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First speaker of "Young GPZ"

(29.02.2024) I am delighted to have been selected as the first speaker of 'Young GPZ' during the recent conference of the 'Gesellschaft für Pflanzenzüchtung (GPZ)' hosted by Geisenheim University. As an early career researcher passionate about my research, I am incredibly proud to have been chosen for such a role to actively represent early career researchers in plant breeding research! I want to thank to all the organizers of this amazing conference and the entire GPZ community. I am looking forward to connecting and collaborating as part of the new generation of plant breeders in Germany!

Kick-off outdoor season 2024

(29.02.2024) Ready for the 2024 outdoor research season. Over 1,200 seedlings had to be labeled, sorted and transplanted. A real team effort. Thanks to careful preparation, almost the entire team helped to plant all the seedlings in the experimental field in the Botanic Garden of the Heinrich Heine University. As part of the DFG-funded TRR341 project, wall barley (Hordeum murinum) was collected throughout Europe in 2023 and will now be trialled in a common garden experiment to test for genetic differences in adaptive traits. We are now looking forward to the field season and thank all helpers for their support.

Congrats for your PhD Gesa!

(07.02.2024)  Congratulations to Gesa Helmsorig! On February 07th 2024, she successfully defended her PhD. 

Congrats for your PhD Tianyu!

(12.12.2023)  Congratulations to Tianyu Lan! On February 12.12.2023, she successfully defended her PhD. 

CEPLAS - Doors open with the “WDR Maus”

(04.10.2023)  On 03.10.2023, the public TV and radio station WDR gave around 60 interested children and young people aged 8 - 14 a little insight into the world of plant genetics and microscopy. Within the action day "Türen auf mit der Maus" ("Open Doors with the Mouse") small groups of young researchers were able to independently extract and visualize DNA from tomatoes using a protocol. A big thank you to all helpers for a great experience and a successful "Mouse Day".

New research open space

(25.09.2023)  Since spring 2023, lots of work has been carried through in HHU’s Botanical Garden. A new research open space was created. Amongst others, plants from current research projects of the Institute of Plant Genetics are located here. In cooperation with the team of the Botanical Garden, the open space was planned and designed by Dr. Christian Wever, the plant cultivation manager of the WE Biology. It is well worth a visit in spring and summer when the area is filled with plant pots.

Team outing 2023

(29.08.2023)  On Tuesday, August 29, 2023, this year's team outing of the Institute of Plant Genetics took place. The weather was perfect for a hiking tour, starting in Düsseldorf Gerresheim. From there we followed our route into the Rotthäuser Bachtal. Almost 10 kilometers up and down through lush green. Hordeum Murinum was not on the collecting card this year. After almost 2 hours we returned to the starting point, where we had refreshments at an Italian restaurant. Overall, it was a successful team event, where you could exchange ideas and get to know new team members better.

WDR at the Institut of Plant Genetics

(20.03.2023)  A team from the children's and youth television program "Neuneinhalb" visited us at the Institute of Plant Genetics to look into a particularly pressing issue: water scarcity. In the new episode, the complex background and solution methods are presented in a way that is accessible to everyone.

Our feature, presented by our research associate Agatha Walla, shows how we make plants more resistant to drought with the help of plant research and that drought resistant plants are a solution to reduced water supply. The children's program aims to raise awareness of the issue of water scarcity and give children and young people the opportunity to actively engage with solutions.

The episode on the topic of water scarcity in the children's program Neuneinhalb was broadcast on Saturday, March 18th 2023, at 8:50 on the ARD channel. We look forward to inspiring numerous young viewers and giving them valuable insights into our research. The broadcast can also be found in the ARD Mediathek and on Youtube

"Green Modernism. The New View of Plants"

(25.10.2022)  The fact that plants have always fascinated not only botanists is demonstrated at the present exhibition "Green Modernism. The New View of Plants" at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne. As part of an exhibition collaboration with CEPLAS, our research associate Agatha Walla made herself available to all interested museum visitors for questions and discussions on 23.10.2022. The sustainable exhibition will take place until 22.01.2023 and shows the role of plants in art and botany.

Internship at the Institute of Plant Genetics

(20.10.2022)  From October 01 until November 29, 2022, Aziza Zerrouk, PhD student at the Aula Dei Experimental Station (EEAD - CSIC), Zaragoza, Spain, will do an internship at the Institute of Plant Genetics. This exchange can take place as part of the I-LINK+ project. Aziza works at EEAD - CSIC Zaragoza at the Institute of Genetics and Plant Production under the direction of Ernesto Igartua and Ana Casas. She has a Master in Plant Breeding and is an Agricultural Engineer. Her current research project focuses on the exploration of adaptation mechanisms in Barley grown under Mediterranean climates in the relation to timing and efficiency of flowering. We welcome Aziza and wish her every success in her internship!

