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Dr. Jurgen Engelberth

Dr. Jurgen Engelberth

Associate Professor


Research Profile


Research Interests

Plants under insect herbivore attack have evolved various mechanisms to counteract this threat. Among the measures plants undertake to survive with the least damage are the recognition of insect-derived elicitors, production of proteins, that block digestion or disrupt intestinal tissue, and the production of defense-related secondary metabolites, which directly or indirectly affect the herbivore performance. Lipid-derived compounds (oxylipins), which are activated by elicitors from the insect saliva, represent important signals in this process. However, little is known about the regulation of the pathway leading to the production of jasmonic acid (JA), the most important signal in plant defense against herbivorous insects. The discovery of green leafy volatiles as another center of signaling added a new dimension to this pathway. The significance of this pathway is not limited to defense-related functions, but plays also an important role in developmental processes. The enlightenment of these pathways is a major aspect of my research. Besides the metabolic analysis of possible signaling compounds the molecular regulation of these processes are the major subjects in my research program.

Recent Publications

ENGELBERTH, J., CONTRERAS, C.F., DALVI, C., LI, T., ENGELBERTH, M. (2013) Early Transcriptome Analyses of Z-3-Hexenol-Treated Zea mays Revealed Distinct Transcriptional Networks and Anti-Herbivore Defense Potential of Green Leaf Volatiles. Plos ONE, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0077465

CHRISTENSEN S.A., NEMCHENKO A., BORREGO E., SOBHY I., BOSAK L., ERB M., ROBERTS C.,  VAUGHN K., A., GÖBEL C., TUMLINSON J., FEUSSNER I., TURLINGS T., ENGELBERTH J., NANSEN C., MEELEY R., MURRAY I., AND KOLOMIETS M.V. (2013) The multi-tasking lipoxygenase, ZmLOX10, regulates GLV, JA, and HIPV production for defense against insect attack. The Plant Journal 74 (1), 59-73.

YAN. Y., CHRISTENSEN, S., ISAKEIT, T., ENGELBERTH, J, MEELEY, R., HAYWARD, A., EMERY, N., AND KOLOMIETS, M. (2012) Disruption of OPR7 and OPR8 reveals the diverse function of jasmonic acid in maize development and defense. The Plant Cell 24(4), 1420-1436.

ENGELBERTH, J., VISWANATAN, S., CONTRERAS, C.F. (2012) Transcriptional Analysis of Distant Signaling induced by Insect Elicitors and Mechanical Wounding in Zea mays. PLoS ONE 7(4): e34855. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0034855.

ENGELBERTH, J. (2012) Plant defense against insect herbivore attack. In: F. Baluska, G. Witzany [eds.], Biocommunication in Plants, Springer, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

ENGELBERTH, J. (2011) Selective inhibition of jasmonic acid accumulation by a small alpha, beta-unsaturated carbonyl and phenidone reveals different modes of octadecanoid signalling activation in response to insect elicitors and green leaf volatiles in Zea mays. BMC Research Notes 2011 Oct 3;4:377.

ENGELBERTH, J. ENGELBERTH, M., VISWANATHAN, S. (2011) Low concentrations of salicylic acid stimulate insect elicitor responses in corn (Zea mays) seedlings. Journal of Chemical Ecology 37, 263-266.

ENGELBERTH, J. (2011) Jasmonates and other fatty acid-derived signaling pathways in the plant defense response. In: A Companion to Plant Physiology, 5th Edition by Lincoln Taiz and Eduardo Zeiger.

AKAGI, A., ENGELBERTH, J., STOTZ, H. (2010) Interaction between polygalacturonase-inhibiting protein and jasmonic acid during defense activation in tomato against Botrytis cinerea. Eur. J. Plant Path. 128 (4), 423-428

SHIVAJI, R., CAMAS, A., ENGELBERTH, J., TUMLINSON, J.H., WILKINSON, J., WILLIAMS, P.W., LUTHE, D.S. (2010) Plants on constant alert: elevated levels of jasmonic acid and jasmonate-induced transcripts in caterpillar resistant maize. J. Chem.. Ecol. 2010 Feb 11.

ENGELBERTH, J. (2010) Secondary metabolism and plant defense. In: Taiz/Zeiger, Plant Physiology, 5th edition.

ENGELBERTH, J., ENGELBERTH, M. (2009) Monitoring plant hormones during stress responses. JoVE 28., doi: 10.3791/1127.

SCHMELZ, E.A., ENGELBERTH, J., ALBORN, H.T., TEAL, P., TUMLINSON, J. (2009) Phytohormone-based activity mapping of arthropod-associated plant effectors. PNAS 106, 653-657.

XIQUAN, G., STARR, J., GÖBEL, C., ENGELBERTH, J., FEUSSNER, I., TUMLINSON, J., KOLOMIETS, M. (2008) Maize 9-lipoxygenase ZmLOX3 controls development, root-specific expression of defense genes and resistance to root-knot nematodes. Mol. Plant Microbe Interact. 21, 98-109.

TUMLINSON, J. H., ENGELBERTH, J. (2007) Fatty acid derived signals that induce or regulate plant defenses against herbivory. In: A. Schaller [ed.], Induced plant resistance to herbivory, Springer, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

ENGELBERTH, J., SEIDL-ADAMS, I., SCHULTZ, JACK C., TUMLINSON, J.H.  (2007) Insect elicitors and exposure to green leafy volatiles (GLV) differentially up-regulate major octadecanoids and transcripts of 12-oxo phytodienoic acid reductases in Zea mays. Mol. Plant Microbe Interact. 20, 707-716.

ENGELBERTH, J. (2006) Secondary metabolism and plant defense. In: Taiz/Zeiger, Plant Physiology, 4th edition.

ENGELBERTH, J. (2006) Smelling the Danger and Getting Prepared: Volatile Signals as Priming Agents in Defense. In: A Companion to Plant Physiology, Fourth Edition by Lincoln Taiz and Eduardo Zeiger.