Prof. Dr. Mark Stitt

Director of Department 2: Metabolic Networks, and Leader of the Research Group “System Regulation” at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Germany.

Mark Stitt earnt the Ph.D. in 1978, and completed his postdoctoral training at the Institute for Physiological Chemistry and Physical Biochemistry, Munich, followed by research experiences at UC Berkeley, and his habilitation in Plant Biochemistry at the University of Göttingen. Dr. Stitt was appointed Professor for Plant Biochemistry in the Department of Plant Physiology, Bayreuth in 1986 and became Professor and Head of the Institute for Botany, University of Heidelberg in 1991.  From 1997 to 2000 he served as the Dean of the Faculty of Biology at the University of Heidelberg, and in 2000 was appointed as the Director of the department ‘Metabolic Networks’ at the Max-Planck Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology in Golm. 

Professor Stitt has been a Handling Editor for Plant Cell and Environment since 1992, and for The Plant Journal since 1996.  He is Section Head for Plant Biochemistry and Physiology for Faculty of 1000 (2000), and is on the Advisory Board for an additional four scientific journals including Current Opinion in Plant Biology. He also serves on the Advisory Boards and Steering Committees of an   additional nine European and international scientific institutes and collaborative research projects. 

In 1986 Dr. Stitt was awarded the Presidents Medal of the Society for Experimental Botany, England, and in 2002 was identified by ISI as a Highly Cited Researcher, based upon his publications from 1991 to 2001. Overall, Dr. Stitt has over 400 peer-reviewed publications to his credit. His work is focused on deciphering the regulation and networking of biochemical metabolic pathways, for what he carries out comparative genetic and reverse genetic studies on ecotype variants, mutants and transgenic plants.



Keynote Lecture 8: 

Budgeting Carbon in a Changing Environment: Are Plants better than Bankers and Politicians?



Mark Stitt [a]


[a] Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Golm-Potsdam Germany


The diel light-dark cycle is one of the most pervasive environmental changes with which plants have to cope. Growth at night depend on reserves that are accumulated in preceding light periods. Arabidopsis transiently accumulates up to 60% of its fixed carbon as starch, which during the night is remobilized in a near-linear manner such that it is almost but not totally exhausted at the next dawn. This pattern of diel starch turnover is crucial for optimal growth in carbon-limiting conditions, and is robust against fluctuations in the environment.

His robustness reflects the sophisticated regulation of starch accumulation and mobilization, which is itself closely intermeshed with the diel regulation of growth. In conditions where less carbon is fixed per 24 h cycle (for example short photoperiods, low light. plants accumulate a larger proportion of their fixed carbon as starch. Allocation to starch is regulated by multiple pathways that integrate information about predictable (e.g. photoperiod duration) and unpredictable (e.g. irradiance received in a given 24 h cycle) environmental variables. At night, the circadian clock paces starch mobilization to ensure that starch is almost but not totally exhausted at dawn. When more carbon is available than is used for growth during the night, the sucrose signal trehalose 6-phosphate slows down starch degradation.

Almost all experimental studies of metabolism and growth are performed in recurring square-wave light regimes (i.e. the same light intensity every day, suddenly turning it on and off). These are artificial conditions. In the field, irradiance increases gradually at dawn, decreases gradually at dusk, and fluctuates unpredictably within and between days. I will discuss how we are extending our studies to gain insights into how plants regulate starch turnover, metabolism and growth in the field. I will suggest that regulation networks have evolved to cope with these variations. This carries the implication that key features of the networks may make little or no sense unless studied under conditions appropriate to the field.




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9:00 - 17:00


11:00 - 11:15

Welcome address


Danuše Nerudová
Rector, Mendel University in Brno

11:15 - 12:15 Opening Lecture




Dirk Inzé

The pivotal role of Plant Biology in a rapidly changing world

12:15 - 13:15 Keynote Lecture 01




Philip Wigge

Plants in a warming world

13:15 - 14:45  Lunch break & Poster Viewing Sessions
14:45 - 15:15 Talk M01
  George Komis
Conditional and developmental rearrangements of the plant cytoskeleton
15:15 - 15:30 Talk M02
  Antonio Pompeiano
Photosynthetic and growth responses of Arundo donax L. plantlets under different oxygen deficiency stresses and reoxygenation
15:30 - 15:45 Talk M03
  Iva Pavlović
Early response of white cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata) to increased salinity: transcriptomic, hormonal and metabolic status

15:45 - 16:00 Talk M04

Tereza Dobisová
Non-invasive in planta Monitoring of Chlorophyll Biosynthesis

16:00 - 16:30 Coffee break
16:30 - 17:30 Keynote Lecture 02



David Alabadí

Upstream and downstream events in DELLA-regulated growth and development

17:30 - 17:45 Talk M05
  Helene Robert Boisivon
Thermomorphogenesis during seed development In Arabidopsis and Brassica napus
17:45 - 18:00 Talk M06
  Sahu Pranav Pankaj 
Understanding the response of Arabidopsis under climate change scenarios
18:00 - 18:15 Talk M07
  Jozef Balla 
Auxin flow-mediated competition between axillary buds fine-tuned by other players
18:15 - 20:00   Welcome party, Poster and student talk session


