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

The synaptonemal complex limits meiotic crossover and  imposes crossover interference

March 15, 2021
A team in the department of Chromosome Biology at MPIPZ in collaboration with INRAE of Versailles France, explored the function of the synaptonemal complex.

MICRORNA genes that promote flowering of Arabidopsis

February 05, 2021
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne have shown how individual members of the MIR172 gene family promote flowering.

Plant homeodomain proteins promote synthesis of the hormone auxin to help leaves grow wide

December 21, 2020
Recent findings presented by Dr. Zhongjuan Zhang, Dr. Miltos Tsiantis and their colleagues offer important advances in our understanding of morphological diversity using plant leaves as an example

A plant immune receptor: it takes four to tango

December 03, 2020
A collaborative study on a plant intracellular immune receptor from researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research (MPIPZ) also reveals some common operational principles with immunity proteins from humans.


Corona pandemic

Due to the rapid spread of coronavirus infections in many countries, including Germany, the management of MPIPZ has decided to implement emergency operations to limit the probability of infection and to protect its employees. The research activities and services will be maintained for the time being. Seminars are held online via video conferencing.

We will keep you informed about further developments.


Due to the corona pandemic seminars scheduled for November and December have been cancelled and internal meetings are held online via video conferencing.



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.

Postdoc Program

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

Diversity & equal opportunities at the MPIPZ

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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