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

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
Some of the world’s most influential plant science happens in Potsdam

Some of the world’s most influential plant science happens in Potsdam

November 23, 2022
Scientists at the Max-Planck-Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology rank among the world’s most cited researchers in 2022

Recent Research Highlights

Journal Article (70)

Mutwil, M. & Fernie, A. R. Ancestral Genome Reconstruction for Studies of the Green Lineage. Molecular Plant (2023). doi:10.1016/j.molp.2023.03.003
Yang, L., Zhou, Y., Wang, S., Xu, Y., Ostendorp, S., Tomkins, M., Kehr, J., Morris, R. J. & Kragler, F. Non-cell-autonomous HSC70.1 chaperone displays homeostatic feed-back regulation by binding its own mRNA. New Phytologist 237, 2404–2421 (2023).
Avidan, O., Moraes, T. A., Mengin, V., Feil, R., Rolland, F., Stitt, M. & Lunn, J. E. In vivo protein kinase activity of SnRK1 fluctuates in Arabidopsis rosettes during light-dark cycles. Plant Physiology (2023). doi:10.1093/plphys/kiad066
Liu, Y., Nour-Eldin, H. H., Zhang, L., Li, Z., Fernie, A. R. & Ren, M. Biotechnological detoxification: an unchanging source–sink balance strategy for crop improvement. Trends in Plant Science 28, 135–138 (2023).
Xu, W., Sato, H., Bente, H., Santos-González, J. & Köhler, C. Endosperm cellularization failure induces a dehydration stress response leading to embryo arrest. The Plant Cell 35, 874–888 (2023).


No events


A Bioeconomy: What is it and why should I care?

Mar 29, 2023 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM (Local Time Germany)
Central Building, Room: Lecture Hall

Dissecting the impact of genetic interactions on crop productivity

Apr 5, 2023 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM (Local Time Germany)
MPI-MP, 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.

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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