Poster Award on the GPZ Main Conference

(19.10.2022) On the occasion of this year’s GPZ Main Conference at the Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, the Gregor Mendel Foundation awarded a special Gregor Mendel prize for successful scientific poster presentations on the evening of September 13, 2022. Out of more than 85 scientific posters, Ilyse Putz, PhD student at the Plantgen Institute was awarded the first place prize. We congratulate Ilyse on this success.

GPZ Main Conference 2022

German Plant Breeding Conference: “Breeding plants for tomorrow´s world – challenges and solutions” was held from 12.09. to 14.09.2022 at the Heinrich

The GPZ main main bi-annual conference “Breeding plants for tomorrow’s world – challenges and solutions” was organized by the Institute of Plant Genetics at the Heinrich Heine University together with the Julius Kühn Institute, Quedlinburg.  More than 200 participants presented and discussed novel ideas, approaches and results for breeding sustainable and climate-proof crops. The scientific program was structured into three main topics, “Transfer of new traits into crops, “New crops-new breeding goals (orphan crops), “New approaches to access complex genomes of crops and crop wild relatives”. The titles and speakers of the 33 presentations are available here.

This conference highlighted the great potential of novel sequencing and genome engineering technologies for accessing natural genetic diversity and for improving crops, orphan crops and for de novo domestication of wild species. The meeting also showcased how scientific progress can benefit farmers and can promote the sustainable production of a range of different products. After a long time of online meetings, this conference provided a platform for personal interactions between scientists and plant breeders and a chance for early career scientists to present their work to a broad and interested audience.

You will find the GPZ e. V. homepage here.

Soapbox Science Bonn

(16.08.2022)  On 08.06.2022 PhD student Kumsal Ecem Colpan took part in a Soapbox Science event in the city center of Bonn. Kumsal explained to interested passers-by the impact global warming has on our beer. This event was co-organized by CEPLAS. The presentation of this CEPLAS event can be found here.

Plants of the future

(02.08.2022)  On 02.08.2022, the Rheinische Post published an article about student projects in the botanical garden of the Heinrich-Heine-University in Düsseldorf. Projects of the Institut of Plant Genetics are also realized here. You will find the full article here.

Poster Award on IBGS Riga

(01.08.2022)  On July 8th, 2022, PhD student Kumsal Ecem Colpan received a Poster Award. She was awarded in the category "Best presentation in the Flash & Dash session" at the International Barley Genetics Symposium that took place in Riga from 03.07.2022 - 08.07.2022. Congratulations to Kumsal for this success!


New student helper

(01.08.2022) Starting from 1st August, 2022, we welcome Ebrahem Ghmired as a student helper at the Institute of Plant Genetics. Ebrahem comes from Syria and is in his 5th semester, studying biology at HHU. He supports the doctoral students in their projects with plant care and data collection.


New special research funding

(20.06.2022)  With the approved DFG top research funding, the HHU receives a new collaborative research center in plant research, the SFB/TRR 341 "Plant Ecological Genetics".

New student helpers

(07.04.2022) Starting from 15th April, 2022, we welcome Eric Wachtel as resarch assistant at the Institute for Plant Genetics. Eric comes from Germany, studied biochemistry at the HHU and has experience with protein analysis and bioassay development, as well as their implementation in high-throughout screenings. He supports the doctoral students in their projects with plant care and data collection.




Also starting from April 15h, 2022, we welcome Marlene Groth as student helper. Marlene is from Germany and has been studying biology since 2020. During her studies she developed a special interest in plant research. She pays particular attention to the genetic and developmental process that affects the stress tolerance of crops.

New DFG-funded project

(01.03.2022)  On March 1st, 2022, the DFG-funded research project "Stem cell systems in cereals" (CSCS) will start. In this research project, Thirulogachandar Venkatasubbu is responsible as postdoc for the analysis of gene networks controlling barley meristems. He also organizes and directs the generation of transgenic barley plants.

Head of Institute

Prof. Dr. Maria von Korff Schmising
Building: 22.07
Floor/Room: 01.044
40225 Düsseldorf
+49 211 81-13350


Bettina Biermann
Building: 22.07
Floor/Room: 01.043
+49 211 81-13351

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