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Prof. Dr. Annette Becker

Head of Group

Prof. Dr. Annette Becker



Institute of Botany

Developmental biology of plants

Heinrich-Buff-Ring 38

35392 Gießen



Phone: +49 (0)641 99-35200

Fax:     +49 (0)641 99-35179




Curriculum Vitae:


1991 – 1997

studied Biology in Tübingen, Göttingen, Oulu (Finland), Tallahassee (FL, USA)


Diploma in Biology


PhD in Genetics (Max-Planck-Institute for Breeding Research, Cologne and University of Cologne)

2001 – 2003

Postdoc with Prof. Dr. Günter Theißen at the Universities of Münster and Jena

2003 – 2005

Postdoc with Prof. Dr. David Smyth, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

2005 -  2011

Juniorprofessor (Assistant professor) for Molecular Genetics, University of Bremen, Germany

since 2012

Professor for Developemental Biology of Plants, Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen, Germany







  • Rupp O, Roessner C, Lederer-Ponzer N, Wollenweber TE, Becker A, Lamaoui M (2024) Genome of Argania spinosa L.: Insights into Oil Production and the Tocopherol Biosynthesis Pathway. Accepted at Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution



  • RanOmics group (Becker A, Bachelier JB, Carrive L, Conde e Silva N, Damerval C, Del Rio C, Deveaux Y, Die Stilio V, Gong Y, Jabbour F, Kramer EM, Nadot S, Pabón-Mora N, Wang W). A cornucopia of diversity - Ranunculales as a model lineage. Journal of Experimental Botany: erad492.
  • Gust A, Yang Y, Steidele C, Rössner C, Löffelhardt B, Kolb B, Leisen T, Zhang W, Ludwig C, Felix, Seidl MF, Becker A,  Nurnberger T, Hahn M, Gust B, Gross H, Hückelhoven R. 2023. Convergent evolution of plant pattern recognition receptors sensing cysteine-rich patterns from three microbial kingdoms. Nature communications,14:3621, 
  • Pramanik D, Becker A, Roessner C, Rupp O, Bogarin D, Perez-Escobar OE,, Dirks-Mulder A, Droppert K, Kocyan A, Smets E, Gravendeel B. 2023. Evolution and development of fruits of Erycina pusilla and other orchid species. PLOS ONE 18(10): e0286846. 
  • Roessner C, Bhide AS, Hoffmeier A, Schenk J, Groß T, Gramzow L, Theißen G, Becker A (2023) Conservation of the restricted expression  of Brassicaceae Bsister-like genes in seeds requires a transposable element in Arabidopsis thaliana. Molecular Biology and Evolution, Vol 40, Issue5

  • Becker A, Yamada Y, Sato F (2023) California poppy (Eschscholzia californica), the Papaveraceae golden girl model organism for evodevo and specialized metabolism. Front. Plant Sci 14:1084358, DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2023.1084358

  • Gemeinholzer B, Rupp O, Becker A, Strickert M, Müller CM (2023) Genotyping by sequencing and a newly developed mRNA-GBS approach to link population genetic and transcriptome analyses reveal pattern differences between sites and treatments in red clover (Trifolium pratense L.). Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 10: 1003057, DOI: 10.3389/fevo.2022.1003057

  • Marchant DB, Chen G, Cai S, Chen F, Schafran P, Jenkins J, Shu S, Plott C, Webber J, Lovell J T, He G, Sandor L, Williams M, Rajasekar S, Healey A, Barry K, Zhang Y, Sessa E, Dhakal R, Wolf PG, Harkess A, Li F-W, Rössner C, Becker A, Gramzow L, Xue D, Wu Y, Tong T, Wang Y, Dai F, Hua S, Wang H, Xu S, Xu F, Duan H, Theißen T, McKain M, Li Z, McKibben MTW, Barker MS, Schmitz RJ, Stevenson D, Zumajo-Cardona C, Ambrose BA, Leebens-Mack JH, Grimwood J, Schmutz J, Soltis PS, Soltis DE, Chen ZH  (2022)  Dynamic genome evolution in a model fern. Nat. Plants.
  • Rössner C, Lotz D, Becker A (2022) VIGS Goes Viral: How VIGS Transforms Our Understanding of Plant Science, Annual Review of Plant Biology 73:1,
  • Lotz D, Imanin J, Ehler K, Becker A (2022) Towards a genetic model organism: an efficient method for stable genetic transformation of Eschscholzia californica (Ranunculales). Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture (PCTOC),



