IMPRS Primary Metabolism and Plant Growth

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. The IMPRS-PMPG programme has been running since 2007. We are accepting talented graduate students into the programme at regular intervals. For more information, read on and explore the links on the left hand side.

Research Focus
Plant growth, seen from a physiological point of view as resource (carbon, nutrients) acquisition and its conversion into plant biomass, is the main focus of the IMPRS-PMPG. The research projects of our doctoral students aim to elucidate plant growth and biomass acquisition from this physiological point of view with primary metabolism as a starting point.

Multicellular organisms adjust their growth and development in response to a multitude of endogenous and exogenous cues including nutrient and water availability, activities of bioenergetics pathways, light and temperature. In order to thrive, they must optimize the use of available resources, balancing their needs for energy, biosynthetic building blocks, and reserves. Whereas animals satisfy their demand of organic nutrients by feeding on plants or other animals, green plants produce all of their own organic compounds. A plant's ability to grow thus depends entirely on its own photosynthetic and metabolic capacity.

The rate of growth and development has to be adjusted to the metabolic status of a plant. To achieve this, the metabolic status needs to be translated into an appropriate response. Thus, growth and primary metabolism are highly interconnected via multiple cross-acting regulatory mechanisms and controls.

To study the relationship between primary metabolism and growth, we are following a systems-oriented approach, using Arabidopsis thaliana and other model plants. Our research combines cutting-edge analytical techniques, molecular phenotyping (-omics) technologies and physiology with bioinformatics and modelling approaches.