Department of Chromosome Biology (Raphael Mercier)
We are delighted to announce that Dr. Raphael Mercier from INRA Versaille has accepted an offer from the Max Planck President, Martin Stratmann, to develop a new Department at MPIPZ focusing on Chromosome Biology.
Raphael has made major advances in understanding the mechanistic basis of recombination and meiosis in seed plants by characterizing key components of the relevant machineries and studying their interactions. Notably, his research group identified mechanisms limiting meiotic recombination, thus opening up new possibilities for crop improvement by engineering the allelic composition of chromosomes. Together with his co-workers, he also made important steps towards engineering apomixis: the sex-independent but seed-based clonal propagation of plants. This approach, when optimized, promises to revolutionize plant breeding.
Development of the new department will start this autumn and Raphael expects to transfer his activities to Cologne on a full-time basis over the summer of 2019.