Our Department

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Reinhard Jetter


Research and Teaching Interests

The plant surface – a vast stage for interactions…

  • How do plants create flexible, long-lasting, water-proof skins that grow with their organs?
  • How do plants seal their vast surface against extreme climatic conditions?
  • How do insects assess host suitability when they first land on a plant?
  • How can plants select for partner insects while excluding their unwanted competitors?
  • How do carnivorous pitcher plants catch their prey?

These are the biological questions that motivate the research in my lab. In order to answer them, we employ molecular genetic, microscopic and eco-physiological (as well as biochemical) techniques to study plant surfaces. Depending on the individual research question, we use Arabidopsis thaliana and an array of other plant species as models for our studies.

In particular, we investigate cuticular waxes, which coat most above-ground plant organs. We explore both the biological functions of these waxes and the molecular biology underlying their formation. We investigate wax functions such as their central physiological role to seal the plant tissue against water loss and their ecological function as a first line of defence against herbivores. On the other end of the spectrum of our biological interests, we investigate the molecular machinery – the genes and enzymes – plants employ to generate their wax coatings. 



Biol 201 – Cell Biology II: Introduction to Biochemistry

Chem 233 – Organic Chemistry for the Biological Sciences

Chem 333 – Spectroscopic Techniques in Organic Chemistry

Biol 423 – Plant Stress Ecophysiology

Chem 319 – Practical Skills for Chemical Research

Scie 300 – Communicating Science

Bota 546 – Plant Secondary Metabolism


Team members

Lucas Busta (Grad Student, Chemistry)

Daniela Hegebarth (Grad Student, Botany)

Radu Racovita (Grad Student, Chemistry)

Yulin Sun (Grad Student, Chemistry)

Yanjun Guo (Visiting Professor, Botany)

Danni Zhu (Undergrad Student, Botany)


My Links:



Real name: 
Office Room Number(s): 
Biological Sciences 2229
Office Phone Number: 
Lab Room: 
Biological Sciences 2224
Lab Phone: 
Fax Number: 

Curriculum Vitae

Canada Research Chair in Plant Natural Products Chemistry

Full Professor (Departments of Botany and Chemistry)

Ph.D. Botany (1993) Univ. of Kaiserslautern (Germany); 
Postdoctoral Fellow (1994-96) Washington State Univ.; 
Research Associate (1996-2002) Univ. of Wuerzburg (Germany). 
Dr. habil. (2000) University of Wuerzburg (Germany).





Racovita, R. C. ; Hen-Avivi, S. ; Fernandez-Moreno, J. - P. ; Granell, A. ; Aharoni, A. ; Jetter, R. Composition Of Cuticular Waxes Coating Flag Leaf Blades And Peduncles Of Triticum Aestivum Cv. Bethlehem. Phytochemistry 2016, -.
Sorigué, D. ; Légeret, B. ; Cuiné, S. ; Morales, P. ; Mirabella, B. ; Guédeney, G. ; Li-Beisson, Y. ; Jetter, R. ; Peltier, G. ; Beisson, F. Microalgae Synthesize Hydrocarbons From Long-Chain Fatty Acids Via A Light-Dependent Pathway. Plant Physiology 2016, pp.00462.2016.
Hen-Avivi, S. ; Savin, O. ; Racovita, R. C. ; Lee, W. - S. ; Adamski, N. M. ; Malitsky, S. ; Almekias-Siegl, E. ; Levy, M. ; Vautrin, S. ; Bergès, H. ; Friedlander, G. ; Kartvelishvily, E. ; Ben-Zvi, G. ; Alkan, N. ; Uauy, C. ; Kanyuka, K. ; Jetter, R. ; Distelfeld, A. ; Aharoni, A. A Metabolic Gene Cluster In The Wheat W1 And The Barleycer-Cquloci Determines Beta-Diketone Biosynthesis And Glaucousness. The Plant Cell 2016, 28, 1440–1460.
Wang, M. ; Wang, Y. ; Wu, H. ; Xu, J. ; Li, T. ; Hegebarth, D. ; Jetter, R. ; Chen, L. ; Wang, Z. Three Tafar Genes Function In The Biosynthesis Of Primary Alcohols And The Response To Abiotic Stresses In Triticum Aestivum. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS 2016, 6, 25008.
Wigzell, J. M. ; Racovita, R. C. ; Stentiford, B. G. ; Wilson, M. ; Harris, M. T. ; Fletcher, I. W. ; Mosquin, D. P. K. ; Justice, D. ; Beaumont, S. K. ; Jetter, R. ; Badyal, J. P. S. Smart Water Channelling Through Dual Wettability By Leaves Of The Bamboo Phyllostachys Aurea. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects 2016, 506, 344 - 355.
Fernandez-Moreno, J. - P. ; Malitsky, S. ; Lashbrooke, J. ; Biswal, A. Kumar; Racovita, R. C. ; Mellerowicz, E. J. ; Jetter, R. ; Orzaez, D. ; Aharoni, A. ; Granell, A. An Efficient Method For Medium Throughput Screening Of Cuticular Wax Composition In Different Plant Species. METABOLOMICS 2016, 12, UNSP 73.
Hegebarth, D. ; Buschhaus, C. ; Wu, M. ; Bird, D. ; Jetter, R. The Composition Of Surface Wax On Trichomes Of Arabidopsis Thaliana Differs From Wax On Other Epidermal Cells. The Plant Journal 2016, n/a–n/a.


