Employees – University of Copenhagen

Niels Agerbirk

Niels Agerbirk

Associate Professor

  • Section for Plant Biochemistry

    Thorvaldsensvej 40, 1871 Frederiksberg C, Højhus 71, Building: T142

    Phone: +45 35 33 37 23

Sorted list of publications and cv (in Danish) for Niels Agerbirk

A. publications in international scientific journals with peer review

40. Eleonora Pagnotta, Niels Agerbirk, Carl Erik Olsen, Luisa Ugolini, Susanna Cinti, Luca Lazzeri (2017) Hydroxyl and methoxyl derivatives of benzylglucosinolate in Lepidium densiflorum with hydrolysis to isothiocyanates and non-isothiocyanate products: substitution governs product type and mass spectral fragmentation. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 65, 3167-3178.

39. Stephen L. Byrne, Pernille Østerbye Ehrtmann, Niels Agerbirk, Søren Bak, Thure Pavlo Hauser, Istvan Nagy, Christiana Paina, Torben Asp (2017) The genome sequence of Barbarea vulgaris facilitates the study of ecological biochemistry. Scientific Reports 7: 40728.

38. Marina Pfalz, Maisara Mukhaimar, Francois Perreau, Jayne Kirk, Cecilie Ida Cetti Hansen, Carl Erik Olsen, Niels Agerbirk, Juergen Kroymann (2016) Methyl transfer in glucosinolate biosynthesis mediated by indole glucosinolate O-methyltransferase 5. Plant Physiology 172, 2190-2203.

37. Carl Erik Olsen, Xiao-Chen Huang, Cecilie I.C. Hansen, Don Cipollini, Marian Ørgaard, Annemarie Matthes, Fernando Geu-Flores, Marcus A. Koch, Niels Agerbirk (2016) Glucosinolate diversity within a phylogenetic framework of the tribe Cardamineae (Brassicaceae) unraveled with HPLC-MS/MS and NMR-based analytical distinction of 70 desulfoglucosinolates. Phytochemistry 132, 33-56.

36. Christine Heimes, Niels Agerbirk, Helle Sørensen, Tamara van Mölken, Thure P. Hauser (2016) Ecotypic differentiation of two sympatric chemotypes of Barbarea vulgaris (Brassicaceae) with different biotic resistances. Plant Ecology 217, 1055-1068.

35. Tongjin Liu, Xiaohui Zhang, Haohui Yang, Niels Agerbirk, Yang Qui, Haiping Wang, Di Shen, Jiangping Song, Xixiang Li (2016) Aromatic glucosinolate biosynthesis pathway in Barbarea vulgaris and its response to Plutella xylostella infestation. Frontiers in Plant Science Vol. 7 article 83.

34. Tina Frisch, Mohammed Saddik Motawia, Carl Erik Olsen, Niels Agerbírk, Birger Lindberg Møller, Nanna Bjarnholt (2015). Diversified glucosinolate metabolism: biosynthesis of hydrogen cyanide and of the hydroxynitrile glucoside alliarinoside in relation to sinigrin metabolism in Alliaria petiolata. Frontiers in Plant Science Vol. 6 article 926.

33. Caroline Müller, Joop van Loon, Sara Ruschioni, Gina Rosalinda De Nicola, Carl Erik Olsen, Renato Iori, Niels Agerbirk (2015). Taste detection of the non-volatile isothiocyanate moringin results in deterrence of glucosinolate-adapted insect larvae. Phytochemistry 118, 139-148.

32. Niels Agerbirk, Gina Rosalinde De Nicola, Carl Erik Olsen, Caroline Müller, Renato Iori (2015) Derivatization of isothiocyanates and their reactive adducts for chromatographic analysis. Phytochemistry 118, 109-115.

31. Martina Picmanova, Elizabeth H. Neilson, Mohammed S. Motavia, Carl Erik Olsen, Niels Agerbirk, Christopher J. Gray, Sabine Flitsch, Sebastian Meier, Daniele Silvestro, Kirsten Jørgensen, Raquel Sanchez-Perez, Birger Lindberg Møller, Nanna Bjarnholt (2015). A recycling pathway for cyanogenic glucosides evidenced by the comparative metabolic profiling in three cyanogenic plant species. Biochemical Journal 469, 375-389.

