IsoLife – Stable Isotope Labelled Plant Products for the Life Sciences

About IsoLife

IsoLife bv was established on February 8, 2005 as a spin-off company of Wageningen Plant Research, Wageningen UR, The Netherlands.


IsoLife is founded on the belief that public health and environmental and food quality can be improved by the use of stable isotope labelled products in the Life Sciences. These products are non-radioactive and allow non-invasive techniques that are safe and consumer, patient and environment-friendly. We are proud to make these unique products available to our customers.

IsoLife aims to expand the number of applications for stable isotopes by developing innovative products with an excellent product quality and a fair price, combined with flexible services directed to tailor-made solutions for you as our customer in science or industry.


The management team consists of the two founders Ton Gorissen and Ries de Visser, both scientists (PhD) who have combined their individual qualities for the development of IsoLife. In 2002, they took the challenge to start activities for a product company for isotopically labelled plants and phytochemicals, resulting in a winning business plan (BioPartner Biobusiness Masterclass Award 2004).

Ries has worked for 20 years as a plant physiologist/geneticist in Canada and NL and has managed (international) projects with stable isotope applications in ecophysiology and biotechnology. He earned a PhD in biology . He likes to acknowledge the great inspiration on stable isotopes by Prof. Hans Schnyder (TU-München) and Prof. Jaleh Ghashghaie (Université Paris-Sud). His main passions besides IsoLife, are philosophy, skating, gardening on wooden shoes, and his wife and three children (not necessarily in that order).

Ton started his career in Wageningen as a rhizosphere ecologist in 1986 and got his PhD on carbon allocation to the plants’ rhizosphere, the surroundings of the roots under the inspiring guidance of Prof. Hans van Veen. He managed many projects in soil ecology in which isotope-labelling of plants was a core activity. During more than 30 years he has put much effort in developing the labelling facility Espas (Figure). His personal interests are in sports, games (running, playing billiards, chess, and family games), and Belgium beers.

Scientific articles by the founders

Duran K, M Kohlstedt, G van Erven, CE Klostermann, AHP America, E Bakx, JJP Baars, A Gorissen, R de Visser, RP de Vries, C Wittmann, RNJ Comans, TW Kuyper, MA Kabel. 2024.
From 13C-lignin to 13C-mycelium: Agaricus bisporus uses polymeric lignin as a carbon source.
Science Advances 10: eadl3419.

espasWieczorek AS, O Schmidt, A Chatzinotas, M von Bergen, A Gorissen, S Kolb. 2019.
Ecological functions of agricultural soil bacteria and microeukaryotes in chitin degradation – a case study.
Frontiers in Microbiology 10: 1293.

Van Erven G, R de Visser, P de Waard, WJH van Berkel, MA Kabel. 2019.
Uniformly 13C labeled lignin internal standards for quantitative pyrolysis−GC−MS analysis of grass and wood.
ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering 7: 20070−20076.

Van Erven G, R de Visser, DWH Merkx, W Strolenberg, P de Gijsel, H Gruppen, MA Kabel. 2017.
Quantification of lignin and its structural features in plant biomass using 13C lignin as internal standard for pyrolysis-GC-SIM-MS.
Analytical Chemistry 89: 10907-10916.

Fortier-McGill B, RD Majumdar, L Lam, R Soong, YL Mobarhan, A Sutrisno, R de Visser, MJ Simpson, H Wheeler, M Campbell, A Gorissen, AJ Simpson. 2017.
Comprehensive multiphase (CMP) NMR monitoring of the structural changes and molecular flux within a growing seed.
Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry: 65: 6779-6788.

Van Ruth SM, R de Visser. 2015.
Provenancing flower bulbs by analytical fingerprinting: Convallaria majalis.
Agriculture 5: 17-29.

Lam L, R Soong, A Sutrisno, R de Visser, MJ Simpson, H Wheeler, M Campbell, WE Maas, M Fey, A Gorissen, H Hutchins, B Andrew, JO Struppe, S Krishnamurthy, R Kumar, M Monette, H Stronks, A Hume, AJ Simpson. 2014.
Comprehensive multiphase NMR spectroscopy of intact 13C labeled seeds.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 62: 407-415.

