Prof. Schneck Informationen

Soft Matter Biophysics


Lipids limit the suction power of plants

Plants use negative pressure to draw water from the soil. Why the pressure value does not fall below minus 100 bar was previously an unsolved mystery. An interdisciplinary and international research group with the participation of the Technical University of Darmstadt now reports in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that apparently so-called lipid aggregates in the plant saps are responsible for the phenomenon. Simulations and model calculations show how the lipids lead to the formation of expanding cavities that cause the fluid column to break off when the negative pressures become too great.


  • Biomolecular Self Assembly
  • Biomembrane Models
  • Membrane Interactions
  • Functional Lipid Domains
  • Protein Adsorption
  • In-vitro Osmotic Pressure Sensing
  • Ion-Specific Effects
  • Hydration Forces
  • Biological Matter under Negative Pressures


  • X-Ray and Neutron Scattering
  • X-Ray Fluorescence
  • Tensiometry
  • Ellipsometry
  • Quartz-Crystal Microbalance
  • Spectroscopy Methods
  • Fluorescence Microscopy
  • Brewster-Angle Microscopy
  • Molecular Dynamics Simulations