Root Biology and Symbiosis
Prof. Dr. Caroline Gutjahr's department studies the symbiosis between soil fungi and plant roots. This symbiosis is called mycorrhiza and is of great importance for the growth and health of plants.

Research groups

Mycorrhiza and Root Biology (Prof. Dr. Caroline Gutjahr)
Amino Acid and Sulfur Metabolism (Dr. Rainer Hoefgen)
Central Metabolism
(Dr. Alisdair Fernie)

Metabolic regulation of Plant Growth
(Dr. Camila Caldana)

The Genetics of Crop Metabolism (Dr. Saleh Alseekh)
Plant Reproductive Biology and Epigenetics
The department of Prof. Dr. Claudia Köhler with three 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)
Organelle Biology, Biotechnology and Molecular Ecophysiology
Research of four 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)
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

New research groups at MPI-MP aim to unravel how plants defend themselves against viral infections.

New research groups at MPI-MP aim to unravel how plants defend themselves against viral infections.

August 03, 2023
With two new research groups "Viral Replication and Plant Tolerance" and "Plant Germline Antiviral Immunity", the institute expands its field of research towards plant interactions with viruses.
1 billion years of abstinence

1 billion years of abstinence

January 16, 2023
Chloroplasts led us to believe for decades that they lived sexually abstemious, but now we can't be so sure anymore.
Breakthrough in plant breeding

Breakthrough in plant breeding

January 03, 2023
Grafting and mobile CRISPR for genome editing in plants

Recent Research Highlights

Journal Article (78)

Aarabi, F. & Fernie, A. R. Elucidating the role of ascorbate in light signaling. Trends in Plant Science 28, 978–980 (2023).
Köhler, C. & Butel, N. Plant development: How to kill the endosperm. Current Biology 33, R912–R913 (2023).
Qiu, Y., Li, Z., Walther, D. & Köhler, C. Updated phylogeny and protein structure predictions revise the hypothesis on the origin of MADS-box transcription factors in land plants. Molecular Biology and Evolution 40, (2023).
Keller, J.-M., Frieboes, M. J., Jödecke, L., Kappel, S., Wulff, N., Rindfleisch, T., Sandoval-Ibanez, O., Gerlach, I., Thiele, W., Bock, R., Eirich, J., Finkemeier, I., Schünemann, D., Zoschke, R., Schöttler, M. A. & Armbruster, U. Eukaryote-specific assembly factor DEAP2 mediates an early step of photosystem II assembly in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiology (2023). doi:10.1093/plphys/kiad446
Zhang, Y. J. & Fernie, A. R. Leveraging glycoside-targeted metabolomics to gain insight into biological function. Trends in Plant Science 28, 737–739 (2023).


No events


Differences in host resistance and susceptibility to infection modulate the rate of plant virus evolution

Oct 4, 2023 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM (Local Time Germany)
Central Building, Room: Lecture Hall

Towards understanding the role of the extreme ribosome heterogeneity of plants

Oct 11, 2023 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
Central Building, Room: Lecture Hall

Uridylation: a multitasking modification in RNA degradation

Oct 18, 2023 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM (Local Time Germany)
Central Building, Room: Seminar Room

How to join MPI-MP

IMPRS and PhD programme
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.

Job Offers

Further Information



Those who want to visit the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology and want to learn more about the research at the institute can do so in various ways. The institute takes part in a number of events every year and also organizes events itself.
Media Library

Media Library

Scientists of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology are are well-known experts in their field of study. In the movies shown here, which are either excerpts from TV shows or short individual productions, they give you an insight into their work.
Flyer and Brochures

Flyer and Brochures

On the following pages you will find various brochures of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology. You can also download the documents as PDF files.
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