Gorissen A, NU Kraut, R de Visser, M de Vries, H Roelofsen, RJ Vonk. 2011.
No de novo sulforaphane biosynthesis in broccoli seedlings.
Food Chemistry 127: 192-196. Ask a reprint

Beier C, BA Emmett, A Tietema, IK Schmidt, J Peñuelas, E Kovács-Láng, P Duce, P DeAngelis, A Gorissen, M Estiarte, GD De Dato, A Sowerby, G Kröel-Dulay, E Lellei-Kovács, O Kull, P Mand, H Petersen, P Gjelstrup, D Spano. 2009.
Carbon and nitrogen balances for six shrublands across Europe.
Global Biogeochemical Cycles 23: GB4008, doi:10.1029/2008GB003381.

Beier C, BA Emmett, J Peñuelas, IK Schmidt, A Tietema, M Estiarte, P Gundersen, L Llorens, T Riis-Nielsen, A Sowerby, A Gorissen. 2008.
Carbon and nitrogen cycles in European ecosystems respond differently to global warming.
Science of the Total Environment 407: 692-697.

Alberton O, TW Kuyper, A Gorissen. 2007.
Competition for nitrogen between Pinus sylvestris and ectomycorrhizal fungi generates potential for negative feedback under elevated CO2.
Plant and Soil 296: 159-172.

Peñuelas J, P Prieto, C Beier, C Cesaraccio, P DeAngelis, G DeDato, BA Emmett, M Estiarte, J Garadnai, A Gorissen, E Kovács-Láng, G Kröel-Dulay, L Llorens, G Pellizzaro, T Riis-Nielsen, IK Schmidt, C Circa, A Sowerby, D Spano, A Tietema. 2007.
Response of plant species richness and primary productivity in shrublands along a north–south gradient in Europe to seven years of experimental warming and drought: reductions in primary productivity in the heat and drought year of 2003.
Global Change Biology 13: 2563-2581.

Larsen T, A Gorissen, PH Henning Krogh, M Ventura, J Magid. 2007.
Assimilation dynamics of soil carbon and nitrogen by wheat roots and Collembola.
Plant and Soil 295: 253-264. Ask a reprint

Dueck TA, R de Visser, H Poorter, S Persijn, A Gorissen, W de Visser, A Schapendonk, J Verhagen, J Snel, FJM Harren, A Ngai, F Verstappen, H Bouwmeester, LACJ Voesenek, A van der Werf. 2007.
No evidence for substantial aerobic methane emission by terrestrial plants: A 13C-labelling approach.
New Phytologist 175: 29-35. Ask a reprint

Alberton O, TW Kuyper, A Gorissen. 2005.
Taking mycocentrism seriously: Mycorrhizal fungal and plant responses to elevated CO2.
New Phytologist 167: 859-868.

Van Groenigen KJ, A Gorissen, J Six, D Harris, PJ Kuikman, JW van Groenigen, C van Kessel. 2005.
Decomposition of labeled roots in a pasture soil exposed to 10 years of elevated CO2.
Soil Biology and Biochemistry 37: 497-506.

Beier C, B Emmett, P Gundersen, A Tietema, J Peñuelas, M Estiarte, C Gordon, A Gorissen, L Llorens, F Roda, D Williams. 2004.
Novel approaches to study climate change effects on terrestrial ecosystems: drought and passive nighttime warming.
Ecosystems 7: 583-597.

De Neergaard A, A Gorissen. 2004.
Carbon allocation to roots, rhizodeposits and soil after pulse labelling: a comparison of white clover (Trifolium repens L.) and perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.).
Biology and Fertility of Soils 39: 228-234.

Gorissen A, LS van Overbeek, JD van Elsas. 2004.
Pig slurry reduces the survival of Ralstonia solanacearum biovar 2 in soil.
Canadian Journal of Microbiology 50: 587-593.

Gorissen A, A Tietema, NN Joosten, M Estiarte, J Peñuelas, A Sowerby, BA Emmett, C Beier. 2004.
Climate change affects carbon allocation to the soil in shrublands.
Ecosystems 7: 650-661.

