CEPLAS – Cluster of Excellence on Plant Sciences

from complex traits towards synthetic modules

Arable land, water and nutrients become scarce, while the climate is changing and the world’s population is further increasing. To ensure a sustainable supply with plant-based raw materials, innovative strategies for crop improvement are required.

The Cluster’s mission is to decode different complex plant traits, which have an important impact on growth, yield and the use of resources. By understanding the molecular and genetic basis of these plant traits we aim to create the basis for a future sustainable cultivation of food, feed and energy crops.

In addition, CEPLAS has established first-class training and study programmes for students, doctoral and postdoctoral researchers to train the future generation of plant scientists and bioinformaticians. 


Scientists involved in the cluster CEPLAS are well-known experts in their respective fields and often have long-standing professional experience. Many are also members in the National Academies of Sciences of Germany, UK and USA, working independently of economic or political interests on scientific topics of social impact and put their results up for public and political discussion and advise stakeholders and politicians.


  • Sustainable Crop Plants
  • Bioeconomy
  • Synthetic Biology
  • Green and White Biotechnology
  • Plant Growth
  • Plant Nutrition
  • Plant Health
  • Microbial Communities in Plants
  • Technology Transfer
  • Higher Education in Natural Sciences 


Dr. Céline Hönl
CEPLAS Céline Hönl


 +49 211 81-11996

Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf

Universitätsstraße 1

Building: 25.43, Level 01   Room: 38

40225 Düsseldorf

Annual Report 2017

Heinrich Heine University
University of Cologne
Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research
Forschungszentrum Jülich