Research Group Heterosis

Head: Prof. Dr. Altmann

Research Area

The main research area of the group are analyses of plant performance under different environmental conditions, mainly in Arabidopsis, maize, rapeseed and barley.


Main targets are:

  • the identification and characterization of (epi)genetic factors that influence and control vegetative growth (biomass accumulation in shoot and root) and seed quality in relevant dynamic environmental conditions
  • the elucidation of molecular processes and mechanisms that cause heterosis (hybrid vigour), in particular biomass heterosis
  • the evaluation of genetic and biologic predictors that enable hybrid prediction based on parental data


For the investigation of these topics, which relate mainly to IPK-Research Theme 4 ("Growth and Metabolism"), molecular-genetic approaches and genome-wide analyses are used. In particular, the group develops and uses state-of-the-art facilities for plant cultivation in precisely controlled environmental conditions and for non-invasive high-throughput plant phenotyping.