Dr. Marta Rodriguez-Franco

Marta studied Biology in Madrid (Spain), where she graduated in 1988. She obtained a UCM Postgraduate fellowship to work for two years in the Plant Physiology Department at the Complutense University in Madrid. In 1990 she moved to Japan to work at the RIKEN Institute in the laboratory of Prof. Masaki Furuya as Frontier Research Scientist. In 1992, she was granted with an Institute Pasteur- Cenci Bolognetti fellowship to conduct research at the University of Rome in the laboratory of Prof. Giuseppe Macino. She returned to Madrid in 1995 to defend her PhD on light perception in Neurospora crassa. In 1996 she obtained a postdoctoral fellowship from the Spanish Ministry of Education, and later a Marie Curie Fellowship to join the laboratory of Prof. Gunther Neuhaus in Freiburg. In 2000 she was appointed as senior scientist by the biotechnology company greenovation GmbH. She returned to the University of Freiburg in 2003 as group leader in the Cell Biology department. Since 2013 she is in charge of the Electron Microscopy Facility of the Faculty of Biology.


Lace B, Su C, Invernot-Perez D, Rodriguez-Franco M, Vernié T, Batzenschlager M, Egli S, Liu CW, Ott T (2023)
RPG acts as a central determinant for infectosome formation and cellular polarization during intracellular rhizobial infections
eLife; 12:e8074 (open access)

Su C, Rodriguez-Franco M, Lace B, Nebel N, Hernandez-Reyes C, Liang P, Schulze E, Mymrikov EV, Gross NM, Knerr J, Wang H, Siukstaite L, Keller J, Libourel C, Fischer AAM, Gabor KE, Mark E, Popp C, Hunte C, Weber W, Wendler P, Stanislas T, Delaux PM, Einsle O, Grosse R, Römer W, Ott T (2023)
Stabilization of membrane topologies by proteinaceous remorin scaffolds
Nature Communications; 14:323 (open access)

Su C, Zhang G, Rodriguez-Franco M, Hinnenberg R, Wietschorke J, Liang P, Yang W, Uhler L, Li X, Ott T (2023)
Transcellular progression of infection threads in Medicago truncatula roots is associated with locally confined cell wall modifications
Current Biology; 33:533-542 (open access)

Hoernstein SNW, Özdemir B, van Gessel N, Miniera AA, Rogalla von Bieberstein B, Nilges L, Schweikert Farinha J, Komoll R, Glauz S, Weckerle T, Scherzinger F, Rodriguez‐Franco M, Müller-Schüssele SJ, Reski R (2023)
A deeply conserved protease, acylamino acid-releasing enzyme (AARE), acts in ageing in Physcomitrella and Arabidopsis.
Commun Biol 6, 61.

Neuwirt E, Magnani G, Ćiković T, Wöhrle S, Fischer L, Kostina A, Flemming S, Fischenich NJ, Saller BS, Gorka O, Renner S, Agarinis C, Parker C, Boettcher A, Farady CJ, Kesselring R, Berlin C, Backofen R, Rodriguez-Franco M, Kreutz C, Prinz M, Tholen M, Reinheckel T, Ott T, Groß CJ, Jost PJ, Groß O (2023)
Screen for inflammasome activators identifies tyrosine kinase inhibitors that cause lysosomal damage and cell lysis to activate NLRP3
Science Signalling; 17(768):eabh1083

Dünser K, Schöller M, Rößling A-K, Löfke C, Xiao N, Pařízková B, Melnik S, Rodriguez-Franco M, Stöger E, Novák O, Kleine-Vehn J (2022)
Endocytic trafficking promotes vacuolar enlargements for fast cell expansion rates in plants.
eLife; https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.75945

Gupta P, Rodriguez‐Franco M, Bodanapu R, Sreelakshmi Y, Sharma R (2022). Phytoene synthase 2 in tomato fruits remains functional and contributes to abscisic acid formation. Plant Science; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.plantsci.2022.111177

