Discover Plant Sciences

Plants are an important basis for human life: they are an inherent part of our diet, they serve as feed and we use them for the production of energy, as raw material or also as valuable ingredients in medical products. But 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 also for next generations, innovative strategies are needed to increase yield and quality of crops  that have at the same time minimal impact on resources and environment.

The Cluster of Excellence CEPLAS therefore investigates how plants adapt to changing environmental conditions, how they are able to colonize almost every habitat on earth, and how these findings can be used for agriculture. The plant genome is the key to understanding this adaptability. Genes control plant growth and the conversion of light energy into chemical energy during photosynthesis. Furthermore, microorganisms such as fungi and bacteria also play an important role because they can influence plant growth both positively and negatively. Therefore, it is important to understand as many factors as possible that are involved in the plant's adaption to changing conditions. Thus, we aim to contribute to one of the grand global challenges: ensuring food security and a sustainable supply with plant-based raw materials.

Public Outreach

CEPLAS focusses on sharing our motivation, research approaches and results as well as the methods we use with the public. Thus we want to contribute to an evidence-based opinion-forming and decision-making process.

Within the last years, we established various formats to inform the public and relevant stakeholders:


Moreover, CEPLAS has established a competence field on „Food Security“ where topic-related aspects and questions will be approached in an interdisciplinary manner. 


Our Image Movies





Check our this lovely comic about metabolite hunting

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