HortiBonn participation at the 31st International Horticultural Congress in Angers

From August 14-20, 2022, 2333 scientists from all horticultural disciplines met for the 31st International Horticultural Congress (IHC) in Angers, France. The Congress took place at the Congress Center of Angers, which is located next to the Botanical Garden, and at the University which is 7 walking minutes away. Clouds, wind and occasional showers offered a welcome refreshment in high summer temperatures. In 25 Symposia with diverse topics from fruit growing to greenhouse technology, participants were updated on the current state of play in horticultural research. Among the hottest topics were biostimulants, biodiversity, climate change and digitalization in horticulture. 

Science Live at the Arkadenhof

What are the researchers of the Clusters of Excellence at the University of Bonn actually working on? They provide an up-close look on August 22 at 8 p.m. in the Arkadenhof of the University Main Building. At the Excellence Slam, scientists from the clusters will present their research in short talks in a generally understandable and humorous way. At the end, the audience votes - and the most popular slam wins. The free event takes place one day after the finale of the Bonn Silent Film Festival and uses the festival's stage in the courtyard of the Baroque Palace. Please note: The event and the slams will be held in German.

How a harmful fungus renders its host plant defenseless

The fungus Ustilago maydis attacks corn and can cause significant damage to its host. To do this, it first ensures that the plant offers little resistance to the infection. The surgical precision it applies is shown by a new study from the University of Bonn, which has now been published in the journal New Phytologist. The Gregor Mendel Institute in Vienna and the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research in Gatersleben were also involved in the work.

How calcium ions get into the cellular power stations of plants

Calcium is a very special nutrient. In the cells of most living beings calcium ions function as so-called second messengers to transmit important signals. The same applies equally to animal, plant and fungal cells. Through collaboration of several research institutes at a national and international level members of the “Plant Energy Biology” working group at Münster University, led by Prof. Markus Schwarzländer, and of the team led by Prof. Alex Costa at the University of Milan, have now identified the molecular machinery which enables calcium ions to be taken up into the mitochondria of plant cells – and that this form of transport plays an important role in their response to being touched. The study has now been published in the journal “The Plant Cell”.

How much plastic do soils contain?

Not only in the sea, but also in our soils there is "invisible" plastic - nanoplastics to be precise. This is a problem because it can be absorbed by plants and thus enter the food chain. But how much of such plastic is actually hiding in the soil? To find out, Dr. Melanie Braun from the University of Bonn wants to develop a new method. For her innovative project, the junior scientist has now received the Klaus Töpfer Research Prize worth 50,000 euros, which is awarded internally by the Transdisciplinary Research Area "Innovation and Technology for Sustainable Futures" (TRA Sustainable Futures) at the University of Bonn. The prize was named after Prof. Dr. Klaus Töpfer, former Federal Minister for the Environment and pioneer of climate policy, who was a guest at the award ceremony.

Protein folding in times of oxygen deficiency

Protein molecules require a defined shape in order to function. When they are created, their building blocks are therefore linked together in a very specific way. Researchers at the University of Bonn are now taking a closer look at a key step in this process and are investigating the effects of transient oxygen starvation on protein folding in plants. Researchers from the University of Münster, the Technical University of Kaiserslautern and the University of Bielefeld were also involved in the study. The study has now been published in the journal Plant Cell.

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