Shariati S, Ebenau-Jehle C, Pourbabaee AA, Alikhani HA,
Rodriguez-Franco M, Agne M, Jacoby M, Geiger R, Shariati F, Boll M
(2021). Degradation of dibutyl phthalate by Paenarthrobacter sp. Shss
isolated from Saravan landfill, Hyrcanian Forests, Iran.
Biodegradation (open access)

Rich MK, Vigneron N, Libourel C, Keller J, Xue L, Hajheidari M, Radhakrishnan GV, Le Ru A, Issa Diop S, Potente G, Conti E, Duijsings D, Batut A, Le Faouder P, Kodama K, Kyozuka J, Sallet E, Bécard G, Rodriguez-Franco M, Ott T, Bertrand-Michel J, Oldroyd GED, Szövényi P, Bucher M, Delaux PM (2021). Lipid exchanges drove the evolution of mutualism during plant terrestrialization. Science; 372 (6544): 864-868 (open access)

Tittes C, Schwarzer S, Pfeiffer F, Dyall-Smith M, Rodriguez-Franco M, Oksanen HM, Quax TEF (2021). Cellular and genomic properties of Haloferax gibbonsii LR2-5, the host of euryarchaeal virus HFTV1. Frontiers in Microbiology, DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2021.625599

Schwarzer S, Rodriguez-Franco M, Oksanen H. M, Quax TEF (2021). Growth Phase Dependent Cell Shape of Haloarcula. Microorganisms 9(2), 231

Nußbaum P, Ithurbide S, Walsh JC, Patro M, Delpech F, Rodriguez-Franco M, Curmi PMG, Duggin IG, Quax TEF, Albers SV (2020). An Oscillating MinD Protein Determines the Cellular Positioning of the Motility Machinery in Archaea. Current Biology, doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2020.09.073

Li Z, Rodriguez-Franco M, Albers SV, Quax TEF (2020). The switch complex ArlCDE connects the chemotaxis system and the archaellum. Molecular Microbiology, doi:10.1111/mmi.14527

Müller-Schüssele, S., Wang, Ren., Gütle, D., Romer, Jill., Rodriguez-Franco, M., Scholz, M., Buchert, F., Lüth, V., Kopriva, S., Dörmann, P., Schwarzländer, M., Reski, R., Hippler, M., Meyer, A. (2020). Chloroplasts Require Glutathione Reductase to Balance Reactive Oxygen Species and Maintain Efficient Photosynthesis. The Plant Journal, doi:10.1111/tpj.14791

Bu F, Rutten L, Roswanjaya YP, Kulikova O, Rodriguez M, Ott T, Bisseling T, van Zeijl A, Geurts R (2020). Mutant analysis in the non-legume Parasponia andersonii reveals conserved symbiotic functioning of the transcription factors NIN and NF-YA1. New Phytologist, doi.org/10.1111/nph.16386.

Tsai CL, Tripp P, Sivabalasarma S, Zhang C, Rodriguez-Franco M, Wipfler R, Chaudhury P, Banerjee A, Beeby M, Whitaker R, Tainer J, Albers SV (2020). The periplasmic FlaG/F complex structure and its essential role for archaellar swimming motility. Nature Microbiology 5, 216–225

Li Z, Kinosita Y, Rodriguez-Franco M, Nußbaum P, Braun F, Delpech F, Quax TEF, Albers SV (2019). Positioning of the Motility Machinery in Halophilic Archaea. MBio. 2019 May 7;10(3). pii: e00377-19. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00377-19.

Schaub P, Rodriguez-Franco M, Cazzonelli CI, Álvarez D, Wüst F, Welsch R (2018). Establishment of an Arabidopsis callus system to study the interrelations of biosynthesis, degradation and accumulation of carotenoids. PLoS ONE 13(2): e0192158

Quax TEF., Altegoer F, Rossi F, Lia Z, Rodriguez-Franco M, Kraus F, Bange G, and Albers SV (2018). Structure and function of the archaeal response regulator CheY. PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1716661115

Schuessele C, Hoernstein SN, Mueller SJ, Rodriguez-Franco M, Lorenz T, Lang D, Igloi GL, Reski R. (2016). Spatio-temporal patterning of arginyl-tRNA protein transferase (ATE) contributes to gametophytic development in a moss. New Phytol. 209(3):1014-27.

