If you are interested in using the facilities at IPK, please contact


Prof. Dr. Thomas Altmann

IPK coordinator at German plant phenotyping network (DPPN)
Head of Department Molecular Genetics


An overview of the plant phenotyping infrastructures at the IPK.

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Plant Phenotypes

The entirety of distinctive characteristics of a plant is known as its phenotype. It is determined by the interplay between the information stored in the genetic material and environmental influences acting during plant development. Since these interrelationships determine the structure, functions, productivity, resource efficiency, and resistance of a plant, they play a crucial role for food production and the design of a sustainable agriculture industry and bio-economy.


The IPK plays a leading role in the development, implementation, and use of technologies and processes for plant phenotype standardization, that is for measuring plant characteristics. Through their application, the performance of important cultivated plants is recorded precisely and with high throughput in the course of their development in the laboratory, greenhouse, and also under natural environmental conditions outdoors. This makes it possible to efficiently detect the factors in the genetic makeup that determine characteristics in their interplay with the environment.


Non-invasive imaging methods are primarily used in order to examine a variety of characteristics on large numbers of plants. The IPK also has the required bio-informatics expertise and infrastructure to store and analyze the collected information, and to link it to knowledge of the genetic makeup of the examined plants as well as extensive molecular biology and biochemistry data.


The IPK’s highly modern plant phenotype standardization infrastructure is of cross-regional importance. Within the scope of national ([link]DPPN), European ([link]EPPN, [link]Emphasis) and international ([link]IPPN) networks, the IPK also makes it available to users in other cooperating research institutions and industrial enterprises for conducting scientific projects, clarifying issues related to breeding, and for further methodological and technical development.


To promote the interaction of researchers that run plant phenotyping platforms in facilities that enable the simulation of different climatic conditions with scientists from other related fields, the foundation of the
[link]International Controlled Environment Plant Phenotyping Group (ICEPPG) is proposed.



Organs and seeds Organism Cells and tissues Plant polulation Plant polulation