The research within Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Lothar Willmitzer's department, including seven research groups, is focused on metabolism in its broadest sense, primarily using reverse genetics to alter plants and functional genomic approaches to analyse the pleiotropic effects of these alterations.

Research groups

Amino Acid and Sulfur Metabolism (Dr. Rainer Hoefgen)
Applied Metabolome Analysis (Dr. Joachim Kopka)
Central Metabolism (Dr. Alisdair Fernie)
Small-Molecule Signalling (Dr. Aleksandra Skirycz)
Stress Control Networks (Dr. Salma Balazadeh)
Metabolic regulation of Plant Growth (Dr. Camila Caldana)
The Genetics of Crop Metabolism (Dr. Saleh Alseekh)

The department of Prof. Dr. Claudia Köhler with four different research groups studies genetic and epigenetic processes regulating flowering plant reproduction and their impact on plant speciation. The main focus is to understand processes regulating seed formation, seed growth and the establishment of hybridization barriers.

Research groups

Epigenetic Mechanisms of Plant Reproduction (Prof. Dr. Claudia Köhler)
Seed Development and Apomixis (Dr. Duarte Figueiredo)
Intercellular Macromolecular Transport (Dr. Fritz Kragler)
Metabolism and Development (Dr. Vanessa Wahl)

Research of six research groups in the Department of Professor Dr. Ralph Bock focuses on the biology of the two DNA-containing cell organelles in plants, plastids (chloroplasts) and mitochondria, and their integration with the nucleocytosolic compartment.

Research groups

Organelle Biology and Biotechnology (Prof. Dr. Ralph Bock)
Algal Biomineralization (Dr. André Scheffel)
Cytoplasmic and Evolutionary Genetics (Dr. Stephan Greiner)
Biophysics and Photosynthesis Research (Dr. Mark Aurel Schöttler)
Regulation of Photosynthesis (Dr. Ute Armbruster)
Translational Regulation in Plants (Dr. Reimo Zoschke)

Department-Independent Research Groups

Current News

Leopoldina: Focus on genetic engineering

Gene technology - Focus on new genomic techniques 

The molecular memory of plants

July 26, 2021
Heat stress procures the capacity for remembering in plant cells

Dipetides to the rescue

June 22, 2021
How small molecules help plants cope with stress

Recent Research Highlights

Journal Article (26)

Curtin, S., Qi, Y., Peres, L. E. P., Fernie, A. R. & Zsögön, A. Pathways to de novo domestication of crop wild relatives. Plant Physiology (2021). doi:10.1093/plphys/kiab554
Zhu, F., Alseekh, S., Wen, W., Cheng, Y. & Fernie, A. R. Genome-wide association studies of Arabidopsis dark-induced senescence reveals signatures of autophagy in metabolic reprogramming. Autophagy (2021). doi:10.1080/15548627.2021.2003041
Dong, S., Tarkowska, D., Sedaghatmehr, M., Welsch, M., Gupta, S., Mueller-Roeber, B. & Balazadeh, S. The HB40-JUB1 transcriptional regulatory network controls gibberellin homeostasis in Arabidopsis. Molecular Plant (2021). doi:10.1016/j.molp.2021.10.007
Fernie, A. R. & Alseekh, S. Unravelling the molecular networks that regulate kiwifruit flavor. New Phytologist (2021). doi:10.1111/nph.17740
Zhu, F., Alseekh, S., Koper, K., Tong, H., Nikoloski, Z., Naake, T., Liu, H., Yan, J., Brotman, Y., Wen, W., Maeda, H., Cheng, Y. & Fernie, A. R. Genome-wide association of the metabolic shifts underpinning dark-induced senescence in Arabidopsis. The Plant Cell (2021). doi:10.1093/plcell/koab251


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How to join MPI-MP

University graduates who are interested in modern plant research can work on their doctorate at our institute. Our doctoral programme is open to students from all countries. The doctoral research is done under the guidance of our directors, group leaders and senior scientists. We work closely with the Faculty of Science at the University of Potsdam where most of our doctoral researchers are registered and enrolled during their doctorate. The doctoral thesis is submitted and defended at the University, which also confers the doctoral degree.

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