Molecular Physiology

The research within Prof. Lothar Willmitzer's department 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.

Plant Reproductive Biology and Epigenetics

The department of Prof. Claudia Köhler 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.

Organelle Biology, Biotechnology and Molecular Ecophysiology

Prof. Ralph Bock and his department focus on plant cell organelles (plastids and mitochondria), their physiology and gene expression as well as their metabolic and genetic interactions with the nucleo-cytosolic compartment.

Current News

Press releases

How plants stabilize their water pipes

January 28, 2021

Plants, especially trees, are by far the tallest organisms on Earth. Height growth is made possible by a specialized vascular system that conducts water from the roots to the leaves with high efficiency, while simultaneously providing stability. The ...

Getting shapes into numbers

January 19, 2021

In nature, many things have evolved that differ in size, color and, above all, in shape. While the color or size of an object can be easily described, the description of a shape is more complicated. In a study now published in Nature Communications ...

Chloroplasts on the move

January 09, 2021

The genetic material of plants, animals and humans is well protected in the nucleus of each cell and stores all the information that forms an organism. For example, information about the size or color of flowers, hair or fur is predefined here. In ...

Recent Research Highlights

Journal Article (11)

Maeda, H. A. & Fernie, A. R. Evolutionary History of Plant Metabolism. Annu. Rev. Plant Biol. 72, (2021).
Fernie, A. R. Associating primary and specialized metabolism with salt induced osmotic stress tolerance in maize. New Phytologist (2021). doi:10.1111/nph.17363
Zhang, Y. J., Giese, J., Kerbler, S. M.-L., Siemiatkowska, B., de Souza, L. P., Alpers, J., Medeiros, D. B., Hincha, D. K., Daloso, D. M., Stitt, M., Finkemeier, I. & Fernie, A. R. Two mitochondrial phosphatases, PP2c63 and Sal2, are required for posttranslational regulation of the TCA cycle in Arabidopsis. Molecular Plant (2021). doi:10.1016/j.molp.2021.03.023
Wu, G. & Bock, R. GUN control in retrograde signaling: How GENOMES UNCOUPLED proteins adjust nuclear gene expression to plastid biogenesis. The Plant Cell (2021). doi:10.1093/plcell/koaa048
Scossa, F. & Fernie, A. R. When a Crop Goes Back to the Wild: Feralization. Trends in Plant Science (2021). doi:10.1016/j.tplants.2021.02.002

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

No Vacancies

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

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

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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