Placeholder image for The Cluster of Excellence on Plant Sciences (CEPLAS)

The Cluster of Excellence on Plant Sciences (CEPLAS)

The Cluster of Excellence on Plant Sciences (CEPLAS) is a joint initiative of Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU), University of Cologne (UoC), Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research Cologne (MPIPZ) and Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ). In CEPLAS scientists are developing innovative strategies for sustainable plant production and the promotion of early career researchers.

Master's Programmes

Agriculture & Forestry (1)
Environmental Studies & Earth Sciences (1)
Natural Sciences & Mathematics (1)



CEPLAS is the only German Cluster of Excellence focusing exclusively on plant science. 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 food, feed, and plant-based raw materials, innovative strategies for crop improvement are required.CEPLAS addresses these grand challenges through world-class fundamental research on complex plant traits of agronomic relevance that impact on yield and adaption to limited resources. This knowledge is essential for designing and breeding plants that react in a predictable way to future challenges.


The interdisciplinary approach of the cluster focuses on four different research areas: 

  • Optimizing Plant Performance by Mapping the Interface between Development and Metabolism
  • Plant Microbiota Metabolic Networks and Edaphic Adaptation
  • Synthetic and Reconstruction Biology
  • Theoretical Plant Biology and Data Science
Additionally, CEPLAS has established a Plant Metabolism and Metabolomics Facility. 

Global Student Satisfaction Awards 2019

GSSA 2019

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