CEPLAS is a joint initiative of the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, the University of Cologne, and Forschungszentrum Jülich and is the only cluster focusing exclusively on plant science within the German Excellence Initiative.

The mission of CEPLAS is to understand the molecular and genetic basis of different complex plant traits, with the aim of creating a foundation for the sustainable cultivation of food, feed and energy crops. Plant-Microbe Interactions is one of four main research areas in CEPLAS, and as a department, we make significant contributions to the goal of characterising the structure, function and ecology of the plant microbiome.