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

Cutting-edge research in plant sciences

Cutting-edge research in plant sciences

November 17, 2023
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam Science Park are among the most cited scientists in the world!
mersitem with and without RDR1

The last stand - Plant stem cells put up a fight against viruses

October 17, 2023
Viruses are a threat to all organisms, including plants. A small group of plant stem cells, however, successfully defends itself from infection. 
New research groups at MPI-MP aim to unravel how plants defend themselves against viral infections.

New research groups at MPI-MP aim to unravel how plants defend themselves against viral infections.

August 03, 2023
With two new research groups "Viral Replication and Plant Tolerance" and "Plant Germline Antiviral Immunity", the institute expands its field of research towards plant interactions with viruses.

Recent Research Highlights

Journal Article (84)

Aarabi, F., Ghigi, A., Wijesingha Ahchige, M., Bulut, M., Geigenberger, P., Neuhaus, H. E., Sampathkumar, A., Alseekh, S. & Fernie, A. R. Genome-Wide Association Study unveils ascorbate regulation by PAS/LOV PROTEIN during high light acclimation. Plant Physiology 193, 2037–2054 (2023).
Keller, J.-M., Frieboes, M. J., Jödecke, L., Kappel, S., Wulff, N., Rindfleisch, T., Sandoval-Ibanez, O., Gerlach, I., Thiele, W., Bock, R., Eirich, J., Finkemeier, I., Schünemann, D., Zoschke, R., Schöttler, M. A. & Armbruster, U. Eukaryote-specific assembly factor DEAP2 mediates an early step of photosystem II assembly in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiology 193, 1970–1986 (2023).
von Bismarck, T., Wendering, P., de Souza, L. P., Ruß, J., Strandberg, L., Heyneke, E., Walker, B. J., Schöttler, M. A., Fernie, A. R., Nikoloski, Z. & Armbruster, U. Growth in fluctuating light buffers plants against photorespiratory perturbations. Nature Communications 14, (2023).
Chung, K. P., Loiacono, F. V., Neupert, J., Wu, M. & Bock, R. An RNA thermometer in the chloroplast genome of Chlamydomonas facilitates temperature-controlled gene expression. Nucleic Acids Research 51, 11386–11400 (2023).
Fernie, A. R. & Zhang, Y. J. Observations and implication of thermal tolerance in the Arabidopsis proteome. Cell Systems 14, 819–821 (2023).


No events


Mobilization of endogenous transposable elements in plants for basic and applied research

Dec 13, 2023 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM (Local Time Germany)
Central Building, Room: Lecture Hall

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

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

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