Zurich
Institute of Molecular Plant Biology
8092 Zurich

Tel: +41 (0)44 632 08 57

Research topics

  • Pathway functional genomics
  • Cell cycle and chromatin
  • Biotechnology of crop improvement



  • Functional genomics technologies
  • Reverse engineering