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Latest Projects

Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2021-08-01 - 2024-07-31

The MoFAB project is submitted within the framework of the R&D infrastructure funding - 3rd call of the FFG: At the University and Research Center Tulln, a Phenomobile (field vehicle for the recording of plant characteristics) is procured, equipped with a customized 3D fusion sensor consisting of laser scanner with spectral, respectively thermal camera, and prepared for field measurements. The fusion sensor will be calibrated and validated using a grapevine pot experiment on networked field scales, handheld sensors, and destructive measurements, and used in drought stress experiments under a mobile greenhouse and in field trials. The fusion data will be used, with algorithms, to develop data pipelines for new crop traits. A combine with integrated phenotyping equipment (weighing system, NIRS) will be procured, and used to reference traits determined with the Phenomobile. A particular focus is the development of absolute and comparable measurements of leaf nitrogen content and stomatal conductance, useful traits for developing feedback loops for digitizing agricultural nitrogen and water management and selection in breeding.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2020-01-20 - 2023-01-19

As a result of increasingly strict legislation on the use of pesticides, especially glyphosate, and pressure from society, alternative methods of weed control in permanent crops such as orchards and vineyards are gaining in importance. In a transnational cooperation, alternatives in weed management are therefore to be developed. In Bavaria, the project "Alternative weed management in fruit and wine growing with ecologically harmless substances and an alternative mulching method based on renewable raw materials - ABOW", submitted by the Technology and Promotion Centre in the Competence Centre for Renewable Resources (TFZ) Straubing together with the State Institute for Viticulture and Horticulture Veitshöchheim, was launched in January 2019. An Austrian project focusing on the development of an autonomous device and alternative substances in weed management was launched in summer 2019. In this project, the Institute of Plant Protection is investigating whether alternative natural substances and the sprayable mulch films developed in Bavaria have sufficient weed suppression.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2020-07-01 - 2023-06-30

Phenotypic plasticity is defined as the amount by which the expressions of individual characteristics of a genotype are changed by different environments. The PlasticGrape project will study the grapevine metabolic plasticity under drought by characterizing the vine metabolism response to water stress in two climatically distinct environments (Tulln-Austria and Vipava-Slovenia). The central hypothesis of the project is that climatic variables (such as light and temperature) play a crucial role influencing the plant response to drought, in particular its metabolic reprogramming. Consequently, the same genotype would exhibit different phenotype under drought in different climatic conditions (i.e. plasticity). Although the water stress effect on grapevines has been largely studied, very limited efforts were done to understand the interaction between the water availability and other climatic factors such as light and temperature. The PlasticGrape project is specifically designed to fill this gap, shed light on the interactive effects of drought and climatic variables on the plant physiology, and strength our knowledge on the plant adaptation mechanisms to different environments as well as to possible climate change scenarios. To fulfill our objectives, a set of grapevines (cv. Pinot noir grafted onto 5BB rootstock) that was previously planted and grown in one single environment (Tulln) for two years, will be split in two different locations characterized by different climates (Tulln and Vipava, cool and warm climates, respectively). In both locations, mirrored water deficit experiments will be performed with the aim to study the interactive effects of water stress and climate on the plant physiology and metabolism. A similar experimental set-up was never implemented for any other crop before. Moreover, metabolite profiling will allow a comprehensive characterization of the plant metabolism adaptation strategy to drought and its environmental plasticity. To date, no study has addressed the genotype x environment interaction in such way. Greenhouse experiments will be also included to fully control and manipulate environmental variables. Bearing in mind that grapevine is considered a model crop for water stress studies the potential outcomes will largely impact the plant science knowledge.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations