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)
Central Metabolism
(Dr. Alisdair Fernie)

Receptor structures at the plant-microbe interface (Dr. Alexander Förderer)
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 three 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)
Translational Regulation in Plants (Dr. Reimo Zoschke)

Department-Independent Research Groups

Current News

Max Planck Plant Science PhD researchers connect 

Max Planck Plant Science PhD researchers connect

June 03, 2024
PhD students from the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology (MPIMP) in Potsdam-Golm visited the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research (MPIPZ) in Cologne and connected with other young researchers in an exciting and inspiring event.
The Seed of Parental Conflict

The Seed of Parental Conflict

May 29, 2024
Scientists discover key regulators of seed development in a parental stalemate
EU funds groundbreaking research on mitochondria in Potsdam

EU funds groundbreaking research on mitochondria in Potsdam

April 12, 2024
Max Planck Institute in Potsdam receives EU funding of 2.5 million euros for groundbreaking research on plant mitochondria.

Recent Research Highlights

Journal Article (102)

Del Toro-De León, G., van Boven, J., Santos-González, J., Jiao, W.-B., Peng, H., Schneeberger, K. & Köhler, C. Epigenetic and transcriptional consequences in the endosperm of chemically induced transposon mobilization in Arabidopsis. Nucleic Acids Research (2024). doi:10.1093/nar/gkae572
Hammel, A., Cucos, L.-M., Caras, I., Ionescu, I., Tucureanu, C., Tofan, V., Costache, A., Onu, A., Hoepfner, L., Hippler, M., Neupert, J., Popescu, C.-I., Stavaru, C., Branza-Nichita, N. & Bock, R. The red alga Porphyridium as a host for molecular farming: Efficient production of immunologically active hepatitis C virus glycoprotein. PNAS 121, (2024).
Rolo, D., Schöttler, M. A., Sandoval-Ibanez, O. & Bock, R. Structure, function, and assembly of photosystem I in thylakoid membranes of vascular plants. The Plant Cell (2024). doi:10.1093/plcell/koae169
Butel, N., Qiu, Y., Xu, W., Santos-González, J. & Köhler, C. Parental conflict driven regulation of endosperm cellularization by a family of Auxin Response Factors. Nature Plants 10, 1018–1026 (2024).
Fernie, A. R. & Bulut, M. How cauliflower got its curd. Nature Genetics 56, 1042–1044 (2024).


No events


mitoTALENs to explore mitochondrial DNA segregation and repair

Jul 18, 2024 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM (Local Time Germany)
MPI-MP, Room: U.019

From molecular live imaging to the energetics of intracellular superstructures in Chlamydomonas

Aug 21, 2024 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.

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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