Ali L, Spiess M, Wobser D, Rodriguez M, Bluma HE, Sakinc T (2016). Identification and functional characterization of the putative polysaccharide biosynthesis protein (CapD) of Enterococcus faecium U0317. Infection, Genetics and Evolution 37 (2016) 215–224.

Gemmecker S, Schaub P, Koschmieder J, Brausemann A, Drepper F, Rodriguez-Franco M, Ghisla S, Warscheid B, Einsle O, Beyer P. (2015) Phytoene Desaturase from Oryza sativa: Oligomeric Assembly, Membrane Association and Preliminary 3D-Analysis. PLoS One. 10(7):e0131717.

Morath V, Keuper M, Rodriguez-Franco M, Deswal S, Fiala G, Blumenthal B, Kaschek D, Timmer J, Neuhaus G, Ehl S, Ronneberger O, Schamel WW. (2013) Semi-automatic determination of cell surface areas used in systems biology. Front Biosci (Elite Ed) 5:533 -45.

Novillo F, Medina J, Rodríguez-Franco M, Neuhaus G, Salinas J. (2012) Genetic analysis reveals a complex regulatory network modulating CBF gene expression and Arabidopsis response to abiotic stress. J Exp Bot. 63 (1):293-304.

Yan H, Marquardt K, Indorf M, Jutt D, Kircher S, Neuhaus G, Rodríguez-Franco M.  (2011) Nuclear localization and interaction with COP1 are required for STO/BBX24 function during photomorphogenesis. Plant Physiol. 156 (4):1772-82.

Rodriguez-Franco M, Sarmiento F, Marquardt K, Markus R, Neuhaus G (2008) Does light taste salty? Plant Signal Behav. (1):72-3.

Indorf M, Cordero J, Neuhaus G, Rodríguez-Franco M. (2007) Salt tolerance (STO), a stress-related protein, has a major role in light signalling. Plant J. 51(4):563-74.

Weise A, Altmann F, Rodriguez-Franco M, Sjoberg ER, Bäumer W, Launhardt H, Kietzmann M, Gorr G. (2007) High-level expression of secreted complex glycosylated recombinant human erythropoietin in the Physcomitrella Delta-fuc-t Delta-xyl-t mutant. Plant Biotechnol J. 5(3):389-401.

Weise A, Rodriguez-Franco M, Timm B, Hermann M, Link S, Jost W, Gorr G. (2006) Use of Physcomitrella patens actin 5′ regions for high transgene expression: importance of 5′ introns. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 70(3):337-45.

Medina J*, Rodríguez-Franco M*, Peñalosa A, Carrascosa MJ, Neuhaus G, Salinas J. (2005) Arabidopsis mutants deregulated in RCI2A expression reveal new signaling pathways in abiotic stress responses. Plant J. 42(4):586-97. *equal contribution

Linden H, Rodriguez-Franco M, Macino G. (1997) Mutants of Neurospora crassa defective in regulation of blue light perception. Mol Gen Genet. 254(2):111-8.

Carattoli A*, Kato E*, Rodriguez-Franco M*, Stuart WD, Macino G. (1995) A chimeric light-regulated amino acid transport system allows the isolation of blue light regulator (blr) mutants of Neurospora crassa. PNAS. 92(14):6612-6. * equal contribution.

Perez-Urria E, Rodriguez M, Vicente C. (1989) Algal partner regulates fungal urease in the lichen Evernia prunastri by producing a protein which inhibits urease synthesis. Plant Mol. Biol. 13 (6): 665- 72.


Moss expressing promotion regions (2010) Marta Rodriguez-Franco, Wolfgang Jost, Andreas Weise, Gilbert Gorr. Patent number: 7834167.

Transformed plant cell expressing five mammalian proteins involved in sialylation and a protein involved in galactosylation (2010). Gilbert Gorr, Heike Launhardt, Marta Rodriguez-Franco, Christian Stemmer. Patent number: US07741539.

Protein Production (2008) Gilbert Gorr, Heike Launhardt, Christian Stemmer, Marta Rodriguez-Franco. Patent number: US 20080201804-A1