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

Dipetides to the rescue

June 22, 2021

A team of scientists led by Dr. Aleksandra Skirycz, until recently a group leader at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, now a professor at the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) in the USA, has investigated and described in a recent ...

Sun light heats up plant evolution

June 10, 2021

How do different species actually develop? So far, we know that in many living organisms there is an incompatibility between the actual genetic material in the cell nucleus and the genetic material of the individual cell organelles, the powerhouse of ...

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 ...

Recent Research Highlights

Journal Article (14)

Altman, A., Fan, L. J., Foyer, C., Cowling, W., Mittler, R., Qaim, M., Weber, A. P. M., Reynolds, M., Varshney, R. K. & Fernie, A. R. Past and Future Milestones of Plant Breeding. Trends in Plant Science 26, 530–538 (2021).
Eng, R. C., Schneider, R., Matz, T., Carter, R., Ehrhardt, D. W., Jönsson, H., Nikoloski, Z. & Sampathkumar, A. KATANIN and CLASP function at different spatial scales to mediate microtubule response to mechanical stress in Arabidopsis cotyledons. Current Biology (2021). doi:10.1016/j.cub.2021.05.019
Zupok, A., Kozul, D., Schöttler, M. A., Niehörster, J., Garbsch, F., Liere, K., Fischer, A., Zoschke, R., Malinova, I., Bock, R. & Greiner, S. A photosynthesis operon in the chloroplast genome drives speciation in evening primroses. The Plant Cell (2021). doi:10.1093/plcell/koab155
de Souza, L. P., Alseekh, S., Scossa, F. & Fernie, A. R. Ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography high-resolution mass spectrometry variants for metabolomics research. Nature Methods (2021). doi:10.1038/s41592-021-01116-4
Wang, Z., Butel, N., Santos-González, J., Simon, L., Wärdig, C. & Köhler, C. Transgenerational effect of mutants in the RNA-directed DNA methylation pathway on the triploid block in Arabidopsis. Genome Biology 22, (2021).

Wissensstadt Berlin 2021 - Science Slam

Jul 2, 2021 18:30 - 21:00
Platz vor dem Roten Rathaus, 10178 Berlin-Mitte

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

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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