Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 137, Issue 2, pp 153–159 | Cite as

Klaus Apel (1942–2017): a pioneer of photosynthesis research

  • Jean-David RochaixEmail author
  • Chanhong Kim
  • Wiebke Apel


We present here a Tribute to Klaus Apel (1942–2017), a photosynthesis pioneer—an authority on plant molecular genetics—in five parts. The first section is a prologue. The second section deals with a chronological discussion of Apel’s research life, prepared by the editor Govindjee; it is based on a website article at the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) by Patricia Waldron (, as approved for use here by Keith C. Hannon and David Stern of BTI. The third section, which focuses on Apel’s pioneering work on singlet oxygen-mediated EXECUTER-dependent signaling in plants, is written by two of us (J-DR and CK). The fourth section includes three selected reminiscences, one from BTI and two from ETH (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule). This tribute ends with section five, which is a very brief presentation of Klaus Apel’s personal life, by Wiebke Apel.


Photosynthesis Chlorophyll synthesis Light stress Photoprotection Protochlorophyllide Reactive oxygen species Singlet oxygen Retrograde signaling 



We thank Govindjee for taking the initiative for this tribute, for preparing the section on chronological development of Klaus’ research life., and for editing this Tribute meticulously. We also thank Keith C. Hannon and David Stern of the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) for the use of the material from the BTI web site. Further, we are grateful to David Stern (of BTI), Wilhelm Gruissem (of ETH) and Nikolaus Amrhein for accepting Govindjee’s invitation and providing their reminescences.


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  13. Wang L, Kim C, Xu X, Piskurewicz U, Dogra V, Singh S, Mahler H, Apel K (2016) Singlet oxygen- and EXECUTER1-mediated signaling is initiated in grana margins and depends on the protease FtsH2. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 113:E3792-3800Google Scholar
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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departments of Molecular Biology and Plant BiologyUniversity of GenevaGenevaSwitzerland
  2. 2.Shanghai Center for Plant Stress Biology and Center of Excellence in Molecular Plant SciencesChinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)ShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Hegemann Lab, Institute of Biology, Experimental BiophysicsHumboldt-Universität zu BerlinBerlinGermany

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