For the public
What are we doing?
Life is not easy. There are two ways to cope with that: run away or adapt. Basically, animals run away, plants adapt. To secure their survival, they change metabolism, development, and shape. We try to understand and to exploit this ability for adaptation. We think that we can only apply that, what we have thoroughly understood:
Single plant cells can generate the entire plant organism, in our body, only the fertilised egg can do that. How can an ordered entity be generated, and how can it be buffered against the everchanging environment? How could plants develop so many different strategies for survival?
That is, what we want to understand.
However, we not only want to understand, we also want to apply, what we have understood.:
Can we organise plant cells artificially to produce valuable medical compounds? Here, we cooperate with the Institute for Microstructure Technology
Can we use our knowledge on plant adaptability use to protect plants better against climate change through breeding or treatments?
Can we use our knowledge on plant biodiversity to find new problem solutions and to contribute to consumer safety?
The department consists of three groups that address these questions. more...