Genetic engineering can have a positive effect on the climate

The use of genetically modified (GM) crops in agriculture remains contentious, especially in Europe. According to surveys, many people fear that these could have negative effects for human health and the environment. However, a new study shows that genetically modified crops could actually be good for the environment, and for the climate in particular. Results suggest that the adoption of GM crops in the European Union (EU) could reduce greenhouse gas emissions considerably. The study by scientists from the Breakthrough Institute in the USA and the University of Bonn in Germany was recently published in “Trends in Plant Science”.

Help for stressed-out cells in a crisis

According to a team of plant researchers, mitochondria provide unexpected help for cells in a crisis by respiring away harmful substances. The current study produced by the Institute of Biology and Biotechnology of Plants (IBBP) at the University of Münster and the Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation (INRES) at the University of Bonn has been published in the journal Plant Cell.

Conference on digital technologies for sustainable crop production

How can digital technologies be used for more sustainable crop production? Researchers from a wide range of disciplines are working on these questions at the Cluster of Excellence PhenoRob at the University of Bonn. At the Cluster's flagship conference, DIGICROP, experts pool their knowledge, bringing together distinguished speakers from around the world. Given the great success of DIGICROP 2020 at the end of last year, preparations are underway for the next edition of the conference, which will be held digitally from March 28 to 30, 2022. The Cluster of Excellence PhenoRob is receiving support from the AI Institute for Next Generation Food Systems (USA). Scientists are invited to submit presentations in the form of videos by January 5.

Agricultural scientist from PhenoRob Cluster of Excellence is most cited

Prof. Dr. Anne-Katrin Mahlein, co-opted professor at the University of Bonn and Director of the Institute of Sugar Beet Research (Göttingen) is the most cited author in the research field sensing and imaging of plant disease. According to a publication by the journal “Tropical Plant Pathology”, Mahlein’s research has significantly pushed this area of research forward. Overall, the University Bonn has been determined to be the most productive and most collaborative institution in the field.

Digital assistants in the field

Food, feed, fibers and fuel: with demand growing, agriculture has a key role to play in the future of humanity and our planet. At the same time, the increasing scarcity of arable land and the impact of climate change are bringing problems such as drought, heat and other extreme weather events. In the PhenoRob Cluster of Excellence, therefore, researchers from different disciplines are working toward a common goal: unlocking more sustainable crop production with limited resources and thus shrinking the environmental footprint caused by cultivating plants. To this end, they are harnessing innovative digital technologies, including some from the world of robotics and artificial intelligence.

Highly cited Bonn researchers

Prof. Wulf Amelung and Prof. Frank Ewert from INRES are included in the international "Highly Cited Researchers" ranking this year. They are considered to be particularly influential in science.

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