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 addresses these grand challenges through world-class fundamental research on complex plant traits of agronomic relevance that impact on yield and adaptation to limited resources. Hence this knowledge is essential for designing and breeding plants that react in a predictable way to future challenges (SMART plants).

Master's Programmes



Plants enable life on Earth through the conversion of solar energy into chemical energy. Beginning with the Neolithic Revolution, the domestication of plants provided the basis for human population growth and, subsequently, the evolution of highly developed civilizations. However, the growing food demands imposed by an increasing population and the effects of anthropogenic climate change pose huge challenges for sustainable food production and ecosystem maintenance.


CEPLAS integrates the resources of the Universities of Cologne and Düsseldorf, the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, and the Forschungszentrum Jülich into an internationally leading plant science center that attracts world-class faculty and junior researchers. 


CEPLAS aims to assemble a blueprint of the genetic mechanisms that control complex plant traits with sufficient detail to enable predictions of trait performance in different environments. This knowledge is crucial for the design of new crop varieties using predictive trait engineering and will be important for sustainable food security for a growing population faced with climate change. 

Global Student Satisfaction Awards 2019

GSSA 2019

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