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Priming and Memory of Organismic Responses to Stress

The Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) 973 “Priming and Memory of Organismic Responses to Stress“ was a research platform generously funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) for 10 years (2012 to 2022). Speaker and initiator of this CRC was Prof. Dr. Monika Hilker, Freie Universität Berlin. Prof. Dr. Tina Romeis (now Leibniz IPB Halle) was the Vice Speaker. The major structural aim of the CRC 973 was to link ecological science with molecular biology and biochemistry. The major scientific aims were (i) to figure out how organisms without a nervous system can be primed for improved stress resistance by a previous stress experience, and (ii) to elucidate the organisms' intrinsic factors and environmental ones that shape the priming process, the retrieval and loss of once stored information about a past stress, as well as the benefit of priming. The focal organisms studied were microorganisms and plants, i.e. organisms without a nervous system. The stressors were diverse, ranging from antibiotics, heat and cold to phytopathogens and insects. More information about the scientific aims is provided in the column “research” of this website. 

The Freie Universität was the coordinating university of this CRC. Participating institutions were the University Potsdam (UP), the Max-Planck-Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology (MPI-MP) in Potsdam-Golm and the Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry (IPB) in Halle. During the funding period, CRC 973 comprised research projects led by principal investigators of the FUB, UP, MPI-MP and IPB. An Integrated Research Training Group for the scientific qualification of PhD students was part of this CRC. In addition, we established a common database, which supported proper documentation of our data. The database facilitates data comparisons when searching for common patterns of stressor-specific priming mechanisms. It is hosted by the MPI-MP and accessible here: https://primedb.mpimp-golm.mpg.de/

Many of the principal investigators, postdoctoral researchers and former PhD students are currently continuing their research on the fascinating field of priming and memory of organismic responses to stress.