Racovita, R. C. ; Peng, C. ; Awakawa, T. ; Abe, I. ; Jetter, R. Very-Long-Chain 3-Hydroxy Fatty Acids, 3-Hydroxy Fatty Acid Methyl Esters And 2-Alkanols From Cuticular Waxes Of Aloe Arborescens Leaves. Phytochemistry 2015, 113, 183 - 194.
Jin, M. Lan; Lee, D. Young; Um, Y. ; Lee, J. Hoon; Park, C. Geun; Jetter, R. ; Kim, O. Tae Isolation And Characterization Of An Oxidosqualene Cyclase Gene Encoding A Beta-Amyrin Synthase Involved In Polygala Tenuifolia Willd. Saponin Biosynthesis. Plant Cell Reports 2015, 33, 511–519.
Buschhaus, C. ; Hager, D. ; Jetter, R. Wax Layers On Cosmos Bipinnatus Petals Contribute Unequally To Total Petal Water Resistance. Plant Physiology 2015, 167, 80–88.
Wang, Y. ; Wang, M. ; Sun, Y. ; Hegebarth, D. ; Li, T. ; Jetter, R. ; Wang, Z. Molecular Characterization Of Tafar1 Involved In Primary Alcohol Biosynthesis Of Cuticular Wax In Hexaploid Wheat. PLANT AND CELL PHYSIOLOGY 2015, 56, 1944-1961.


Johnson, E. E. ; Jetter, R. ; Wasteneys, G. Rapid Induction Of The Triterpenoid Pathway In Arabidopsis Thaliana Mesophyll Protoplasts. BIOTECHNOLOGY LETTERS 2014, 36, 855-858.


Buschhaus, C. ; Peng, C. ; Jetter, R. Very-Long-Chain 1,2-And 1,3-Bifunctional Compounds From The Cuticular Wax Of Cosmos Bipinnatus Petals. PHYTOCHEMISTRY 2013, 91, 249-256.


