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Prof. Dr. Anke Steppuhn

Anke Steppuhn

AG Steppuhn

Institut für Biologie - Zoologie

Freie Universität Berlin


Molecular Ecology

Albrecht-Thaer-Weg 6
Raum 103
14195 Berlin
+49(0)30 8385 6586


2007 Dr. rer. nat. in Biology, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany
2002 Diploma, Biology, Free University Berlin, Germany

Academic appointments / positions held

2016 to present Professor for Molecular Ecology at the Institute of Biology, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
2009 – 2016 Juniorprofessor for Molecular Ecology at the Institute of Biology, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
2002 – 2007 Scientific associate (Wiss. Mitarbeiter) at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology Jena, Germany

Academic activities

  • Member of the institutional boardof the Institute of Biology (since 2017)
  • Member of the steering committee of the Dahlem Centre of Plant Science (since 2009)
  • Project manager of the genetic engineering facility No. 592/05 (Security Level S1) at the FU Berlin (2010 – 2016)
  • Councillor International Society of Chemical Ecology (2009 - 2012)
  • Member of the concept team of the Young Research Forum Dahlem (JWD, 2013-2014) and before of the Junior Faculty Club (2009-2013).
  • Member of International Society of Chemical Ecology (since 2009)
  • Member of the Ecological Society of Germany, Austria and Switzerland (GfÖ)
  • Member of American Association for the Advancement of Science (since 2009)



Publications in peer-reviewed journal

Drok, S., Bandoly, M., Stelzer, S., Lortzing, T. & Steppuhn, A. (2018) Moth oviposition shapes the species-specific transcriptional and phytohormonal response of Nicotiana attenuata to larval feeding. Scientific Reports 8, 10249

Geuss D., Lortzing L., Schwachtje, J., Kopka J., Steppuhn A. (2018) Oviposition by Spodoptera exigua on Solanum dulcamara alters the plant's response to herbivory and impairs larval performance. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 19(12):

Lortzing V., Oberlaender J., Lortzing T; Toghe T.; Steppuhn A., Kunze R., Hilker M. (2018) Insect egg deposition renders plant defense against hatching larvae more effective in a salicylic acid dependent manner. Plant, Cell & Environment. doi:10.1111/pce.13447

Nguyen, D., Poeschl, Y., Lortzing, T., Hoogveld, R. Gogol-Döring, A., Cristescu, S., Steppuhn, A., Mariani, C., Rieu, I., van Dam, N. (2018) Interactive responses of Solanum dulcamara to drought and insect feeding are herbivore species-specific. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 19(12): 3845

Hedtmann, C., Guo, W., Reifschneider, E., Heiber, I., Hiltscher, H., van Buer, J., Barsch, A., Niehaus, K., Rowan, B., Lortzing, T., Steppuhn, A. and Baier, M. (2017) The Plant Immunity Regulating F-Box Protein CPR1 Supports Plastid Function in Absence of Pathogens. Frontiers in Plant Science doi: 10.3389/fpls.2017.01650

Geuss D. Stelzer S., Lortzing T. Steppuhn A. (2017) An ovicidal response of Solanum dulcamara to insect oviposition. Plant, Cell & Environment. 40(11): 2663–267

Schäfer M, Brütting C, Xu S, Ling Z, Steppuhn A, Baldwin IT & Schuman MC (2017) NaMYB8 regulates distinct, optimally distributed herbivore defense traits. Journal of Integrative Plant Biology. 12: 844–85

Lortzing, T., Firtzlaff, V., Nguyen, D., Rieu, I., Stelzer, S., Schad, M., Kallarackal, J., Steppuhn A., (2017) Transcriptomic responses of Solanum dulcamara to natural and simulated herbivory. Molecular Ecology Resources. 17:e196–e211

Pappas M.L., Broekgaarden C., Broufas G.D., Kant M.R., Messelink G.J., Steppuhn A., Wäckers F.L., van Dam N.M. (2017) Induced plant defences in biological control: a double-edged sword. Pest Management Science. 73(9): 1780-1788

Kafle D., Hänel A., Lortzing T. Steppuhn A. and Wurst S. (2017) Sequential above- and belowground herbivory modifies plant responses depending on herbivore identity. BMC Ecology. 17: 5

Lortzing T., Calf O.W., Böhlke M., Schwachtje J., Kopka J., Geuss D., Kosanke S., van Dam N.M. and Steppuhn A. (2016) Plant-bleeding for defence: Extrafloral nectar secretion from wounds of Solanum dulcamaraNature Plants. 2(5): 16056                  

*    see also the relating spotlight article by Heil, M. (2016) Nightshade Wound Secretion: The World's Simplest Extrafloral Nectar?. Trends in Plant Science

Lortzing T. and Steppuhn A. (2016) Jasmonate signalling in plants shapes plant-insect interaction ecology. Current Opinion in Insect Science. 14: 32–39.