30. Xiaohui Zhang, Tongjin Liu, Xiaochun Wei, Yang Qiu, Jiangping Song, Haiping Wang, Di Shen, Niels Agerbirk, Xixiang Li (2015) Expression patterns, molecular markers and genetic diversity of insect susceptible and resistant Barbarea genotypes by comparative transcriptome analysis. BMC Genomics 16: 486.

29. Niels Agerbirk, Carl Erik Olsen (2015). Glucosinolate hydrolysis products in the crucifer Barbarea vulgaris include a thiazolidine-2-one from a specific phenolic isomer as well as oxazolidine-2-thiones. Phytochemistry 115, 143-151.

28. Niels Agerbirk, Carl Erik Olsen, Christine Heimes, Stina Christensen, Søren Bak, Thure P. Hauser (2015) Multiple hydroxyphenethyl glucosinolate isomers and their tandem mass spectrometric distinction in a geographically structured polymorphism in the crucifer Barbarea vulgaris. Phytochemistry 115, 130-142.

27. Tina Frisch, Niels Agerbirk, Samantha L. Davis, Don Cipollini, Carl Erik Olsen, Nanna Bjarnholt, Birger Lindberg Møller (2014). Glucosinolate-related glucosides in Alliaria petiolata: sources of variation in the plant and different metabolism in an adapted specialist herbivore, Pieris rapae. Journal of Chemical Ecology 40, 1063-1079.

26. Niels Agerbirk, Carl Erik Olsen, Don Cipollini, Marian Ørgaard, Ib Linde-Laursen, Frances S. Chew (2014) Specific glucosinolate analysis reveals variable levels of epimeric glucobarbarins, dietary precursors of 5-phenyloxazolidine-2-thiones, in watercress types with contrasting chromosome numbers. Journal of Agrcultural and Food Chemistry 62, 9586-9596.

25. Stina Christensen, Christine Heimes, Niels Agerbirk, Vera Kuzina, Carl Erik Olsen, Thure Pavlo Hauser (2014) Different geographical distributions of two chemotypes of Barbarea vulgaris that differ in resistance to insects and a pathogen. Journal of Chemical Ecology 40, 491-501.

24. Giuliana Bianco, Niels Agerbirk, Ilario Losito, Tommaso Cataldi (2014) Acylated glucosinolates with diverse acyl groups investigated by high resolution mass spectrometry and infrared multiphoton dissociation. Phytochemistry 100, 02-102.

23. Adam D. Steinbrenner, Niels Agerbirk, Colin M. Orians, Frances S. Chew (2012). Transient abiotic stresses lead to latent defense and reproductive responses over the Brassica rapa life cycle. Chemoecology 22, 239-250.

22. Niels Agerbirk, Carl Erik Olsen (2012). Glucosinolate structures in evolution. Phytochemistry 77, 16-45.

21. Lea Dalby-Brown, Carl Erik Olsen, Jens Kvist Nielsen, Niels Agerbirk (2011). Polymorphism for novel, tetraglycosylated flavonoids in an eco-model crucifer, Barbarea vulgaris. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 59, 6947-6956.

20. Niels Agerbirk, Carl Erik Olsen (2011). Isoferuloyl derivatives of seed glucosinolates in the crucifer genus Barbarea. Phytochemistry 72, 610-623.

19. Niels Agerbirk, Frances S. Chew, Carl Erik Olsen, Kirsten Jørgensen (2010). Leaf and floral parts feeding by orange tip butterfly larvae depends on larval position but not on glucosinolate profile or nitrogen level. Journal of Chemical Ecology 36, 1335-1345.

18. Niels Agerbirk, Carl Erik Olsen, Frances S. Chew, Marian Ørgaard (2010). Variable glucosinolate profiles of Cardamine pratensis (Brassicaceae) with equal chromosome numbers. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 58, 4693-4700.

17. Niels Agerbirk, Carl Erik Olsen, Eva Poulsen, Niels Jacobsen, Paul Robert Hansen (2010). Complex metabolism of aromatic glucosinolates in Pieris rapae caterpillars involving nitrile formation, hydroxylation, demethylation, sulfation, and host plant dependent carboxylic acid formation. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 40, 126-137.