Wang, Z. ; Guhling, O. ; Yao, R. ; Li, F. ; Yeats, T. H. ; Rose, J. K. C. ; Jetter, R. Two Oxidosqualene Cyclases Responsible For Biosynthesis Of Tomato Fruit Cuticular Triterpenoids. PLANT PHYSIOLOGY 2011, 155, 540-552.
Bessire, M. ; Borel, S. ; Fabre, G. ; Carraca, L. ; Efremova, N. ; Yephremov, A. ; Cao, Y. ; Jetter, R. ; Jacquat, A. - C. ; Metraux, J. - P. ; Nawrath, C. A Member Of The Pleiotropic Drug Resistance Family Of Atp Binding Cassette Transporters Is Required For The Formation Of A Functional Cuticle In Arabidopsis. PLANT CELL 2011, 23, 1958-1970.



van Maarseveen, C. ; Han, H. ; Jetter, R. Development Of The Cuticular Wax During Growth Of Kalanchoe Daigremontiana (Hamet Et Perr. De La Bathie) Leaves. PLANT CELL AND ENVIRONMENT 2009, 32, 73-81.
Adato, A. ; Mandel, T. ; Mintz-Oron, S. ; Venger, I. ; Levy, D. ; Yativ, M. ; Dominguez, E. ; Wang, Z. H. ; De Vos, R. C. H. ; Jetter, R. ; Schreiber, L. ; Heredia, A. ; Rogachev, I. ; Aharoni, A. Fruit-Surface Flavonoid Accumulation In Tomato Is Controlled By A Simyb12-Regulated Transcriptional Network. Plos Genetics 2009, 5, 23.
DeBono, A. ; Yeats, T. H. ; Rose, J. K. C. ; Bird, D. ; Jetter, R. ; Kunst, L. ; Samuelsa, L. Arabidopsis Ltpg Is A Glycosylphosphatidylinositol-Anchored Lipid Transfer Protein Required For Export Of Lipids To The Plant Surface. Plant Cell 2009, 21, 1230-1238.
Wen, M. ; Jetter, R. Composition Of Secondary Alcohols, Ketones, Alkanediols, And Ketols In Arabidopsis Thaliana Cuticular Waxes. Journal of Experimental Botany 2009, 60, 1811-1821.
Agrawal, A. A. ; Fishbein, M. ; Jetter, R. ; Salminen, J. P. ; Goldstein, J. B. ; Freitag, A. E. ; Sparks, J. P. Phylogenetic Ecology Of Leaf Surface Traits In The Milkweeds (Asclepias Spp.): Chemistry, Ecophysiology, And Insect Behavior. New Phytologist 2009, 183, 848-867.


Yu, M. M. L. ; Konorov, S. O. ; H. Schulze, G. ; Blades, M. W. ; Turner, R. F. B. ; Jetter, R. In Situ Analysis By Microspectroscopy Reveals Triterpenoid Compositional Patterns Within Leaf Cuticles Of Prunus Laurocerasus. PLANTA 2008, 227, 823-834.
Li, F. ; Wu, X. ; Lam, P. ; Bird, D. ; Zheng, H. ; Samuels, L. ; Jetter, R. ; Kunst, L. Identification Of The Wax Ester Synthase/acyl-Coenzyme A: Diacylglycerol Acyltransferase Wsd1 Required For Stem Wax Ester Biosynthesis In Arabidopsis. Plant Physiology 2008, 148, 97-107.
Mintz-Oron, S. ; Mandel, T. ; Rogachev, I. ; Feldberg, L. ; Lotan, O. ; Yativ, M. ; Wang, Z. ; Jetter, R. ; Venger, I. ; Adato, A. ; Aharoni, A. Gene Expression And Metabolism In Tomato Fruit Surface Tissues. Plant Physiology 2008, 147, 823-851.
Samuels, L. ; Kunst, L. ; Jetter, R. Sealing Plant Surfaces: Cuticular Wax Formation By Epidermal Cells. Annual Review of Plant Biology 2008, 59, 683-707.


