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AG Hughes

Jon hpPhytochrome, molecular genetics and photobiology
  • 3D structure and action mechanism of the phytochrome molecule using molecular genetics, biochemistry, spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography and NMR
  • Phytochrome signaling in higher and lower plants
  • Molecular genetics in Physcomitrella and Arabidopsis

 Hello! I'm Jon Hughes, Professor of Plant Physiology at the University of Giessen. I was born near Cardiff in the UK, studying at at London University, way back in the seventies when punk was young, and gained my PhD at Nottingham University in 1983. After that I was a postdoc in Germany for four years, funded by the Royal Society in Freiburg and the EU in Bochum. I did a further postdoc in the USA at the University of Georgia at Athens before returning to Berlin in 1990 just after the Wall was opened, working at the Free University and the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics. I habilitated in 1998 and became Head of Department in Giessen in 2000.


Although I'm interested in plant molecular genetics and photobiology, my research is focused on phytochrome, a photoreceptor plants and other organisms use to perceive their light environment. We study the phytochrome systems not only in higher plants (particularly Arabidopsis) but also in lower plants (particularly the moss Physcomitrella) as well as that in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis. For this we combine the complete range of physiological, genetic, biochemical and biophysical methods, using E. coli and yeast to do most of the work. Our current research is summarised in "Projects" below - see also Mathias Zeidler's homepage.

We are always keen to welcome new people into the lab at all levels. Naturally, we offer a variety of BSc and MSc teaching modules (laboratory courses, seminars and lectures bundled coherently) and have a range of interesting projects involving cell biology, developmental biology, molecular genetics, biochemistry and biophysics just waiting for enthusiastic students. Moreover, you'll see from our publication list that our research is successful. This means, amongst other things, that we are well funded. Still not convinced?! Then come and visit us! Just phone or send me an e-mail: I'd like to hear from you and would be happy to show you around the Department.

You're not interested in science? Then take a look at my photogallery, watch this or (depending on your sense of humour) this or listen to this.
Find out about our research projects
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See the research papers we have published
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Lab members
See the people who work in the lab
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Positions available
I am always on the lookout for postdocs, PhD students and BSc/MSc project students to work on phytochrome signaling and structure/function. If you're interested, just send me an e-mail.
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