16. Niels Agerbirk, Martin De Vos, Jae Hak Kim, Georg Jander (2009). Indole glucosinolate breakdown and its biological effects. Phytochemistry Reviews 8, 101-120.

15. Niels Agerbirk, Suzanne I. Warwick, Carl Erik Olsen, Paul Robert Hansen (2008). Sinapis phylogeny and evolution of glucosinolates and specific nitrile degrading enzymes. Phytochemistry 69, 2937-2949.

14. Niels Agerbirk, Carl Erik Olsen, Henrik Bak Topbjerg, Jens Christian Sørensen (2007). Host plant dependent metabolism of 4-hydroxybenzylglucosinolate in Pieris rapae: Substrate specificity and effects of genetic modification and plant nitrile hydratase. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 37, 1119-1130.

13. Renate C. Smallegange, Joop J.A. van Loon, Suzanne E. Blatt, Jeff A. Harvey, Niels Agerbirk, Marcel Dicke (2007). Flower versus leaf feeding by Pieris brassicae: glucosinolate-rich flower tissues are preferred and sustain higher growth rate. Journal of Chemical Ecology 33, 1831-1844.

12. Niels Agerbirk, Caroline Müller, Carl Erik Olsen, Frances S. Chew (2006). A common pathway for metabolism of 4-hydroxybenzylglucosinolate in Pieris and Anthocaris (Lepidoptera: Pieridae). Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 34, 189-198. Erratum: Biochem. Syst. Ecol. 36, 820 (Correcting a spelling error).

11. Ute Wittstock, Niels Agerbirk, Einar J. Stauber, Carl Erik Olsen, Michael Hippler, Thomas Mitchell-Olds, Jonathan Gershenzon & Heiko Vogel (2004). Successful herbivore attack due to metabolic diversion of a plant chemical defense. PNAS 101, 4859-4864.

10. Niels Agerbirk, Carl Erik Olsen, Bo M. Bibby, Hanne O. Frandsen, Lea D. Brown, Jens Kvist Nielsen, & J. Alan A. Renwick (2003). A saponin correlated with variable resistance of Barbareavulgaris, to the diamondback moth, Plutellaxylostella. Journal of Chemical Ecology 29, 1417-1433.

9. Niels Agerbirk, Marian Ørgaard & Jens Kvist Nielsen (2003). Glucosinolates, flea beetle resistance, and leaf pubescence as taxonomic characters in the genus Barbarea (Brassicaceae). Phytochemistry 63, 69-80. Erratum: Phytochemistry 64, 1177 (The erratum corrects a minor printing error in a table).

8. Caroline Müller, Niels Agerbirk & Carl Erik Olsen (2003). Lack of sequestration of glucosinolates in Pierisrapae and P. brassicae. Chemoecology 13, 47-54.

7. Caroline Müller, Niels Agerbirk, Carl Erik Olsen, Jean-Luc Boevé, Urs Schaffner & Paul Brakefield (2001). Sequestration of host plant glucosinolates in the defensive hemolymph of the sawfly Athaliarosae. Journal of Chemical Ecology 27, 2505-2515.

6. Niels Agerbirk, Carl Erik Olsen & Jens Kvist Nielsen (2001). Seasonal variation in glucosinolates and insect resistance in two types of Barbareavulgarisssp. arcuata. Phytochemistry 58, 91-100.

5. Niels Agerbirk, Bent Larsen Petersen, Carl Erik Olsen, Barbara Ann Halkier & Jens Kvist Nielsen (2001). 1,4-Dimethoxyglucobrassicin in Barbareaand 4-hydroxyglucobrassicin in Arabidopsis and Brassica. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 49, 1502-1507.

4. Jens Kvist Nielsen, Mads Lausten Hansen, Niels Agerbirk, Bent Larsen Petersen & Barbara Ann Halkier (2001). Responses of the flea beetle species Phyllotretanemorumand P. cruciferaeto metabolically engineered Arabidopsis thaliana with an altered glucosinolate profile. Chemoecology 11, 75-83.

