Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology

The Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology (MPI-MP) investigates metabolic and molecular processes in cells, tissues, organs and whole plants. The overall goal is to understand how growth and metabolism are regulated, to learn how they respond to environmental factors, and to unravel genetic factors that underlie these processes and responses. To achieve this, it is not only necessary to understand the functions of individual genes, but also the molecular details of individual processes like the uptake of nutrients, the structure, storage, transport and mobilisation of plant components, and the regulation of individual processes. It is also essential to learn how these different processes interact in networks, and to develop approaches that provide quantitative information and a predictive understanding of these complex networks. 

In MultiBioPro, Staffan Persson coordinated the scientific parts of the project during the first two project years. His group was also responsible for generating a whole genome co-expression network for tobacco, systems analyses for tobacco tree leaf development, and for transferring and exploiting the data gleaned in model organisms to poplar and tobacco tree.

In addition another research group led by Alisdair Fernie was responsible for metabolic profiling of lignin precursors in Nicotiana glauca. Data obtained from this study was used to deepen the understanding of the interplay between primary metabolism, phenylpropanoid intermediates and structurally important lignin components. The biological function of novel phenylpropanoids and their application were additionally assessed. Fernie coordinated the MultiBioPro project during the second half of its duration.


Photo of  Alisdair Fernie Alisdair Fernie