Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology

Max­Planck­Research Magazine

Issue 2017

MaxPlanckResearch 4/2017

A Beetle Overcomes a Plant’s Defenses

Every cabbage plant conceals a bomb – a mustard oil bomb. For many insects, this makes the plant unpalatable. Franziska Beran from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena now knows, however, how insects can avert this danger: flea beetles, for example, outsmart the plants’ defensive weapon and even commandeer it for their own protection.

Issue 2016

MaxPlanckResearch 1/2016

Bacteria Need Partners

Bacteria are individuals that always operate in isolation? Not at all, says Christian Kost of the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena. In fact, he thinks bacteria frequently can’t help but cooperate. His team is using cleverly devised experiments to test this hypothesis.

Issue 2015

MaxPlanckResearch - 2/2015

Eternal Summer
Even on cloudy days, the sun shines in the greenhouse of the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology: 520 high-pressure lamps with assimilation sodium vapor bulbs ensure that the plants have sufficient light and that the spectral distribution is right for photosynthesis. To simulate uniform irradiation, the lamps move back and forth automatically on tracks. The air conditioning is also computer controlled: temperatures remain at summer levels - but not too high - all year round.
Issue 2012

MaxPlanckResearch 1/2012

Alliance on a Silken Thread
Many insects rely on bacteria for vital support. The microorganisms produce survival cocktails for their larvae, help them break down indigestible food components or supply essential vitamins. Martin Kaltenpoth and his team at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena are elucidating fascinating details about the symbiotic relationships between insects and microbes.
Issue 2010

MPR 4 /2010

Odor Trail through Ant Country
The desert ant’s use of its own built-in GPS – consisting of a sun-compass-based path integration system and visual landmarks – in locating its nest is a known phenomenon. Researchers recently ascertained, however, that this system also includes a sense of smell. Even more surprising is the discovery that these animals learn to distinguish between different odors in the nest environment, and use these like a map. Markus Knaden and his team at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena set out to search for clues in ant country.
Issue 2009

MPR 3 /2009

Olfactory Research Is a Precision Business
Have you ever wondered how fruit flies manage to zoom in on a fruit bowl or glass of smooth red wine in the blink of an eye? Although their test subject measures little more than half a millimeter, a research team working with Bill Hansson at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena is hot on the scent of the tiny fly’s olfactory system with the help of some highly sophisticated measurement technologies.
Issue 2007

MPR 4 /2007

The Silent Scream of the Lima Bean
Plants use a broad arsenal of signal substances to fend off herbivores. It is these quiet strategies that interest the researchers attending a congress in Jena.

MPR 1 /2007

Bill Hansson
Bill Hansson, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, studies which odor molecules insects detect with their feelers and how they process these signals.
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