3. Bent Larsen Petersen, Erik Andréasson, Søren Bak, Niels Agerbirk & Barbara Halkier (2001). Characterisation of transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana with metabolically engineered high levels of p-hydroxybenzylglucosinolate. Planta 212, 612-618.

2. Niels Agerbirk, Carl Erik Olsen & Hilmer Sørensen (1998). Initial and final products, nitriles, and ascorbigens produced in myrosinase-catalyzed hydrolysis of indole glucosinolates. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 46, 1563-1571.

1. Niels Agerbirk, Charlotte Bjergegaard, Carl Erik Olsen & Hilmer Sørensen (1996). Kinetic investigation of the transformations of indol-3-ylcarbinol into oligomeric indolyl compounds based on micellar electrokinetic chromatography. Journal of Chromatography A 745, 239-248.

B. Theses

Niels Agerbirk, 1997. Products of the myrosinase catalysed hydrolysis of glucosinolates in rape and Brassica vegetables. Ph.D. thesis, Chemistry Department, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University.

Niels Agerbirk, 1994. Ribose metabolism in symbiotic root nodules on soybean plants: Plant and bacterial ribokinase. M. Sc. Thesis, Dept. of Molecular Biology, Aarhus University.

C. Popular articles

5. Niels Agerbirk, Kirsten Jørgensen, 2008. Aurora-larvens korte liv fulgt i en vindueskarm. Lepidoptera IX (6), 176-180.

4. Niels Agerbirk, 2006. En biokemisk arv fra en fælles stamfar til hvidsværmerslægterne Pieris og Anthocaris. Lepidoptera IX (1), 11-15.

3. Niels Agerbirk, Caroline Müller & Ute Wittstock, 2004. Korsblomstrede planters kemiske forsvar – og planteæderes tilpasninger. Urt 28 (2), 46-51.

2. Niels Agerbirk, 2004. Hvorfor kålorme kan lide kål. KVL Mosaik 12 (13, 19. maj), 6-7.

1. Niels Agerbirk, Jens Kvist Nielsen & Marian Ørgaard, 2003. Jordlopper som botanikere. Urt 27 (3), 78-82.

D. Teaching material


15. Qing Liu, Marcus Ehlert, Aldo R. A. Robles, Oliver Gericke, Niels Agerbirk (2016). Enzymes in mitochondria and cytosol. Lab manual for Biochemistry for natural ressources, 25 pp. Revised 2017.


14. Niels Agerbirk and Sophie Lisa Otterbach (2016). Experiments with alcohol dehydrogenase (How strong is my X-mas?). Lab manual for Biochemistry for natural ressources, 25 pp. Revised 2017.


13. Christian Bukh og Niels Agerbirk (2105) Laboratoriemanualer (1-5) til Naturressourcers kemi. (5 pdf-manualer til førsteårskemi lab-forsøg)


12. Niels Agerbirk (2014). Enzymkinetik med inhibering og non-lineær regression. (pdf-note til Biokemi 2 lab-forsøg, 6 pp). Løbende revisioner i årene derefter-


11. Niels Agerbirk (2013). Laboratporiemanual til case i Naturstofkemi og Mikrobiologi: Glucosinolater (22 pp).

10. Niels Agerbirk (2012). Laboratoriemanualer til case i Naturstofkemi og Mikrobiologi: Lipid (14 pp). 

9. Niels Agerbirk, Louise Henningsen, 2011. Laboratoriemanual til Kemi for Miljøøkonomer og Naturforvaltere (Kemi MN). Fra 2012: Årligt opdateret nu til Kemi for Husdyrvidenskab, Miljøøkonomi og Naturforvaltning, 2014 med Christian Bukh.

8. Niels Agerbirk, 2010. Undersøgelse af benzamidin som inhibitor for proteinasen trypsin (Lab-manual, 4 pp.)

7. Niels Agerbirk, 2008. Lab-manuals for Enzymology and Experimental Biochemistry: Exercise 1: Accuracy and precision in Enzymology (12 pp.); Exercise 2: Activity coefficients in Enzymology (18 pp); Exercise 7+8: Macromolecule-ligand dissociation constants (15 pp).

