Scientific Profile

As a discipline, molecular biology is undergoing a change in paradigm from vertical analysis of single genes to horizontal, simultaneous analysis of many or even all of the genes (and gene products) of an organism. Our mission is to study the dynamics of plant metabolism in the context of the plant system as a whole.

Since this system is more than a collection of genes and gene products, we focus our efforts on understanding how the individual components dynamically interact over time and under different conditions. By combining traditional biological approaches with techniques relevant to functional genomics, we are forming a holistic view of the structure, function, dynamics, and regulation of entire plant genomes, proteomes, and metabolomes.

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. [see all research groups in the department]
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. [see all research groups in the department]
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. [see all research groups in the department]
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. [see all research groups in the department]
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. [see all research groups in the department]
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. [see all research groups in the department]
The websites of former research group leader are transfered to this site. The group leaders have moved on to jobs in industry or to universities in Germany and abroad. [see all research groups in the department]
The Max Planck Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology hosts weekly seminars with guest speakers from all over the world.

Seminars usually take place wednesdays between 2 pm and 3.30 pm in the seminar room (1.052 and 1.053) in the central building, but exceptions prove the rule. All times, dates and topics can be found here. [see all research groups in the department]
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