The AGRICYGEN project receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 763700
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IPK | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung

IPK | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung

IPK is a non-profit research institution and a member of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Association (WGL). The Institute is the Centre of the Biotech Campus Gatersleben in central Germany. As a foundation under public law, the IPK is one of the world’s leading international institutions in the field of plant genetics and crop science. Its research programme and services materially contribute to conserving, exploring and exploiting crop diversity. Its research goals are driven by the need to ensure an efficient and sustainable supply of food, energy and raw materials, thereby addressing a major global ecological challenge.


Human nutrition is based on the products of crop plants, which also provide feed, renewable raw materials and energy. Research into the genetic and molecular basis of the traits important for crop productivity and the conservation of crop diversity are both vital to our attempts to adapt crop plants to the needs of a growing global population and a changing environment. This is where the work of IPK and its 500 scientific and technical employees starts. The work of IPK’s four scientific departments is focused on revealing the underlying principles of evolution, development and adaptation in major crop plants.


On this basis, it seeks innovative solutions in the fields of scientifically-based crop plant germplasm conservation and exploitation, aiming to improve resource use efficiency and enhance the sustainability of plant-based production. A unique feature of the institute is the close relationship enjoyed between its interdisciplinary and internationally focused research teams working within an ultramodern research infrastructure and the genetic diversity conservation activity carried out in one of the world’s longest established and largest ex situ gene banks.


The topic “Biodiversity and Performance” combines scientific excellence, innovation and social relevance, and is targeted at addressing food security and sustainable production within a viable bioeconomy. Novel scientific knowledge and innovation is sought within a framework of five interdisciplinary research themes (see below). The professional skills of IPK’s scientific departments cover the entire scientific value chain, representing a research effort which spans the range from very basic through to highly applied topics. The five interdisciplinary research themes are:

  • Concepts for valorization of genetic resources
  • Genome diversity and evolution
  • Mechanisms of plant reproduction
  • Growth and metabolism
  • Mechanisms of resistance and stress tolerance

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