6. Niels Agerbirk, Stig Jacobsen, Charlotte Jørgensen, Henning Willads Petersen, 2008: Sortering af kemikalieaffald ved KU-LIFE. Det Biovidenskabelige Fakultet, KU (16 pp).

5. Søren Olsen, Niels Agerbirk, 2007. Biokemiske laboratorieprojekter til studieretningsprojekter for gymnasieelever. 1. udgave, Institut for Grundvidenskab. (2. udgave 2008)

4. Charlotte Bjergegaard, Niels Agerbirk, 2007. Øvelsesvejledning – Biokemi 1. 3. udgave 2007, Institut for Grundvidenskab. (4. udgave 2008)

3. Niels Agerbirk, 2005. Compendium for The Chemistry of Life. Samfundslitteratur.

2. Christian Buck, Grethe Tulinius, Niels Agerbirk, 2001/2/3/5. Laboratory Exercises – The Chemistry of Life. 1st/2nd/3rd/4th editions. KVL-bogladen/ Samfundslitteratur.

1. Grethe Tulinius, Christian Buck, Niels Agerbirk, 2001/2/3/4. Theoretical Exercises – The Chemistry of Life. 1st/2nd/3rd/4th editions. KVL-bogladen/Chemistry Department/Samfundslitteratur.

Curriculum vitae for Niels Agerbirk

Bopæl: Lyngby                  Født: 1967

Stilling: Lektor i naturstoffers kemi og biokemi ved Sektion for Pantebiokemi, Institut for Plante- og Miljøvidenskab, Københavns Universitet. Desuden tilknyttet Copenhagen Plant Science Center som medlem af Fernando Geu-Flores gruppe.

Forskningsområde: Naturstoffers struktur, biokemi, analyse, økologi og evolution med fokus på glucosinolater. Hjemmeside med detaljer om forskning:



Har løbende i de seneste 20 år været kursusansvarlig for diverse introducerende kurser i kemi for biologiske studieretninger, pt. Naturressourcers kemi 1.

Her også pt. undervisning i kurserne

Biokemi 1

Biokemi 2

Biokemi for naturressourcer

Har desuden erfaring med vejledning af bachelor-, speciale- og ph.d. studerende, bedømmelse af afhandlinger og som censor i biokemi og indledende spektroskopi.

Videnskabelige tillidshverv:

Medlem af Editorial Board for tidsskriftet Phytochemistry (2017-).

Reviewer for Phytochemistry, Journal of Chemical Ecology, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Phytochemistry Reviews, Planta, Journal of Plant Physiology, Plant Molecular Biology, Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, Food Chemistry, Journal of Sulfur Chemistry, Molecules, Journal of Insect Science, Journal of Applied Entomology, Natural Product Communications, IUBMB Life, Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, New Phytologist, Food Analytical Methods, Industrial Crops and Products, Flavour and Fragrance Journal, Evolutionary Ecology, Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, Int. Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition.

Kollegiale tillidshverv

Sammen med to kolleger tillidsrepræsentant (Danmarks Magisterforening) for det videnskabelige personale ved Institut for Plante- og Miljøvidenskab, KU.

1986: Naturfaglig student fra Århus Katedralskole. Karaktergennemsnit 9,7. Karakter 11 i fagene Historie, Matematik, Geografi og Biologi.

1986: Forskolekursus, Malling Landbrugsskole.

1994: Cand. scient. i biologi fra Århus Universitet. Karaktergennemsnit: 10,25. Karakter 11 i fagene Kemi D, Biologi 3, Biokemi, Mikrobiologi, Molekylær Genetik, Ferskvandsøkologi og Molekylær Biologi. Speciale ved Institut for Molekylær Biologi og Plantefysiologi. Vejleder: Bjarne Jochimsen. Afhandling: "Ribose metabolism in symbiotic root nodules on soybean plants: Plant- and bacterial ribokinase". Karakter: 10.

1997: Ph.d. i biokemi, Kemisk Institut, Den Kongelige Veterinær- og Landbohøjskole (KVL). Vejleder: Hilmer Sørensen. Afhandling: "Products of the myrosinase catalyzed hydrolysis of glucosinolates in rape and Brassica vegetables".

