Michael Wrzaczek


Description of research and teaching

The main research focus of my group is to understand the molecular foundation of peptide ligands and their receptors in plants. On a physiological level we investigate how ligand/receptor interactions function in stress adaptation and plant development and in particular in the sensing of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Starting from the regulation of ROS-induced cell death we aim to understand also other aspects of ROS signaling, such as plant development.

We analyze the function of receptor-like protein kinases in ROS sensing. In particular the CYSTEINE-RICH RECEPTOR-LIKE KINASES (CRKs) are interesting proteins which could have roles in ROS sensing. In higher plants this protein family has undergone a drastic expansion. We are collaborating with several other groups in the ERA-PG consortium "PROSIG" and have created and analyzed a comprehensive knockout collection for all CRKs. Aleksia Vaattovaara is collaborating with Dr. Jarkko Salojärvi to understand the complex evolution of the CRKs and related proteins families address the reasons for the differential expansion of the CRKs in different plant families. Dr. Sachie Kimura is interested in how CRKs participate in the coordination of systemic signaling in plants and Kerri Hunter is aiming to identify the protein complexes as the molecular context of CRK function.

We also use a secreted protein, GRIM REAPER (GRI), and its receptor as model system to investigate the molecular biology of peptide ligands and receptors. GRI is an interesting protein that can induce cell death but also seems to play roles in various developmental aspects. GRI is processed by extracellular proteases and the resulting peptide is perceived by a receptor-like kinase.

We have collaborations with Dr. Saijaliisa Kangasjärvi (University of Turku, Finland), Dr. Hannele Tuominen (Umeå Plant Science Centre, Sweden), Prof. Frank Van Breusegem (VIB Ghent, Belgium), Dr. Jan Willem Borst (Wageningen University, Netherlands), Dr. Silke Robatzek (Sainsbury Labs, UK), Prof. Stanislaw Karpinski (Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Poland), Prof. David Collinge (Copenhagen University, Denmark), Dr. Claudia Jonak (GMI, Austria).

Besides research projects I am interested in Unix, Linux/BSD and Perl-scripting and introduce biologists to those computer tools. I have been teaching programming for biologists for several years at the University of Helsinki.



Education information

Docent, University of Helsinki, Finland, 2011

Education information

PhD, University of Vienna, Austria, 2004

Education information

Master of Science, University of Vienna, Austria, 2001

Curriculum Vitae

Latest publications

  1. The IDA-LIKE peptides IDL6 and IDL7 are negative modulators of stress responses in Arabidopsis thaliana

    Vie, A. K., Najafi, J., Winge, P., Cattan, E., Wrzaczek, M. A., Kangasjärvi, J. S., Miller, G., Brembu, T. & Bones, A. M. 6 Jun 2017 In : Journal of Experimental Botany. 68, 13, p. 3557-3571 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. E-pub ahead of print

    An Oomycete Effector Protein Induces Shade Avoidance In Arabidopsis And Attenuates Salicylate Signaling By Binding To Host Proteins Of The RADICAL-INDUCED CELL DEATH1 Family

    Wirthmueller, L., Asai, S., Rallapalli, G., Sklenar, J., Fabro, G., Kim, D. S., Lintermann, R., Jaspers, P., Wrzaczek, M. A., Kangasjärvi, J. S., MacLean, D., Menke, F. L. H., Banfield, M. J. & Jones, J. D. G. 14 May 2017 In : BioRxiv beta : the preprint server for biology.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Genome sequencing and population genomic analyses provide insights into the adaptive landscape of silver birch

    Salojärvi, J., Smolander, O-P., Nieminen, K., Rajaraman, S., Safronov, O., Safdari, P., Lamminmäki, A., Immanen, J., Lan, T., Tanskanen, J., Rastas, P., Amiryousefi, A., Jayaprakash, B., Kammonen, J. I., Hagqvist, R., Eswaran, G., Ahonen, V. H., Serra, J. A., Asiegbu, F. O., Barajas-Lopez, J. D. D., Blande, D., Blokhina, O., Blomster, T., Broholm, S., Brosche, M., Cui, F., Dardick, C., Ehonen, S. E., Elomaa, P., Escamez, S., Fagerstedt, K. V., Fujii, H., Gauthier, A., Gollan, P. J., Halimaa, P., Heino, P. I., Himanen, K., Hollender, C., Kangasjarvi, S., Kauppinen, L., Kelleher, C. T., Kontunen-Soppela, S., Koskinen, J. P., Kovalchuk, A., Karenlampi, S. O., Kärkönen, A. K., Lim, K-J., Leppälä, J., Macpherson, L., Mikola, J., Mouhu, K., Mähönen, A. P., Niinemets, U., Oksanen, E., Overmyer, K., Palva, E. T., Pazouki, L., Pennanen, V., Puhakainen, T., Poczai, P., Possen, B. J. H. M., Punkkinen, M., Rahikainen, M. M., Rousi, M., Ruonala, R., van der Schoot, C., Shapiguzov, A., Sierla, M., Sipilä, T. P., Sutela, S., Teeri, T. H., Tervahauta, A. I., Vaattovaara, A., Vahala, J., Vetchinnikova, L., Welling, A., Wrzaczek, M., Xu, E., Paulin, L. G., Schulman, A. H., Lascoux, M., Albert, V. A., Auvinen, P., Helariutta, Y. & Kangasjarvi, J. 8 May 2017 In : Nature Genetics. 49, 6, p. 904-912 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

View all (24) »

Latest activities

  1. International Conference on Arabidopsis Research 2018

    Wrzaczek, M. (Chair of organizing committee)
    25 Jun 201829 Jun 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

  2. Tokyo University of ScienceBioinformatics Education DivisionEducation Center for Information, Organization for Education Advancement- Seminar 2017 Program

    Wrzaczek, M. (Attendee)
    11 Dec 201713 Dec 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

View all (70) »


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