Bird, D. ; Beisson, F. ; Brigham, A. ; Shin, J. ; Greer, S. ; Jetter, R. ; Kunst, L. ; Wu, X. W. ; Yephremov, A. ; Samuels, L. Characterization Of Arabidopsis Abcg11/wbc11, An Atp Binding Cassette (Abc) Transporter That Is Required For Cuticular Lipid Secretion. Plant Journal 2007, 52, 485-498.
Greer, S. ; Wen, M. ; Bird, D. ; Wu, X. M. ; Samuels, L. ; Kunst, L. ; Jetter, R. The Cytochrome P450 Enzyme Cyp96A15 Is The Midchain Alkane Hydroxylase Responsible For Formation Of Secondary Alcohols And Ketones In Stem Cuticular Wax Of Arabidopsis. Plant Physiology 2007, 145, 653-667.
Yu, M. M. L. ; H. Schulze, G. ; Jetter, R. ; Blades, M. W. ; Turner, R. F. B. Raman Microspectroscopic Analysis Of Triterpenoids Found In Plant Cuticles. APPLIED SPECTROSCOPY 2007, 61, 32-37.
Riedel, M. ; Eichner, A. ; Meimberg, H. ; Jetter, R. Chemical Composition Of Epicuticular Wax Crystals On The Slippery Zone In Pitchers Of Five Nepenthes Species And Hybrids. Planta 2007, 225, 1517-1534.
Buschhaus, C. ; Herz, H. ; Jetter, R. Chemical Composition Of The Epicuticular And Intracuticular Wax Layers On Adaxial Sides Of Rosa Canina Leaves. Annals of Botany 2007, 100, 1557-1564.
Wen, M. ; Jetter, R. Very-Long-Chain Hydroxyaldehydes From The Cuticular Wax Of Taxus Baccata Needles. Phytochemistry 2007, 68, 2563-2569.


Rowland, O. ; Zheng, H. Q. ; Hepworth, S. R. ; Lam, P. ; Jetter, R. ; Kunst, L. Cer4 Encodes An Alcohol-Forming Fatty Acyl-Coenzyme A Reductase Involved In Cuticular Wax Production In Arabidopsis. Plant Physiology 2006, 142, 866-877.
Wen, M. ; Au, J. ; Gniwotta, F. ; Jetter, R. Very-Long-Chain Secondary Alcohols And Alkanediols In Cuticular Waxes Of Pisum Sativum Leaves. Phytochemistry 2006, 67, 2494-2502.


Samuels, L. ; Jetter, R. ; Kunst, L. First Steps In Understanding The Export Of Lipids To The Plant Cuticle. PLANT BIOSYSTEMS 2005, 139, 65-68.
Suh, M. C. ; Samuels, A. L. ; Jetter, R. ; Kunst, L. ; Pollard, M. ; Ohlrogge, J. ; Beisson, F. Cuticular Lipid Composition, Surface Structure, And Gene Expression In Arabidopsis Stem Epidermis. PLANT PHYSIOLOGY 2005, 139, 1649-1665.
Gniwotta, F. ; Vogg, G. ; Gartmann, V. ; Carver, T. L. W. ; Riederer, M. ; Jetter, R. What Do Microbes Encounter At The Plant Surface ? Chemical Composition Of Pea Leaf Cuticular Waxes. Plant Physiology 2005, 139, 519-530.
Guhling, O. ; Kinzler, C. ; Dreyer, M. ; Bringmann, G. ; Jetter, R. Surface Composition Of Myrmecophilic Plants: Cuticular Wax And Glandular Trichomes On Leaves Of Macaranga Tanarius. Journal of Chemical Ecology 2005, 31, 2323-2341.


Pighin, J. A. ; Zheng, H. Q. ; Balakshin, L. J. ; Goodman, I. P. ; Western, T. L. ; Jetter, R. ; Kunst, L. ; Samuels, A. L. Plant Cuticular Lipid Export Requires An Abc Transporter. Science 2004, 306, 702-704.
Vogg, G. ; Fischer, S. ; Leide, J. ; Emmanuel, E. ; Jetter, R. ; Levy, A. A. ; Riederer, M. Tomato Fruit Cuticular Waxes And Their Effects On Transpiration Barrier Properties: Functional Characterization Of A Mutant Deficient In A Very-Long-Chain Fatty Acid Beta-Ketoacyl-Coa Synthase. Journal of Experimental Botany 2004, 55, 1401-1410.