The DBMV regroups 8 laboratories with a total of more than 75 collaborators studying various aspects of plant cell and molecular biology. As such, it is the largest department devoted to plant biology in Western Switzerland. A major focus of the department is on molecular genetics using a number of model plants, including Arabidopsis thaliana, rice and the moss Physcomitrella patens. The DBMV is devoted to high quality research as witnessed by pulications in high impact journals such as Nature, Science, Plant Cell and PNAS, just to name a few. The Department has state of the art facilities, including greenhouses and a suite of climate controlled growth chambers including one reproducing extreme climatic conditions, equipment for the making and analysis of DNA microarrays, analytical instruments such as GC-MS, capillary electrophoresis, phosphoimager, luminescence detectors and HPLCs. The Department has also access to a wide range of microscopic facilities, including electronic and confocal microscopes, epifluorescence microscopes, micro-dissection equipment as well as digital camera system for the detection of luminescence (GFP and luciferase).
Research on the plant's responses to light is also conducted by Prof. Christian Fankhauser of the Center of Integrative Genomics.