Plant Adaptation

Research Focus

How do plants adapt to their environment?
We are pursuing this question at the Biocenter, since the adaptation of plants to their environment is important for their survival:
As fixed-root organisms, they cannot easily avoid stress factors. Examples of stress factors for plants might be cold, heat, or drought. Animals eating from a plant can also be a source of stress. The teams are researching plant adaptations to stress on a variety of levels: from the molecular and genetic level up to adaptations of organs and whole plants.
One research topic here is sensory abilities. For example, how do plants sense drought? Our researchers are interested in how plants receive and forward signals, whether electrically or chemically. One of the areas we are investigating is how plants control stress by means of transcription. Or how they adapt their guard cell function and their metabolism in cases of drought.
Another of our research tasks is to understand the interactions between plants and pathogenic fungi and bacteria. Here, alongside fundamental research into structure and function, there are also applications in the main focus of our research, such as optimising the absorption of plant protection products in leaves. Further information can be found on the websites of the respective working groups (in the right-hand box).