Peter Beyer

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Peter Beyer
Born (1952-05-09) 9 May 1952 (age 71)
Awards2002 European Science Prize
Scientific career
FieldsCell Biology
InstitutionsUniversity of Freiburg

Peter Beyer (born 9 May 1952) is a German Professor for Cell Biology at the Faculty of Biology of the University of Freiburg. He is known as co-inventor of Golden Rice, together with Ingo Potrykus from the ETH Zurich.


Peter Beyer studied Biology at the universities of Marburg and Freiburg. In 1981 he was awarded his doctorate in Cell Biology from the University of Freiburg and received his postdoctoral lecture qualification in 2000. Afterwards he was appointed Professor for Cell Biology at the Faculty of Biology. Since 2001 Beyer is Vice-Director Plant Biotechnology of the Centre for Applied Biosciences (ZAB) in Freiburg.

Starting 2005 Peter Beyer became Principal Investigator in the ProVitaMinRice Consortium, a program funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and one of the selected Grand Challenges in Global Health projects. The project «Engineering Rice for High Beta-Carotene, Vitamin E and Enhanced Iron and Zinc Bioavailability», designed to further biofortify Golden Rice with other vital micronutrients has been awarded 11.3 Million USD to achieve its goals.[1] Research is handled by a consortium of seven laboratories in a number of countries.

Apart from Beyer's group the project involves groups from Baylor College of Medicine, Michigan State University, the International Rice Research Institute and PhilRice, both in the Philippines, the Cuu Long Delta Rice Research Institute, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.[2]


Peter Beyer’s research focusses on the biochemistry, molecular biology and regulation of the plant [prenyl-lipid metabolism (sterols, vitamins E and K, carotenoids. Besides basic science the group focuses on applied pathway engineering to improve the nutritional value of crop plants. Peter Beyer pioneered the metabolic engineering of plants with engineering the beta-carotene biosynthetic pathway into rice endosperm, published 2000 in Science,[3] which is widely appreciated as one of the success stories of Synthetic Biology. Consequently, Beyer is PI in the Centre for Biological Signaling Studies,[4] which is devoted to this novel field in science.


  • The Golden Rice patent: Beyer P and Potrykus I. Method for improving the agronomic and nutritional value of plants EP1159428 B1, 5. Dezember 2001.
  • Ye X, Al-Babili S, Klöti A, Zhang J, Lucca P, Beyer P, Potrykus I (2000) Engineering the provitamin A (beta-carotene) biosynthetic pathway into (carotenoid-free) rice endosperm. Science 287:303-305.
  • S. Al-Babili, P. Beyer: Golden Rice - five years on the road - five years to go? In: Trends in Plant Science. 12 October 2005 S. 565-573

Awards and honors[edit]

  • 2002 European Science Prize [5]
  • 2006 Voted as “Most notable and influential people in agricultural, environmental or industrial biotech research of the last ten years” by the readers of Nature Biotechnology [6]

Beyer has been recognized as a Pioneer Member of the American Society of Plant Biologists. [7]


  1. ^ More than 11 Million USD for Rice Research Archived 21 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Peter Beyer’s CV "Golden Rice Humanitarian Board". Archived from the original on 3 August 2010. Retrieved 18 January 2010. on [1]
  3. ^ Ye, Xudong; Al-Babili, Salim; Klöti, Andreas; Zhang, Jing; Lucca, Paola; Beyer, Peter; Potrykus, Ingo (14 January 2000). "Engineering the Provitamin A (β-Carotene) Biosynthetic Pathway into (Carotenoid-Free) Rice Endosperm". Science. American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). 287 (5451): 303–305. Bibcode:2000Sci...287..303Y. doi:10.1126/science.287.5451.303. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 10634784.
  4. ^ Members of bioss, a scientific centre devoted to synthetic biology Archived 28 November 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ European Foundation for Culture Archived 16 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Peter Beyer and Ingo Potrykus awarded by the journal "Nature Biotechnology" [2] Archived 21 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "ASPB Pioneer Members".

External links[edit]