Prof. Dr. Severin Sasso

Prof. Dr. Severin Sasso

Head of Plant Physiology Group

Johannisallee 23, Room 106
04103 Leipzig

Telephone: +49-341-9736893
Telefax: +49-341-9736899

Short profile

Severin Sasso is Professor of Plant Physiology at the Institute of Biology. He is teaching plant physiology and investigates the metabolism of algae and interactions of microalgae with other microorganisms. This research aims to better understand the algal lifestyle and to improve our understanding of how algae interact with their environment and other organisms. Before his engagement at the University Leipzig he was Junior Professor and Akademischer Rat at the Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena.


  • Since 2019

    Full Professor (W3) of Plant Physiology at the University of Leipzig (Germany),
    Member of the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv, Leipzig; since 2020),
    President of the Wilhelm Pfeffer Foundation of the German Botanical Society (since 2019)

  • Since 2014

    Faculty member of the Collaborative Research Centre Chemical Mediators in Complex Biosystems (SFB 1127) in Jena (Germany)

  • 2017 - 2019

    Independent principal investigator (Akademischer Rat) at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena,
    Faculty member of the Jena School for Microbial Communication (JSMC) (2011 – 2019)

  • 2011 - 2017

    Junior Professor (Assistant Professor) of Molecular Botany at the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena

  • 2010 - 2011

    Postdoctoral fellow in the laboratories of Prof. Christian Hertweck at the Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology (HKI) and Prof. Maria Mittag at the Friedrich Schiller University, Jena,
    Two-month stay (2010) with Prof. Arthur Grossman at the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford CA (USA)

  • 2007 - 2010

    Postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Alison Smith at the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge (UK)

  • 2002 - 2007

    Ph.D. student and postdoctoral fellow in the laboratories of Prof. Peter Kast and Prof. Donald Hilvert at the ETH Zürich (Switzerland)

  • 1997 - 2002

    Undergraduate student in chemistry at the ETH Zürich

  • Sasso S, Stibor H, Mittag M, Grossman AR (2018)
    From molecular manipulation of domesticated Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to survival in nature.
    eLife 7, e39233 (Übersichtsartikel)
  • Heimerl N1), Hommel E1), Westermann M, Meichsner D, Lohr M, Hertweck C, Grossman AR, Mittag M, Sasso S (2018)
    A giant type I polyketide synthase participates in zygospore maturation in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.
    The Plant Journal 95:268–281
  • Müller N, Wenzel S, Zou Y, Künzel S, Sasso S, Weiß D, Prager K, Grossman A, Kottke T, Mittag M (2017)
    A plant cryptochrome controls key features of the Chlamydomonas circadian clock and its life cycle.
    Plant Physiology 174:185–201
  • Hirth M, Liverani S, Mahlow S, Bouget F-Y, Pohnert G, Sasso S (2017)
    Metabolic profiling identifies trehalose as an abundant and diurnally fluctuating metabolite in the microalga Ostreococcus tauri.
    Metabolomics 13:68
  • Aiyar P, Schaeme D, García-Altares M, Flores DC, Dathe H, Hertweck C, Sasso S2), Mittag M2) (2017)
    Antagonistic bacteria disrupt calcium homeostasis and immobilize algal cells.
    Nat Commun 8:1–13
  • Helliwell KE, Lawrence AD, Holzer A, Kudahl UJ, Sasso S, Kräutler B, Scanlan DJ, Warren MJ, Smith AG (2016)
    Cyanobacteria and eukaryotic algae use different chemical variants of vitamin B12.
    Current Biology 26:999–1008
  • Shelest E, Heimerl N, Fichtner M, Sasso S (2015)
    Multimodular type I polyketide synthases in algae evolve by module duplications and displacement of AT domains in trans.
    BMC Genomics 16:1015
  • Hom EFY, Aiyar P, Schaeme D, Mittag M, Sasso S (2015)
    A chemical perspective on microalgal–microbial interactions.
    Trends in Plant Science 20:689–693
  • Helliwell KE, Scaife MA, Sasso S, Araujo APU, Purton S, Smith AG (2014)
    Unraveling vitamin B12-responsive gene regulation in algae. Plant Physiology 165:388–397
  • Sasso S, Shelest E, Hoffmeister D (2014)
    Comments on the distribution and phylogeny of type I polyketide synthases and nonribosomal peptide synthetases in eukaryotes. PNAS 111:E3946–E3946 (Kommentar)
  • Sasso S, Pohnert G, Lohr M, Mittag M, Hertweck C (2012)
    Microalgae in the postgenomic era: a blooming reservoir for new natural products. FEMS Microbiol Rev 36:761–785 (Nachtrag: FEMS Microbiol. Rev. 37, 284 (2013)) (Übersichtsartikel)
  • Beel B, Prager K, Spexard M, Sasso S, Weiss D, Müller N, Heinnickel M, Dewez D, Ikoma D, Grossman AR, Kottke T, Mittag M (2012)
    A flavin binding cryptochrome photoreceptor responds to both blue and red light in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. The Plant Cell 24:2992–3008
  • Kazamia E, Czesnick H, Nguyen TTV, Croft MT, Sherwood E, Sasso S, Hodson SJ, Warren MJ, Smith AG (2012)
    Mutualistic interactions between vitamin B12-dependent algae and heterotrophic bacteria exhibit regulation. Environmental Microbiology 14:1466–1476
  • Sasso S1), Ökvist M1),Roderer K, Gamper M, Codoni G, Krengel U, Kast P (2009)
    Structure and function of a complex between chorismate mutase and DAHP synthase: efficiency boost for the junior partner. The EMBO Journal 28:2128–2142
  • Sasso S, Ramakrishnan C, Gamper M, Hilvert D, Kast P (2005)
    Characterization of the secreted chorismate mutase from the pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The FEBS Journal 272:375–389

1) gleiche Beiträge
2) geteilte Korrespondenzautorschaft

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