Peñuelas J, C Gordon, L Llorens, T Nielsen, A Tietema, C Beier, P Bruna, B Emmett, M Estiarte, A Gorissen. 2004.
Nonintrusive field experiments show different plant responses to warming and drought among sites, seasons, and species in a north-south European gradient.
Ecosystems 7: 598-612.

Schönfeld J, A Gelsomino, LS van Overbeek, A Gorissen, K Smalla, JD van Elsas. 2003.
Effects of compost addition and simulated solarisation on the fate of Ralstonia solanacearum biovar 2 and indigenous bacteria in soil.
FEMS Microbial Ecology 43: 63-74.

De Neergaard A, JR Porter, A Gorissen. 2002.
Distribution of assimilated carbon in plants and rhizosphere soil of basket willow (Salix viminalis).
Plant and Soil 245: 307-314.

De Visser AJC, EH Nijhuis EH, JD van Elsas, TA Dueck 2000.
Crops of uncertain nature? Controversies and Knowledge Gaps Concerning Genetically Modified Crops. An Inventory. Report Plant Research International, Wageningen, The Netherlands , No 12, 70 p.

Schnyder H, R Schäufele, R de Visser, J Nelson. 2000.
An integrated view of C and N uses in leaf growth zones of defoliated grasses. In: Grassland Ecophysiology and Grazing Ecology (Lemaire G, Hodgson J, De Moraes A, De Carvalho PCF, Nabinger C, eds), CABI Publishing, Oxon, New York, pp. 41-60. ISBN 0 85199 452 0.

Gorissen A, MF Cotrufo. 2000.
Decomposition of leaf and root tissue of three perennial grass species grown at two levels of elevated CO2 and N supply.
Plant and Soil 224: 75-84.

Gorissen A, TW Kuyper, 2000.
Fungal species-specific responses of ectomycorrhizal Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) to elevated [CO2].
New Phytologist 146: 163-168.

Jordi W, A Schapendonk, E Davelaar, GM Stoopen, CS Pot, R de Visser, JH van Rhijn, S Gan, RM Amasino. 2000.
Increased cytokinin levels in transgenic P SAG12 -IPT tobacco plants have large direct and indirect effects on leaf senescence, photosynthesis and N partitioning.
Plant Cell and Environment 23: 279-289.

Gorissen A, MF Cotrufo. 1999.
Elevated CO2 and nitrogen dynamics in grasses with emphasis on rhizosphere processes.
Soil Science Society of America Journal 63: 1695-1702.

Schnyder H, R de Visser. 1999.
Fluxes of reserve-derived and currently assimilated carbon and nitrogen in perennial ryegrass recovering from defoliation. The regrowing tiller and its component functionally distinct zones.
Plant Physiology 119: 1423-1435.

Van Ginkel JH, AP Whitmore, A Gorissen. 1999.
Lolium perenne grasslands may function as a sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Journal of Environmental Quality 28: 1580-1584.

Qinghua S, R de Visser. 1999.
Root respiration of hybrid rice–Activities of four O_ (2) uptake pathways and apparent P/O ratio.
Acta Agriculturae Universitatis Jiangxiensis 22: 313-316.

Van Ginkel JH, A Gorissen. 1998.
In situ decomposition of grass roots as affected by elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Soil Science Society of America Journal 62: 951-958.

Warringa JW, R de Visser, ADH Kreuzer. 1998.
Seed weight in Lolium perenne as affected by interactions among seeds within the inflorescence.
Annals of Botany 82: 835-841.

Verburg PSJ, A Gorissen, WJ Arp. 1998.
Carbon allocation and decomposition of root-derived organic matter in a plant-soil system of Calluna vulgaris as affected by elevated CO2.
Soil Biology and Biochemistry 30: 1251-1258.

Warringa JW, ADH Kreuzer, PC Struik, R de Visser. 1998.
The pattern of flowering, seed set, seed growth and ripening along the ear of Lolium perenne.
Australian Journal of Plant Physiology 25: 213-223.

Arp WJ, PJ Kuikman, A Gorissen. 1997.
Climate change: The potential to affect ecosystem functions through changes in amount and quality of litter. In: Driven by Nature: plant litter quality and decomposition. (Cadish G & Giller K, Eds), CAB International, UK. pp 187-200.

Cotrufo MF, A Gorissen. 1997.
Elevated CO2 enhances below-ground C allocation in three perennial grass species at different levels of N availability.
New Phytologist 137: 421-431.