1986-88: Beskæftiget som landbrugsmedhjælper, soldat og skovbrugspraktikant.

Sep. 1994 – aug. 1997: Phd-stipendium fra KVL.

Nov. 1997 – nov. 1998: Biokemiker, Danisco Biotechnology.

Jan. 1999 – dec. 2000: Forskningsadjunkt, Kemisk Institut, KVL.

Jan. 2001 - dec. 2003: Adjunkt i organisk kemi og naturproduktkemi, Kemisk Institut, KVL.

Jan. 2004 – dec. 2011: Lektor i naturstoffers kemi og biokemi, Institut for Grundvidenskab, KU (2004-2006: KVL).

Jan. 2012 - nu: Lektor i naturstoffers kemi og biokemi, Institut for Plantevidenskab og Miljø, KU.

1996: Istituto Sperimentale per le Colture Industriale; Bologna, Italien. Vært: Dr. Sandro Palmieri. Varighed: 1 måned.
1999-2000: Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. Vært: Dr. J. Alan A. Renwick. Varighed: 11 måneder.
2002: Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Dept. of Biochemistry, Jena, Tyskland. Vært: Director Jonathan Gershenzon. Varighed: 1 uge.

Deltagelse i videnskabelige kongresser:
1995: 2nd European Conference on Grain Legumes, København.

1996: 8th Int. Symp. on Capillary Electrophoresis, Orlando.
1997: Micronutrients and Human Cancer Risk – Prospects for Prevention, Århus.
1998: 5th Danish Symp. on Analytical Chemistry, København
1999: Annual Meeting – American Entomological Society, Atlanta.
2001: 11th Int. Symp. on Insect Plant Relationsships, Helsingør.

2002: INCHECO 2nd Workshop, Pisa

2003: 11th Int. Rapeseed Congress, København. 2004: 12th Int. Symp. on Insect Plant Relationships, Berlin.2004: Chemical Reactions in Foods V, Prag.

2005: Workshop om sundhed og økologiske produktionsmetoder, København.

2006: 1st Int. Conference on Glucosinolates, Jena.

2007: Nordic Natural Products Conference 2007, Tisvildeleje.

2008: Brassica 2008, Lillehammer.
2009: 2nd Conference on Glucosinolates, Helsingør.

2011: Protein Chemistry - Applications to combat diseases, København.

2011: 3rd Danish Symposium on Metabolomics, København.

2014: 3rd Conference on Glucosinolates, Wageningen.

2014: 5th Danish Symposium on Metabolomics, København.

2017: 4th Conference on Glucosinolates, Berlin.


2001: Gennemført det pædagogiske uddannelsesforløb for adjunkter ved KVL.

2003: HPLC-skille-skruekursus (15 timer), Holm og Halby. Engelskkursus (20 timer), Cambridge Institute. Kursus i vejledning (12 timer), KVL.

2005: Engelskkursus (42 timer), Studieskolen. Kursus i eksamensformer (4 timer), KVL.

2006: Engelskkursus (66 timer), Studieskolen. Bestået Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English, karakter A. Introduction to R (et statistikprogram) (IGV, KVL, 4 timer). Statistik med Excel (Magistrenes Efteruddannelse, 14 timer).

2007: Håndtering af farligt affald i private virksomheder (24 timer), Niras/Kommunekemi.

2008: Temamøde om kemikalieregistrering og håndtering af kemikalieaffald (Sikker kemi på KU, 3,5 timer). How to teach in an international classroom (LIFE, 3 timer). Temamøde om opbevaring af kemikalier (Sikker kemi på KU, 3,5 timer). Livreddende førstehjælp (Dansk Røde Kors, 6 timer)

2010: Styrk din undervisning på engelsk (KU-CIP, 15 timer).

2011: Hands-on LC-MSMS analytical chemistry of phytochemicals (Aarhus University, 8 ECTS points). Brandkursus (IGM / Frb. Brandvæsen, 3 timer). How teaching can affect the learning orchestration of first year students (seminar + workshop, Dept. of Science Education, KU, 2 timer).

2014: Course for Department Supervisors in 'Universitetspædagogikum" (KU, 7 timer).

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