Nguyen D, D'Agostino N, Tytgat TO, Sun P, Lortzing T, Visser, EJ, Cristescu SM, Steppuhn A, Mariani C, van Dam NM, and Rieu I (2016) Drought and flooding have distinct effects on herbivore-induced responses and resistance in Solanum dulcamara. Plant, Cell & Environment. 39(7): 485–1499. doi: 10.1111/pce.12708.

Bandoly M., Grichnik R. Hilker M. and Steppuhn A. (2016) Priming of anti-herbivore defence in Nicotiana attenuata by insect oviposition: Herbivore specific effects. Plant, Cell & Environment. 39(4): 848–859

Bandoly, M. and Steppuhn A. (2016) Bioassays to investigate the effects of insect oviposition on a plant’s resistance to herbivores. BioProtocol. 6(11): e1823.

Bandoly M. and Steppuhn A. (2016) A push-button: Spodoptera exigua oviposition on Nicotiana attenuata dose-independently primes the feeding-induced plant defence. Plant, Signaling & Behavior. 11(1): e1114198

Hilker M., Schwachtje J., Baier M., Balazadeh S., Bäurle I., Geiselhardt S., Hincha D.K., Kunze R., Mueller-Roeber B., Rillig M.C., Rolff J., Romeis T., Schmülling T., Steppuhn A., van Dongen J., Whitcomb S., Wurst S., Zuther E. and Kopka J. (2015). Priming and memory of stress responses in organisms lacking a nervous system. Biological Reviews. doi: 10.1111/brv.12215.

Bandoly M., Hilker M. and Steppuhn A. (2015) Oviposition by Spodoptera exigua on Nicotiana attenuata primes induced plant defense against larval herbivory. The Plant Journal. 83: 661-672.

Pappas M.L., Steppuhn A., Geuss D., Topalidou N., Zografou A., Sabelis M.W., Broufas, G.D. (2015) Beyond predation: The zoophytophagous predator Macrolophus pygmaeus induces tomato resistance against spider mites. PLoS ONE 10(5): e0127251.

Kumar P., Pandit S.S., Steppuhn A. and Baldwin I.T. (2014) Natural history-driven, plant-mediated RNAi-based study reveals CYP6B46's role in a nicotine-mediated antipredator herbivore defense. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 111: 1245-1252.

Gaquerel E., Steppuhn A.  & Baldwin I.T. (2012) Nicotiana attenuata a-DIOXYGENASE1 through its production of 2-hydroxylinolenic acid is required for intact plant defense expression against attack from Manduca sexta larvae. New Phytologist, 196(2), 574-85.

Steppuhn A., Gaquerel E. & Baldwin I.T. (2010) The two alpha-dox genes of Nicotiana attenuata: overlapping but distinct functions in development and stress responses. BMC Plant Biology 10, 171

Steppuhn A., Schuman M.C. & Baldwin I.T. (2008) Silencing jasmonate signalling and jasmonate-mediated defences reveals different survival strategies between two Nicotiana attenuata accessions. Molecular Ecology, 17, 3717-3732.

Steppuhn A. & Baldwin I.T. (2007) Resistance management in a native plant: nicotine prevents herbivores from compensating for plant protease inhibitors. Ecology Letters, 10, 499-511.

Roda A., Halitschke R., Steppuhn A. & Baldwin I.T. (2004) Individual variability in herbivore-specific elicitors from the plant's perspective. Molecular Ecology, 13, 2421-2433.

Steppuhn A., Gase K., Krock B., Halitschke R. & Baldwin I.T. (2004) Nicotine's defensive function in nature. PloS Biology, 2, 1074-1080.

Steppuhn A. & Wäckers F.L. (2004) HPLC sugar analysis reveals the nutritional state and the feeding history of parasitoids. Functional Ecology, 18, 812-819.

Steidle J.L.M., Steppuhn A. & Ruther J. (2003) Specific foraging kairomones used by a generalist parasitoid. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 29, 131-143.

Wäckers F.L. & Steppuhn A. (2003) Characterizing nutritional state and food source use of parasitoids collected in fields with high and low nectar availability. IOBC WPRS Bulletin, 26, 203-208.

Steidle J.L.M., Steppuhn A. & Ruther J. (2002) The use of pheromones as foraging kairomones by the generalist parasitoid Lariophagus distinguendus Förster (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae).Mitteilungen der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Allgemeine und Angewandte Entomologie, 13, 377-380

Steidle J.L.M., Steppuhn A. & Reinhard J. (2001) Volatile cues from different host complexes used for host location by the generalist parasitoid Lariophagus distinguendus (Hymenoptera : Pteromalidae). Basic and Applied Ecology, 2, 45-51.


Book / book chapter

Steppuhn A. & Baldwin I.T. (2008) Induced Defenses and the Cost-Benefit Paradigm. In: Induced Plant Resistance to Herbivory (ed A. Schaller), pp. 61-83. Springer, Berlin

CRC 973
Dahlem Centre of Plant Sciences (DCPS)