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Prof. Dr. Burkhard Becker

Adjunct Professor


Contact Details



4.502 (Office)

4.414 (Laboratory)


University of Cologne

Cologne Biocentrum

Zülpicher Straße 47b

50674 Cologne



+49 (0) 221 - 470 - 7022 (Office)

+49 (0) 221 - 470 - 3795 (Laboratory)



Social Media



Prof. Dr. Burkhard Becker

Research Interest


I started my research career in algal cell biology. I was fascinated by the production of algal scales in the Golgi complex of scaly green flagellates. I have worked for several years on the mechanism of intra-Golgi transport and the secretory pathway of scaly green flagellates.

Through these studies, the cisternal maturation model of intra-Golgi transport was revived (Becker et al. 1995). However, over the years I have become more and more interested in the cell biological, physiological and ecological aspects of the evolution of the embryophyte plant cell from a freshwater green flagellate (Marin and Becker 2009, Wodniok et al. 2011, Becker 2013). These interests have led to my current major research topics: Osmoregulation and desiccation tolerance in green algae. As molecular tools and genetics are cornerstones of modern experimental biology, molecular genetics of green algae has also become more and more important for my research. 


Short Curriculum Vitae


1991Dr. rer. nat. (Ph.D.), University of Cologne, Germany
1991 - 1997Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Cologne, Germany
1997 - 1998Guest Professor, McGill University, Canada
1998 - 2001Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Cologne, Germany
2001Habilitation (Botany), University of Cologne, Germany
2001 - 2014Senor Faculty, University of Cologne, Germany
Since 2014Adjunct Professor of Botany, University of Cologne, Germany




Rippin, M., Lange, S., Sausen, N., Becker, B. (2018). Biodiversity of biological soil crusts from the Polar Regions revealed by metabarcoding. FEMS Microbiology Ecology
Rippin, M., Borchhardt, N., Williams, L., Colesie, C., Jung, P., Büdel, B., Karsten, U., Becker, B. (2018). Genus richness of microalgae and Cyanobacteria in biological soil crusts from Svalbard and Livingston Island: morphological versus molecular approaches. Polar Biology.
Fiore-Donno, A.M., Rixen, C., Rippin, M., Glaser, K., Samolov, E., Karsten, U., Becker, B., Bonkowski, M. (2017). New barcoded primers for efficient retrieval of cercozoan sequences in high-throughput environmental diversity surveys, with emphasis on worldwide biological soil crusts. Molecular Ecology Resources.
Rippin, M., Becker, B., Holzinger, A. (2017). Enhanced Desiccation Tolerance in Mature Cultures of the Streptophytic Green Alga Zygnema circumcarinatum Revealed by Transcriptomics. Plant & Cell Physiology.
Williams, L., Borchardt, N., Colesie, C., Baum, C., Komsic-Buchmann, K., Rippin, M., Becker, B., Karsten, U., Büdel, B. (2017). Biological soil crusts of Arctic Svalbard and of Livingston Island, Antarctica. Polar Biology.
Rippin, M., Komsic-Buchmann, K., Becker, B. (2016). RNA isolation from biological soil crusts: methodological aspects. Algological Studies.
Holzinger, A., Becker, B. (2015). Desiccation tolerance in the streptophyte green alga Klebsormidium: The role of phytohormones. Commun Integr Biol 8, e1059978.
Becker, B., Doan, J. M., Wustman, B., Carpenter, E. J., Chen, L., Zhang, Y., Wong, G. K.-S. and Melkonian, M. (2015). The Origin and Evolution of the Plant Cell Surface: Algal Integrin-Associated Proteins and a New Family of Integrin-Like Cytoskeleton-ECM Linker Proteins. Genome Biol Evol 7, 1580-1589.
Holzinger, A., Kaplan, F., Blaas, K., Zechmann, B., Komsic-Buchmann, K. and Becker, B. (2014) Transcriptomics of Desiccation Tolerance in the Streptophyte Green Alga Klebsormidium Reveal a Land Plant-Like Defense Reaction. PLOS ONE 9, e110630. 
Komsic-Buchmann, K., Wöstehof, L. and Becker, B. (2014). The contractile vacuole as a key regulator of cellular water flow in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Eukaryot. Cell 13, 1421-1430.
Becker, B. (2013). Snow ball earth and the split of Streptophyta and Chlorophyta. Trends in Plant Science 18, 180–183.
Komsic-Buchmann, K. and Becker, B. (2013). Contractile vacuoles in green algae - structure and function. In Advances in Algal Cell Biology (ed. Katsaros, K. H. and C.), 123-142. Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter.
Komsic-Buchmann, K., Stephan, L. M. and Becker, B. (2012). The SEC6 protein is required for contractile vacuole function in Chlamydomonas reinhardtiiJ. Cell Sci. 125, 2885-95.
Wodniok, S., Brinkmann, H., Glöckner, G., Heidel, A. J., Philippe, H., Melkonian, M. and Becker, B. (2011). Origin of land plants: Do conjugating green algae hold the key? BMC Evolutionary Biology 11, 104.