Welcome to the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology

Welcome to the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology

We investigate how organisms interact with chemical signals.
We do research in the lab to better understand interactions at a molecular level.

We do research in the lab to better understand interactions at a molecular level.

We do research in the glasshouse and in the field to better understand interactions and signals in their natural environment.

We do research in the glasshouse and in the field to better understand interactions and signals in their natural environment.

Photo: Anna Schroll
Training and international collaborations are key features of our work.

Training and international collaborations are key features of our work.

We believe diversity and inclusion leads to the best science.

We believe diversity and inclusion leads to the best science.

We celebrate our 25th anniversary together with our neighboring institute.

We celebrate our 25th anniversary together with our neighboring institute.

Follow the QR-code to listen to short podcasts about our current research.

Research News

The dark cost of being toxic

The dark cost of being toxic

January 18, 2023
Sequestration of plant toxins by monarch butterflies leads to reduced warning signal conspicuousness

Cabbage white butterflies utilize two gut enzymes for maximum flexibility in deactivating mustard oil bombs
Depending on the composition of the defensive toxins of their host plants, the insects use two different complementary enzymes for detoxification

Catnip and pea aphid came up with different ways to make the same molecule
While the chemical steps for the biosynthesis of nepetalactone appear to be identical in the plants and insects, they use different enzymes to catalyze them.

Current News and Announcements

Publications

Rubiano-Buitrago, P. A.; Pradhan, S.; Paetz, C.; Rowland, H. M.: New structures, spectrometric quantification, and inhibitory properties of cardenolides from Asclepias curassavica seeds. Molecules 28 (1), 105 (2022)
Rebholz, Z.; Lancaster, J.; Larose, H.; Khrimian, A.; Luck, K.; Sparks, M. E.; Gendreau, K. L.; Shewade, L.; Köllner, T. G.; Weber, D. C. et al.; Gundersen-Rindal, D. E.; O’Maille, P.; Morozov, A. V.; Tholl, D.: Ancient origin and conserved gene function in terpene pheromone and defense evolution of stink bugs and hemipteran insects. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 152, 103879 (2023)
Vignero, A.; Kaltenpoth, M.: Symbiosis: Creating a tractable intracellular insect-microbe association. Current Biology 32 (18), pp. R943 - R946 (2022)

News

The Jena chemist is awarded the most prestigious German research prize for her fundamental discoveries on plant natural product biosynthesis.
Over 250 scientists from all over the world will present and discuss their latest research results in smell and taste research.
In the category "doctoral researchers" Nomthi Kanyile received the prize for the best presentation and Ana Simão Pinto de Carvalho the prize for the best poster.

Events and Seminars

Maximilian Frey

Combinatorial diterpene biosynthesis
Feb 9, 2023 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM (Local Time Germany)
Hybrid lecture (online via zoom & MPI-CE, A1.009 + A1.011), Room: Seminar room A1.009 and A1.011

Velemir Ninkovic

to be announced
Feb 23, 2023 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM (Local Time Germany)
Hybrid lecture (online via zoom & MPI-CE, A1.009 + A1.011), Room: Seminar room A1.009 and A1.011

Karin Groten

The Nagoya Protocol - is it relevant for my research?
Mar 2, 2023 11:30 AM (Local Time Germany)
Hybrid lecture (online via zoom & MPI-CE, A1.009 + A1.011)

Hajo Kries

Biosynthetic design of nonribosomal peptides
Mar 9, 2023 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM (Local Time Germany)
Hybrid lecture (online via zoom & MPI-CE, A1.009 + A1.011), Room: Seminar room A1.009 and A1.011

IMPRS Symposium

Mar 21, 2023 - Mar 22, 2023
Dornburg Castle
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