De Visser R, H Vianden, H Schnyder. 1997.
Kinetics and relative significance of remobilized and current C and N incorporation in leaf and root growth zones of Lolium perenne after defoliation: assessment by 13C and 15N steady-state labelling.
Plant Cell and Environment 20: 37-46.

Van Ginkel JH, A Gorissen, JA van Veen. 1997.
Carbon and nitrogen allocation in Lolium perenne in response to elevated atmospheric CO2 with emphasis on soil carbon dynamics.
Plant and Soil 188: 299-308.

Gorissen A. 1996.
Elevated CO2 evokes quantitative and qualitative changes in carbon dynamics in a plant/soil system: mechanisms and implications.
Plant and Soil 187: 289-298.

Gorissen A, PJ Kuikman, JH van Ginkel, H van de Beek, AG Jansen. 1996.
ESPAS – An advanced phytotron for measuring carbon dynamics in a whole plant-soil system.
Plant and Soil 179: 81-87.

Magid J, A Gorissen, KE Giller. 1996.
In search of the elusive “active” fraction of soil organic matter: three size-density fractionation methods for tracing the fate of homogeneously 14C-labelled plant materials.
Soil Biology and Biochemistry 28: 89-99.

Van Ginkel JH, A Gorissen, JA van Veen. 1996.
Long-term decomposition of grass roots as affected by elevated CO2 concentrations.
Journal of Environmental Quality 25: 1122-1128.

Bouma TJ, R de Visser, PH van Leeuwen, MJ de Kock, H Lambers. 1995.
The respiratory energy-requirements involved in nocturnal carbohydrate export from starch-storing mature source leaves and their contribution to leaf dark respiration.
Journal of Experimental Botany 46: 1185-1194.

Gorissen A, JH van Ginkel, JJB Keurentjes, JA van Veen. 1995.
Grass root decomposition is retarded when grass has been grown under elevated CO2.
Soil Biology and Biochemistry 27: 117-120.

Gorissen A, PJ Kuikman, H van de Beek. 1995.
Carbon allocation and water use in juvenile Douglas-fir under elevated CO2.
New Phytologist 129: 275-282.

Smeulders SM, A Gorissen, NN Joosten, JA van Veen. 1995.
Effects of short-term ozone exposure on the carbon economy of mature and juvenile Douglas-firs.
New Phytologist 129: 45-53.

Bouma TJ, R de Visser, JHJA Janssen, MJ de Kock, PH van Leeuwen, H Lambers H. 1994.
Respiratory energy-requirements and rate of protein-turnover in-vivo determined by the use of an inhibitor of protein synthesis and a probe to assess its effect.
Physiologia Plantarum 92: 585-594.

Gorissen A, NN Joosten, SLGE Burgers. 1994.
Ammonium deposition and the mycoflora in the rhizosphere of Douglas-fir.
Soil Biology and Biochemistry 26: 1011-1022.

Gorissen A, NN Joosten, SM Smeulders, JA van Veen JA. 1994.
Effects of short-term ozone exposure on the carbon economy of juvenile Douglas-fir.
Tree Physiology 14: 647-657.

Ammerlaan FHM, AJC de Visser. 1993.
Effects of CO2 enrichment on photosynthesis and carbohydrate utilisation: consequences for regrowth of Lolium perenne. In: Climate Change; Crops and Terrestrial Ecosystems (Van de Geijn SC, Goudriaan J & Berendse F, eds),. Agrobiological Themes 9. CABO-DLO. Wageningen. pp. 1-22. ISBN 90 73384 176.

Bouma TJ, R de Visser. 1993.
Energy-requirements for maintenance of ion concentrations in roots.
Physiologia Plantarum 89: 133-142.

Gorissen A, AE Jansen, AFM Olsthoorn. 1993.
Effects of a two-year application of ammonium sulphate on growth, nutrient uptake, and rhizosphere microflora of juvenile Douglas-fir.
Plant and Soil 157: 41-50.

Bouma TJ, CJT Spitters, R de Visser. 1992.
Variation in leaf respiration rate between potato cultivars: effect of developmental stage. In: Molecular, Biochemical and Physiological Aspects of Plant Respiration (Lambers H and Van der Plas LHW, eds), SPB Acad Publishing, The Hague. pp. 512-522. ISBN 90-5103-079-7.

