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.

Distinction for Outstanding Next-Generation Researchers

The state awards were presented as part of the ceremonial events surrounding the start of the academic year at the University of Bonn. The purses connected with these awards, going to outstanding young researchers, are endowed by the respective presenting national governments. These awards are traditionally presented simultaneous with the awarding of the DAAD Prize by the German Academic Exchange Service.

How plants sense phosphate

A new study by the University of Bonn and the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) in Gatersleben sheds light on the mechanism used by plants to monitor how much of the nutrient phosphate is available, and to decide when strategies to mobilize and take up more phosphate from the soil must be activated. The enzyme ITPK1 plays a key role in this process. The researchers were also able to show that a particular group of signaling molecules involved in phosphate sensing respond very sensitively to phosphate and that this regulation takes place not only in plants but also in human cells. In the long term, the results could lead to the breeding of new crop varieties that require less phosphate fertilizer. The final version of the study has now been published in the journal "Molecular Plant".

Rare barley mutation with potential

The importance of the root system for agricultural yields is often underestimated. Whether roots can access water and nutrients effectively also determines the resilience of important crops to drought and climate change. Researchers from the Universities of Bonn and Bologna (Italy) have discovered and described a mutant in barley: Its roots grow downwards much more sharply than usual. This discovery potentially provides a starting point for breeding more drought-resistant varieties. The study has now been published in PNAS.

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