  • Gross T, Becker A. (2021) Transcription factor action orchestrates the complex expression pattern of CRABS CLAW in Arabidopsis. Genes 2021, 12(11), 1663;
  • Kong D, Becker A (2021) Then there were plenty - ring meristems giving rise to many stamen whorls. Plants 10: 1140,
  • Claßen-Bockhoff R, Becker A, Ronse De Craene LP. (2021) Editorial: From Meristems to Floral Diversity: Developmental Options and Constraints. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 9:183,
  • Gross T, Müller CM, Becker A, Gemeinholzer B, Wissemann V (2021) Common garden versus common practice – Phenotypic changes in Trifolium pratense L. in response to repeated mowing. Journal of Applied Botany and Food Quality 94:1-6.
  • Herbert D, Gross T, Rupp O, Becker A. (2021) Transcriptome analysis reveals major transcriptional changes during regrowth after mowing of red clover (Trifolium pratense). BMC Plant Biology 21:95.


  • Kivivirta K, Herbert D, Roessner C, de Folter S, Marsch-Martinez N, Becker A (2020) Transcriptome analysis of gynoecium morphogenesis uncovers the chronology of gene regulatory network activity. Plant Physiology 185:1076-1090, doi:10.1093/plphys/kiaa090.
  • Becker, A (2020) A molecular update on the origin of the carpel. Current Opinion in Plant Biology 53: 15-22.




  • Kivivirta K, Herbert D, Lange M, Beuerlein K, Altmüller J, Becker A (2019) A protocol for Laser Microdissection (LMD) followed by transcriptome analysis of plant reproductive tissue in phylogenetically distant angiosperms. Plant Methods 15: 1-11.

  • Pabón-Mora N, Di Stilio VS, Becker A (2019) Genetic Regulatory Mechanisms Underlying Developmental Shifts in Plant Evolution. Frontiers in Plant Science 10, 710. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.00710

  • Dommes AB, Gross T, Herbert DB, Kivivirta KI, Becker A. (2019) Virus-induced gene silencing: empowering genetics in non-model organisms. Journal of Experimental Botany 70:757-770. doi: 10.1093/jxb/ery411.




  • Hoffmeier A, Gramzow L, Bhide AS, Kottenhagen N, Greifenstein A, Schubert O, Mummenhoff K, Becker A, Theißen G (2018) A dead gene walking: convergent degeneration of a clade of MADS-box genes in crucifers. Mol Biol Evol 35:2618-2638., accepted
  • Gross T, Broholm S, Becker A (2018) CRABS CLAW acts as a bifunctional transcription factor in flower development. Frontiers in Plant Science 9:835. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.00835
  • Zhao Y, Pfannebecker K, Dommes AB, Hidalgo O, Becker A, Elomaa P (2018) Evolutionary diversification of CYC/TB1 -like TCP homologs and their recruitement for the control of branching and floral morphology in Papaveraceae (basal eudicots). New Phytologist 216: 361-366
  • Herbert D, Ekschmitt K, Wissemann V, Becker A (2018) Cutting reduces variation in biomass production of forage crops and allows low-performers to catch up: A case study of Trifolium pratense L. (red clover). Plant Biology 20: 465-473




  • Bolouri Moghaddam M-R , Gross T, Becker A, Vilcinskas A, Rahnamaeian M (2017). The selective antifungal activity of Drosophila melanogaster metchnikowin reflects the species-dependent inhibition of succinate–coenzyme Q reductase. Scientific Reports 7 Article number: 8192, doi:10.1038/s41598-017-08407-x

  • Pfannebecker M, Lange M, Rupp O, Becker A. (2017) Seed plant specific gene lineages involved in carpel development. Mol Biol Evol 34: 925-942 - Pressemitteilung - dazu ein Artikel auf
  • Pfannebecker K, Lange M, Rupp O, Becker A (2017) An evolutionary framework for carpel developmental control genes. Mol Biol Evol 34: 330-348 - MBE Cover - Pressemitteilung - dazu ein Artikel auf
  • Damerval C, Becker A. (2017) Genetics of Flower Development in Ranunculales – a new, basal eudicot model order for studying flower evolution. New Phytologist 216:361–366




  • Ehlers K, Bhide A S, Tekleyohans D G, Wittkop B, Snowdon R J, Becker A (2016) The MADS box genes ABS, SHP1, and SHP2 are essential for the coordination of cell divisions in ovule and seed coat development and for endosperm formation in Arabidopsis thaliana. PLoS ONE 11:e0165075.

