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.

Metabolic Networks

The department of Prof. Mark Stitt studies a wide set of physiological processes involved in orchestrating photosynthetic carbon metabolism, nitrogen and phosphate utilisation, growth, and storage. Systems biology will be emphasised and forward and reverse genetic tools will often be used.

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.

Max Planck Research Groups

The MPG continually supports up to three Independent Research Groups in our institute, each for a period of five to six years. Highly competitive young scientists lead these groups, which operate outside of the departmental structure of the Institute.

Infrastructure Groups and Service Units

The MPI-MP supports so called Infrastructure Groups and Service Units. The leaders of these groups provide support within their areas of expertise for other institute scientists while most of them simultaneously run their own research programmes.

Cooperative Research Groups

To tighten our links with German universities, we maintain joint projects with university research groups. Such cooperation allows an intense exchange of scientific information and expertise.

Current News

Press releases

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 ...

Jeff Schell Prize Award Ceremony 2020 under Corona Conditions

December 18, 2020

PhD student and postdoc receive the Young Scientist Award of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology endowed with 2500 Euro each

Recent Publications

Journal Article (3565)

Breitel, D., Brett, P., Alseekh, S., Fernie, A. R., Butelli, E. & Martin, C. Diverting tyrosine: Data from untargeted metabolic analysis of tomato fruit accumulating L-DOPA. Data in Brief 34, (2021).
Cárcamo-Fincheira, P., Reyes-Díaz, M., Omena-García, R. P., Vargas, J. R., Alvear, M., Florez-Sarasa, I., Rosado-Souza, L., Rengel, Z., Fernie, A. R., Nunes-Nesi, A. & Inostroza-Blancheteau, C. Metabolomic analyses of highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) cultivars revealed mechanisms of resistance to aluminum toxicity. Environmental and Experimental Botany 183, (2021).
Hertle, A. P., Haberl, B. & Bock, R. Horizontal genome transfer by cell-to-cell travel of whole organelles. Science Advances 7, (2021).
Liu, J., Fernie, A. R. & Yan, J. Crop breeding – From experience-based selection to precision design. Journal of Plant Physiology 256, (2021).

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 University of Potsdam where most of our doctoral students are enrolled during their doctoral studies. The doctoral thesis is submitted and defended at the University, which also confers the doctoral degree.

Job Offers

PhD Positions in Plant Science

December 22, 2020

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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