9:30 - 10:15 Keynote Lecture 03



Peter Hedden

The role of gibberellin signaling in plant responses to abiotic stress

10:15 - 10:45 Talk T01
  Jan Hejátko

Cytokinins control xylem development via NAC SECONDARY WALL THICKENING PROMOTING FACTORs

10:45 - 11:15 Talk T02
  Marie-Theres Hauser
Metal ion sensing in cell walls
11:15 - 11:30 Talk T03
  Barbora Pařízková
iP & OEiP – a perfect couple to regulate plant development with high spatial resolution
11:30 - 12:00 Coffee break
12:00 - 13:00 Keynote Lecture 04



Miguel A. Blázquez

An ancestral mechanism for the coordination of transcriptional programs

13:00 - 13:30 Talk T04
  Tomáš Werner
Molecular mechanisms controlling cytokinin homeostasis in the endoplasmic reticulum
13:30 - 14:00 Talk T05
  Radomíra Vaňková
The role of cytokinins in optimal defense to abiotic and biotic stresses as well as pathogen attack strategy
14:00 - 15:30   Lunch break & Poster Viewing Sessions
15:30 - 16:30 Keynote Lecture 05



Thomas Schmülling

New chapters from cytokinin action in development and stress defense

16:30 - 17:30 Keynote Lecture 06



Karin Ljung

Auxin-cytokinin metabolism, transport and signaling during lateral root development

17:30 - 18:00 Coffee break
18:00 - 19:00 Keynote Lecture 07



Aaron Rashotte

Roles of Cytokinin Response Factors in different environmental stress responses

19:00 - 22:00

Conference dinner

9:00 - 10:00 Keynote Lecture 08



Mark Stitt

Budgeting carbon in a changing environment: Are plants better than bankers and politicians?


10:00 - 11:00 Keynote Lecture 09



Ondřej Novák

Phytohormone profiling at the cellular and subcellular levels


11:00 - 11:30

 Coffee break
11:30 - 11:45 Talk W01
  Hana Leontovyčová
Can actin depolymerization induce plant resistance?
11:45 - 12:00 Talk W02
  Parisa Rahimzadeh Karvansara

Sulfur metabolism in C4 and C3 plants, Similarities and differences

12:00 - 12:15 Talk W03
  Jan Skalák
Exploring natural variability in multistep phosphorelay for enhanced drought tolerance in plants
12:15 - 12:45 Talk W04
  Timothy O. Jobe

Plant mineral nutrition under changing environment

12:45 - 13:15 Talk W05
  Jozef Šamaj

Advanced microscopy for plant developmental and cell biology

13:15 - 13:45 Talk W06
  Miroslav Ovečka

Mitogen-activated protein kinases as developmental and stress-related modulators in plants

14:00 - 15:00 Lunch
15:00 - 16:00 Keynote Lecture 10



Ashverya Laxmi

Carbon control of shade avoidance responses in Arabidopsis

16:00 - 17:00 Keynote Lecture 11



Jutta Ludwig-Müller

Plant hormones in biotic interactions


Closing remarks

  Poster P01
Venkata Pardha S. Attuluri
Optimizing clearing methods for deeper imaging of fluorescent protein-expressing plant tissues
  Poster P02
  Kateřina Bělonožníková
The role of organic nitrogen source in plant nutrition
  Poster P03
  Miroslav Berka
Plant-pathogen interaction – proteomics and metabolomics analyses of Phytophthora infection in poplar
  Poster P04
  Hana Habánová
Seed quality under changing environmental conditions
  Poster P05
  Petra Hofmanová
Downregulation of PHOTOTROPIN 1 in Solanum lycopersicum L.
  Poster P06

Veronika Hýsková
Could heat shock or oomycete Pythium oligandrum treatment affect the course of viral infection in plants?

  Poster P07

Petra Jiroutová
Hormonal analysis of brassinosteroid biosynthetic mutant plants

  Poster P08
  Marek Klemš

Comparison of 14C-activity distribution after 14C-fluoranthene and 14C-glycine uptake by young pea plants

  Poster P09
  Markéta Luklová
A role of plant circadian rhythms as a regulator of plant hormone signaling and ROS signaling
  Poster P10
  Veronika Malých
Cytokinin modulates biotic interaction between Acremonium alternatum and Arabidopsis thaliana
  Poster P11
  Jana Oklešťková
Interactions between steroids in regulation of plant development
  Poster P12
  Helena  Ryšlavá 
What is the effect of seed treatment with Pythium oligandrum on the metabolism of rape plants?
  Poster P13
  Iñigo Saiz-Fernández 
Metabolomic response of Quercus variabilis during Phytophthora cinnamomi infection
  Poster P14
  Eva Nevrtalová
Whole transcriptome profiling of Silene vulgaris: molecular background of the copper tolerance in the non-model plant
  Poster P15
  Tereza Dobisová 
Seeding, the bottleneck of plant science
  Poster P16
  Archna Tiwari 
Carbon control of shade avoidance responses in Arabidopsis
  Poster P17
  Naghani Shekoufeh Ebrahimi 
Study of the involvement of light components pathway (PIF4 and PhyB) in high temperature response in inflorescence of Arabidopsis thaliana


  • Plant abiotic stress
  • Biotic interactions
  • Plant signalling
  • Phytohormones
  • Plant growth and development
  • Global change and sustainable agriculture


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