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.

Post-embryonic formation of new organs, a major determinant of the plant body architecture, is responsive to a myriad of environmental inputs such as light, temperature, and nutrition. Plant hormones allow plants to rapidly adjust their development to these external cues. Physiological and genetic studies have investigated the signaling components of the individual hormonal pathways. However, over the last years it became clear that hormones are interconnected by a complex network of interactions. How these 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 they 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


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

Grones P, Abas MF, Hajny J, Jones A, Waidmann S, Kleine Vehn J, Friml J. 2018. PID/WAG-mediated phosphorylation of the Arabidopsis PIN3 auxin transporter mediates polarity switches during gravitropism. Scientific Reports. 8(1). View

Dokládal L, Benková E, Honys D, Dupláková N, Lee L, Gelvin S, Sýkorová E. 2018. An armadillo-domain protein participates in a telomerase interaction network. Plant Molecular Biology. 97(5), 407–420. 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

Highly Cited Scientist
2017 Member, EMBO
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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