Scientific Departments

Plant Developmental Biology
George Coupland

The primary scientific goal of the Department of Plant Developmental Biology is to study molecular mechanisms that regulate the responsiveness of plant development to environmental cues.

Chromosome Biology
Raphael Mercier

The department of Chromosome Biology at MPIPZ uses cutting-edge technologies in microscopy, genetics and genomics to explore the mechanisms and consequences of meiosis from multiple perspectives.

Plant-Microbe Interactions
Paul Schulze-Lefert

Research in the Department of Plant Microbe Interactions engages in fundamental molecular processes underlying interactions between plants and pathogenic or beneficial microorganisms.

Comparative Development and Genetics
Miltos Tsiantis

The department Comparative Development and Genetics seeks to address two fundamental questions in biology: how do biological forms develop and what is the basis for their diversity?

Press Releases

Speeding up evolution at genome-level by alternative chromosome configuration 
A research team led by André Marques at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne, Germany, has uncovered the profound effects of an atypical mode of chromosome arrangement on genome organization and evolution. Their findings are published in the journal Cell.

Molecules boosting plant immunity identified 
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne, Germany in collaboration with colleagues in China have discovered natural cellular molecules that drive critical plant immune responses.

A stiff polymer called lignin (stained red) is deposited in a precise pattern in the cell walls of exploding seed pods. Researchers identified three laccase enzymes required to form this lignin. No lignin forms in the cell wall when all three genes are knocked out by CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing
Researchers identify the genes controlling the mechanical structure of exploding seed pods

Function follows form in plant immunity 
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research (MPIPZ) and the University of Cologne have discovered a novel biochemical mechanism explaining how immune proteins defend plants against invading microorganisms.


Pint of science went live again!
From May 4th to 6th, students and supervisors of…

Events & Seminars


Jul 6, 2022 - Aug 14, 2022

Alisandra Denton: Annotating Eukaryotic genomes with Deep Learning

Aug 15, 2022 11:15 AM - 12:15 PM (Local Time Germany)
Max Planck Instititute for Plant Breeding Research, Room: Lecture hall

Kelsey Byers: The chemical ecology of plant-pollinator interactions

Aug 31, 2022 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM (Local Time Germany)


Together with our University partners in Cologne and Düsseldorf we train about 90 mostly international doctoral students and are inviting talented young researchers to apply for individual open positions and to our structured IMPRS programme.

Since 2019, all MPIPZ postdocs take part of a Career Development Program. This program aims to support them success in their careers.

All measures to promote equal opportunities at our Institute focus on the reconciliation of work and family, on career development of young researchers and on preventing gender-related discrimination.
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