Cellulose Synthesis

Our group aims at understanding how plants allocate their fixed carbon to produce their cell walls, with a particular focus on the cell wall polymer cellulose.
In vitro polymerized microtubules (photo: Liu Wang)
Cellulose is the chief contributor to plant biomass with vast application potential to fuel, feed and materials. Cellulose consists of glucan chains that coalesce to form strong microfibrils, which provide the strength to the cell wall. Consequently, cellulose is a major determinant for directed plant growth and provides stature to plants.

Cellulose is produced at the plasma membrane by large multimeric cellulose synthase (CESA) complexes. Major goals are to understand how the CESA complex is regulated, what other components involved in making cellulose are and the means that the cell wall uses to communicate with the interior of the cell.



Villum Investigator 2020
Aim to understand how plants make secondary cell walls, critically contributing to plant stature and the water transporting capacity of plants.


NNF, Laureate Research Grant 2020
Identifying factors that drive allocation of carbon in plant cells and thereby perhaps be able to change the carbohydrate content in for example grains with significant health benefits.


NNF, Data Science Collaborative Research Programme 2021
Aim to investigate how the shapes of leaf cells contribute to the photosynthetic capacity of the leaf, influencing the diffusion and hence photosynthesis.


NNF, BioSAP Emerging Investigator
Description to come


Lundbeck Fonden
This project aims to functionally characterize microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) to better appreciate their role in plant and neuronal biology.


Danmarks Grundforskningsfond chair 2021
Building new microscope solutions and using biophysics tools to address outstanding questions in plant cell wall biology.


NNF, Industrial Biotechnology and Environmental Biotechnology - Project Grants 2021
Description to come


EMBO Postdoctoral Fellowship Award 2022
Description to come


NNF, Industrial Biotechnology and Environmental Biotechnology Postdoctoral Fellowships 2021
Designing, engineering and determining the 3D structure of novel plasma membrane localized xylan synthases inspired by the cellulose synthase complex.



  • Staffan Persson elected as a member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences 2022. Link here.

  • DNRF Chair grant awarded to the Persson lab 2021. Link here.

  • NNF Laureate grant awarded to the Persson lab 2019

  • Villum Investigator grant awarded to the Persson lab 2019. Link here.

  • Thomson Reuter/Clarivate highly cited researcher 2016, 2017, 2018 (top 1% in the world)

  • ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6377-5132 


















Group members

Name Title Phone E-mail
Delphine Marie Clémentine Pottier PhD Fellow +4535328053 E-mail
Guillermo Sergio Moreno Pescador Assistant Professor +4535332635 E-mail
Gustav Blichfeldt Pedersen Postdoc +4535321297 E-mail
Jordy Perez Gonzalez PhD Fellow +4535321536 E-mail
Kristian Erik Høpfner Frandsen Assistant Professor +4535322158 E-mail
Leonard Blaschek Postdoc +4535321679 E-mail
Leïa Axelle Colin Postdoc +4535337904 E-mail
Li Ding Research Assistant   E-mail
Lisa Maria Steiner Postdoc +4535326463 E-mail
Lise Charlotte Marie Noack Postdoc +4535324687 E-mail
Mike Ogden Postdoc +4535327032 E-mail
Ouda Khammy Academic Research Staff +4552816784 E-mail
Samira Ebrahimi Postdoc +4535335962 E-mail
Shuai Zheng Postdoc +4535321596 E-mail
Staffan Persson Professor +4535321352 E-mail

PhD students

  • Isabella Osterlund
  • Alessandro Giannetti
  • Ding Li
  • Jordy Perez
  • Gustav Pedersen

MSc students

  • Ouda Khammy

Research group leader

Staffan Persson