Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

Time measurement in biological systems




A major part of our research concerns the molecular mechanism of biological circadian clocks. Circadian (circa = about; diem = day) clocks exist from cyanobacteria to humans and control numerous cellular processes. The endogenous period varies slightly in each organism, but it is always in the range of 24 hours. The endogenous clock is adjusted during the day by so called "Zeitgeber". The most important "Zeitgebers" are light-dark as well as temperature cycles.

We have chosen the green alga
Chlamydomonas reinhardtii as primary model organism. The unicellular alga has a primitive visual system, the eyespot as well as two flagella for movement. We investigate light-, temperature as well as circadian driven processes in Chlamydomonas at molecular biological, biochemical and proteome levels. For measuring circadian rhythms, we use the process of phototaxis (photoaccumulation rhythm) as example. We also examine the interaction of microalgae with other microorganisms taking Chlamydomonas as example.   


We participate in the following large scale projects:


DGF-Research Group 1261 (Speaker: Maria Mittag) -

SFB 1127-