Benkova Group

Plant Developmental Biology

True to their name’s Greek roots, plant hormones “set in motion” a myriad of physiological processes. Influencing and modulating each other, an intricate network of interactions arises. The Benková group seeks to untangle this network and understand its molecular basis.

Plants as sessile organisms constantly integrate varying environmental signals to flexibly adapt their growth and development. Local heterogeneities in water and nutrients availability, sudden changes in temperature, light or other stresses trigger dramatic changes in plant growth and development. Multiple hormonal signaling cascades interconnected into complex networks act as essential endogenous translators of these exogenous signals in plant adaptive responses. How the hormonal networks are established, maintained and modulated to control specific developmental outputs is the focus of the Benková group. Recently, the group has located several convergence points that integrate different hormonal inputs. Importantly, some of these identified components exceed their function in the hormonal crosstalk and provide functional links with pathways mediating perception of environmental stimuli.

Group Leader

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Current Projects

Convergence of hormonal pathways on transport-dependent auxin distribution | Identification of hormonal cross-talk components by genetic approaches | Hormonal crosstalk driven nutrient-dependent root development


Artner C, Benková E. 2019. Ethylene and cytokinin – partners in root growth regulation. Molecular Plant. 12(10), 1312–1314. View

Zhu Q, Gallemi M, Pospíšil J, Žádníková P, Strnad M, Benková E. 2019. Root gravity response module guides differential growth determining both root bending and apical hook formation in Arabidopsis. Development. 146(17). View

Marhavá P, Hörmayer L, Yoshida S, Marhavy P, Benková E, Friml J. 2019. Re-activation of stem cell pathways for pattern restoration in plant wound healing. Cell. 177(4), 957–969.e13. View

Yoshida S, Van Der Schuren A, Van Dop M, Van Galen L, Saiga S, Adibi M, Möller B, Ten Hove CA, Marhavy P, Smith R, Friml J, Weijers D. 2019. A SOSEKI-based coordinate system interprets global polarity cues in arabidopsis. Nature Plants. 5(2), 160–166. View

Cucinotta M, Manrique S, Cuesta C, Benková E, Novák O, Colombo L. 2018. Cup-shaped Cotyledon1 (CUC1) and CU2 regulate cytokinin homeostasis to determine ovule number in arabidopsis. Journal of Experimental Botany. 69(21), 5169–5176. View

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since 2016 Professor, IST Austria
2013 – 2016 Assistant Professor, IST Austria
2011 – 2013 Group Leader, Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC), Brno, Czech Republic
2007 – 2013 Group Leader, Flanders Institute for Biotechnology, Ghent, Belgium
2003 – 2007 Habilitation position, University of Tübingen, Germany
2001 – 2003 Postdoc, Centre for Plant Molecular Biology, Tübingen, Germany
1998 – 2001 Postdoc, Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding, Cologne, Germany

Selected Distinctions

2017 Member, EMBO
2014 Highly Cited Scientist
2014 FWF-ANR Bilateral Grant
2011 FWO Grants
2008 ERC Starting Grant
2003 – 2007 Margarete von Wrangell Habilitation Program

Additional information

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Nitrate project funded by Austrian Science Fund grant

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