Plant Biotechnology Lab

Research Interests

Plants are a remarkable resources for our everyday lives with their richness; they are source of food, feed, raw material for wide variety of industries. With the accumulating scientific knowledge about plant biology and plant genetics, environmentally-friendly and ration solutions for agriculture, environment and industry will be beneficial for the humanity and for the planet.

Plants are in continuous interaction with their surroundings. Abiotic factors such as heat, water content, wind, salt concentrations, can be rapidly changing in the environment plants are growing and thus plants need to adapt to these changes rapidly by altering their metabolisms and their gene expressions. Transcription factors are one of the main factors contributing to change in gene expression for abiotic stress response and adaptation. Hence, one of our main research topic is enlightening relationship between transcription factors and abiotic stresses in agriculturally important monocots which will contribute to agricultural biotechnology.

On the other hand, plants have cellulose based cell walls, surrounding their cells, giving shape and acting as a barrier, along many other roles. The plant cell walls are one of the most abundant biomass resource on our planet. Understanding their synthesis and their modifications throughout the plant's life will help us use this biomass more efficiently. Also, understanding the cell wall regulation and driving forces behind the regulation will guide us in many different topics, including abiotic stress response and molecular breeding.

Thus, our main research focuses are:

Researching plant cell walls from the aspect of cell wall modifications, Answering questions about how transcription factors are playing role in plant development and plant abiotic response.

  • Plant Biotechnology
  • Plant Cell Walls
  • Plant Transcription Factors
  • Plant metabolites and metabolic engineering

Group Leader

Merve Seven, Ph.D
Assistant Professor 
Download CV  
  • Work Experience
  • Assistant Professor, 2021- Present
    Molecular Biology and Genetics, Bahçeşehir University
  • Specialist, 2020-2021 
    Nobel Pharmaceuticals Biotechnology
  • Research Assistant, 2018-2020 
    Plant Cell Biology and Biotechnology Institute, Heinrich-Heine University
  • Education
  • PhD candidate, 2011-2018 
    Biotechnology Program, Yeditepe University
  • Bachelor studies, 2007-2011 
    Molecular Biology and Genetics, İstanbul University

Lab Members

Current Members
Albelhameed Hamdan
MSc student
Mohammad Eyad Alshami
MSc student
Elif Dağl
BSc candidate
Emir Çovaç
BSc candidate
Gizel Gerdan
BSc candidate
Leyla Ümit Laçin
BSc candidate
Selin Demiryol
BSc candidate


  1. Akdemir Koç H., Seven M., Derman Ü. C, Harvey A.J. In silico analysis of XTH gene family from barley (Hordeum vulgare L:) and their comparative expression analysis during germination. Turkish Journal of Botany, 2021, DOI: 10.3906/bot-2108-31
  2. Seven, M., Derman, Ü.C. and Harvey, A.J. (2021), Enzymatic characterization of ancestral/group-IV clade xyloglucan endotransglycosylase/hydrolase enzymes reveals broad substrate specificities. Plant J, 106: 1660-1673.
  3. Özcan, E, Seven, M, Şirin, B, et al. Dynamic co‐culture metabolic models reveal the fermentation dynamics, metabolic capacities and interplays of cheese starter cultures. Biotechnology and Bioengineering. 2021. 1– 15
  4. Seven M, Akdemir H. DOF, MYB and TCP transcription factors: Their possible roles on barley germination and seedling establishment. Gene Expression Patterns, 2020. 37.
  5. Celep, E., Seven, M., Akyüz, S., İnan, Y., Yesilada, E. Influence of extraction method on enzyme inhibition, phenolic profile and antioxidant capacity of Sideritis trojana Bornm. South African Journal of Botany, 2019. 121, 360-365
  6. Ramirez, V., Wang, S., Robertz, S., Seven, M., Kraemer, F., Kuhn, B. M., ... & Pauly, M. 2023. A large-scale forward genetic screen for maize mutants with altered lignocellulosic properties. Frontiers in Plant Science, 14, 783.


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