  • Becker, A (2016) Tinkering with transcription factor networks for developmental robustness of Ranunculales flowers. Annals of Botany117:845-858
  • Becker, A and Ehlers, K (2016) Arabidopsis flower development—of protein complexes, targets, and transport. Protoplasma 253:219–230; DOI 10.1007/s00709-015-0812-7




  • Schenk  S T, Hernández-Reyes C, Samans B, Stein E, Neumann C, Schikora M, Reichelt M, Mithöfer A, Becker A, Kogel K-H , Schikora A (2014) -Acyl-Homoserine Lactone Primes Plants for Cell Wall Reinforcement and Induces Resistance to Bacterial Pathogens via the Salicylic Acid/Oxylipin Pathway, Plant Cell Plant Cell 26:2708-2723
  • Bhide A, Schliesky S, Reich M ,  Weber A PM, Becker A (2014) Analysis of the floral transcriptome of Tarenaya hassleriana (Cleomaceae), a member of the sister group to the Brassicaceae: towards understanding the base of morphological diversity in Brassicales. BMC Genomics 15:140



  • Cheng S, van den Bergh E,  Zeng P, Zhong,X, Xu J, Liu X, Hofberger J, de Bruijn S, Bhide A S, Kuelahoglu C, Bian C, Chen J, Fan G, Kaufmann K, Hall J C, Becker A, Bräutigam A,  Weber A PM, Shi C, Zheng Z, Li W,  Lv M, Tao Y, Wang J, Zou H, Quan, Z, Hibberd J M, Zhan G, Zhu X-G,  Xu X, Schranz M E (2013) The Tarenaya hassleriana Genome Provides Insight into Reproductive Trait and Genome Evolution of Crucifers, Plant Cell 25 (8): 2813-2830
  • Stammler A, Meyer SS, Plant AR, Townsley BT, Becker A, Gleissberg S (2013). Duplicated STM-like KNOX I genes act in floral meristem activity in Eschscholzia californica (Papaveraceae). Development Genes and Evolution. 223 (5): 289-301
  • Lange M, Orashakova S, Lange S, Melzer R, Theißen G, Smyth DR, Becker A (2013) The seirena B class floral homeotic mutant of California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica) reveals a function of the enigmatic PI motif in the formation of specific multimeric MADS domain protein complexes. Plant Cell 25(2):438-53
  • Lange M, Yellina AL, Orashakova S, Becker A (2013). Virus-Induced Gene Silencing (VIGS) in Plants: An Overview of Target Species and the Virus-Derived Vector Systems. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, NJ) 975:1-14.
  • Tekleyohans DG, Lange S, Becker A (2013) Virus-Induced Gene Silencing of the Alkaloid-Producing Basal Eudicot Model Plant Eschscholzia californica (California Poppy). Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2013; 975:83-98.



  • Yang X, Wu F, Du X, Chong K, Gramzow L, Schilling S, Becker A, Theißen G, Meng Z (2012) Live and let die - the B(sister) MADS-box gene OsmADS29 controls the degeneration of cells in maternal tissues during seed development of rice (Oryza sativa). PLoS One 7(12):e51435



  • Becker A, Alix K, Damerval C. (2011) The evolution of flower development: current understanding and future challenges. Ann Bot 107:1427-1431.
  • Ghareeb HA, Becker A, Iven T, Feussner I, Schirawski J. (2011) Sporisorium reilianum infection changes inflorescence and branching architecture of maize. Plant Physiology, 156 (4): 2017-52
  • Zotz G, Wilhelm K, Becker A. (2011) Heteroblasty - A review. Botanical Review 77: 109-151