De Visser R, CJT Spitters, TJ Bouma. 1992.
Energy cost of protein turnover: theoretical calculation and experimental estimation from regression of respiration on protein concentration of full-grown leaves. In: Molecular, Biochemical and Physiological Aspects of Plant Respiration (Lambers H and Van der Plas LHW, eds), SPB Acad Publishing, The Hague. pp. 493-508. ISBN 90-5103-079-7.

De Visser R, R de Kock. 1991.
Variation in leaf respiration rate: Light and temperature responses of photosynthesis in four ryegrass clones differing in productivity. In: Fodder Crops Breeding: Achievements, Novel Strategies and Biotechnology (Den Nijs APM and Elgersma A, eds), Pudoc, Wageningen, pp 69-70. ISBN 90-220-1029-5.

Gorissen A, NN Joosten, AE Jansen. 1991.
Effects of ozone and ammonium sulphate on carbon partitioning to mycorrhizal roots of juvenile Douglas-fir.
New Phytologist 119: 243-250.

Gorissen A, GC Schelling, JA van Veen. 1991.
Concentration-dependent effects of ozone on translocation of assimilates in Douglas-fir.
Journal of Environmental Quality 20: 169-173.

De Visser R, HM Dekhuijzen, DR Verkerke. 1990.
Control of seed respiration and growth in Vicia faba by oxygen and temperature: no evidence for an oxygen diffusion barrier.
Plant Physiology 93: 668-672.

Gorissen A, JA van Veen. 1988.
Temporary disturbance of translocation of 14C-assimilates in Douglas-firs caused by low levels of ozone and sulfur dioxide.
Plant Physiology 88: 559-563.

Frinking HD, A Gorissen, MJ Verheul. 1987.
Dissemination of spores in a glasshouse: pattern or chaos?
International Journal on Biometeorology 31: 147-156.

De Visser R, KS Brouwer, F Posthumus. 1986.
Alternative path mediated ATP synthesis in roots of Pisum sativum upon nitrogen supply.
Plant Physiology 80: 295-300.

De Visser R. 1985.
Efficiency of respiration and energy requirements of N assimilation in roots of Pisum sativum .
Physiologia Plantarum 65: 209-218.

Hofstra RJJ, L Lanting, R de Visser. 1985.
Growth and metabolism of Urtica dioica L. as dependent on the supply of mineral nutrients.
Physiologia Plantarum 63: 13-18.

De Visser R, H Poorter. 1985.
Growth and root nodule nitrogenase activity of Pisum sativum as influenced by transpiration.
Physiologia plantarum 61: 637-642.

De Visser R, T Blacquière. 1984.
Inhibition and stimulation of root respiration in Pisum and Plantago by hydroxamate. Its consequences for the assessment of alternative path activity.
Plant Physiology 75: 813-817.

Blacquière T, R de Visser. 1984.
Capacity of cytochrome and alternative path in coupled and uncoupled root respiration of Pisum and Plantago.
Physiologia Plantarum 62: 427-432.

Lambers H, RK Szaniawski, R de Visser. 1983.
Respiration for growth, maintenance and ion uptake. An evaluation of concepts, methods, values and their significance.
Physiologia Plantarum 58: 556-563.

De Visser R, H Lambers. 1983.
Growth and the efficiency of root respiration of Pisum sativum as dependent on the source of nitrogen.
Physiologia Plantarum 58: 533-543..

Feenstra WJ, E Jacobsen, ACPM van Swaay, AJC de Visser. 1982.
Effect of nitrate on acetylene reduction in a nitrate reductase deficient mutant of pea (Pisum sativum L.).
Zeitschrift für Pflanzenphysiologie105: 471-474.

Feenstra WJ, E Jacobsen, AJC de Visser. 1981.
Isolation of a nitrate reductase deficient mutant of pea (Pisum sativum) and its use in the study of the inhibiting effect of nitrate (NO3) on nitrogen fixation. In: “Induced Mutations – A Tool in Plant Research”. Proc. Symp. IAEA/FAO, Vienna , 327-331.