International Max Planck Research School IMPRS ‘Primary Metabolism and Plant Growth’

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About the employer

The IMPRS 'Primary Metabolism and Plant Growth' (IMPRS-PMPG) is a joint initiative of the University of Potsdam and the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, located in Potsdam near Berlin, Germany. The doctoral program was established in 2007. We are accepting talented graduate students into the IMPRS-PMPG at regular intervals. Our graduate students conduct their research projects under the supervision of our faculty members.

Research Focus

Research in modern plant science is at the core of the IMPRS. Plants and their seeds, for example rice, wheat, maize and pulses, are vital for human nutrition. Understanding the fundamental processes of how plants grow, reproduce and interact with the environment is of great scientific interest and, ultimately, has societal and economic implications. 

We conduct curiosity-driven, basic research centering around the following questions:

  • How do primary physiological processes such as photosynthesis, central metabolism and respiration function, and how are their activities regulated?
  • How do plants form their organs, tissues, cells and sub-cellular structures, and how is the formation of different organs and structures coordinated?
  • How is epigenetic information established and transmitted and how do epigenetic processes impact on plant development?
  • How do exogenous, environmental factors such as light, temperature, and availability of water and nutrients influence plant physiology and development?
  • How are exogenous and endogenous signals perceived, and how is information transmitted and integrated to ensure plant survival, biomass acquisition and seed formation?
  • How can we manage, analyse and integrate complex, large-scale genomic, epigenomic, transcriptomic, translatomic, proteomic and metabolomic datasets to answer biological questions and generate new hypotheses?

To answer these questions, we use an interdisciplinary approach combining molecular biology, genetics, genomics, epigenomics, metabolomics, biochemistry, biophysics and microscopy with bioinformatics and modelling. We work with Arabidopsis thaliana, tobacco, tomato and other model plants, and make use of genetic diversity by studying natural accessions, closely related species, and introgression populations. 

Website of the IMPRS: https://www.mpimp-golm.mpg.de/IMPRS-PhD

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