  • Yellina A, Orashakova S, Lange S, Erdmann E, Leebens-Mack J, Becker A. (2010) Floral homeotic C function genes repress specific B function genes in the carpel whorl of the basal eudicot California poppy (Eschscholzia californica). BMC Evodevo 1:13
  • Erdmann R, Gramzow L, Melzer R, Theißen G, Becker A. (2010) GORDITA (GOA) is a young paralogue of the Arabidopsis thaliana Bsister MADS-box gene ABS (TT16) that has undergone neofunctionalization. Plant Journal, 63: 914-924
  • Viane T, Vekemans D, Becker A, Melzer S, Geuten K. (2010) Diverse functions of the AGL6 MADS domain transcription factor lineage after a core eudicot duplication suggests functional diversification. BMC Plant Biol 10:148
  • Lange M, Becker A (2010) VIGS - genomics goes functional. Trends in Plant Sciences 15(1): 1-4
  • Rensing L, Koch M, Becker A. (2009) A comparative approach to the principal mechanisms of different memory systems. Naturwissenschaften 96: 1373-8
  • Orashakova S, Lange M, Lange S, Wege S, Becker A. (2009) The CRABS CLAW ortholog from the basal eudicot California poppy, (Eschscholzia californica), EcCRC, is involved in floral meristem termination and gynoecium development. Plant Journal 58: 682-693
  • Wege S, Scholz A, Gleissberg S, Becker A (2007) Highly efficient virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) in California poppy (Eschscholzia californica Cham.): An evaluation of VIGS as a strategy to obtain functional data from non-model plants. Annals Bot 100: 641-649
  • Zahn LM, Leebens-Mack J, Arrington JM, Hu Y, Landherr L, dePamphilis C, Becker A, Theissen G, Ma H (2006) Conservation and divergence in the AGAMOUS Subfamily of MADS-Box Genes: Evidence of Independent Sub- and Neofunctionalization Events. Evol Dev 8: 30-45
  • Carlson J, Leebens-Mack JH, Wall PK, Zahn LM, Mueller LM, Landherr LL, Hu Y, Ilut DC, Arrington JM, Choirean S, Becker A, Field D, Tanksley SD, Ma H, dePamphilis CW (2006) EST database for early flower development in California poppy (Eschscholzia californica Cham., Papaveraceae) tags over 6000 genes from a basal eudicot. Plant Mol Biol 62: 351-369
  • Geuten K, Becker A, Kaufmann K, Caris P, Janssens S, Viaene T, Theissen G, Smets E (2006) Petaloidy and petal identity MADS-box genes in the balsaminoid genera Impatiens and Marcgravia. Plant J 47: 501-518
  • Becker A, Gleissberg S, Smyth DR (2005) Floral and Vegetative Morphogenesis in California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica Cham.), Intl J Plant Sci 166 (4): 537-555



  • Theißen, G, Becker, A. (2004). The ABCs of flower development in Arabidopsis and rice. Progress in Botany, 65
  • Becker A, Theißen G. (2004) Orthologs of class B floral homeotic genes from gymnosperms: features, phylogeny and importance for flower origin. Crit Rev Plant Sci, 23(2):129-148
  • Becker A, Theißen G. (2003) The major clades of MADS-box genes and their role in the development and evolution of flowering plants. Mol Phyl Evol, 29(3): 464-489
  • Becker A, Saedler, H, Theißen G. (2003) Distinct MADS-box gene expression patterns in the reproductive cones of the gymnosperm Gnetum gnemon. Dev Gen Evol, 213: 567-572
  • Becker A, Bey M, Bürglin TR, Saedler H, Theißen G. (2002b) Ancestry and diversity of BEL1-like homeobox genes revealed by gymnosperm (Gnetum gnemon) homologs.  Dev Genes Evol 212: 452-457
  • Becker A, Kaufmann K, Freialdenhoven A, Vincent C, Li MA, Saedler H, Theißen G. (2002a) A novel MADS-box gene subfamily with a sistergroup relationship to class B floral homeotic genes. Mol. Gen. Gen. 266: 942-950 » Abstract 
  • Theißen G, Becker A, Winter K-U, Münster T, Kirchner C, Saedler H.(2002) How the land plants learned their floral ABCs: the role of MADS-box genes in the evolutionary origin of flowers. In: Cronk Q, Bateman R, Hawkins J (eds.) Developmental Genetics and Plant Evolution. Taylor & Francis, London
  • Saedler H, Becker A, Winter K-U, Kirchner C, Theißen G. (2001) MADS-box genes are involved in floral development and evolution. Acta Biochim. Pol. 48(2):351-358
  • Theißen G, Becker A, Di Rosa A, Kanno A, Kim JT, Münster T, Winter K-U, Saedler H. (2000) A short history of MADS-box genes in plants. Plant Mol. Biol. 42:115-119  » Abstract


before 2000

  • Becker A, Winter K-U, Meyer B, Saedler H, Theißen G. (1999) MADS-box gene diversity in seed plants 300 million years ago. Mol. Biol. Evol. 17:1425-1434  » Abstract 
  • Winter KU, Becker A, Münster T, Kim JT, Saedler H, Theissen G.(1999), MADS-box genes reveal that gnetophytes are more closely related to conifers than to flowering plants. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA96(13):7342-7
  • Weakley J, Becker A. (1995) The Svalbard Reindeer. In: Arctic Centre Reports 12: Svalbard, Field Excursion in Arctic Marine Biology. J. Weissenberger and A.-L. Sippola (Hrs.), Lapin Yliopistopaino, Rovaniemi