13.05.2022 - Josef Pleil Research Award 2022 of Österreichische Hagelversicherung goes to BOKU master student Johanna Moser
This page is available under these URLs:
Award for practical research on the influence of rootstocks on the drought resistance of vines.
Viticulture has always been dependent on the weather, but climate change is having a long-term impact on growing conditions. Among the greatest risks are prolonged periods of drought during the growing season. Irrigation is usually considered the most obvious and easiest solution, but is it the most sustainable method? Especially when water availability is limited and competition for freshwater resources is increasing? For this reason, efforts to better understand the resistance of vines to drought are key.
Johanna Moser, a student in the master's programme in viticulture, enology and wine economics at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, was awarded this year's Josef Pleil Research Prize of the Austrian Hail Insurance on 12 May 2022 at the BOKU site in Tulln for her research work on this topic.
Selection of rootstocks significant
In her Master's thesis "The effect of rootstocks on the grapevine cv. Blaufränkisch response to drought", Moser investigates the influence of rootstocks on the reaction of grapevines to drought. This is a mechanism that has not yet been sufficiently researched, although studies and empirical investigations show that the genotypes of rootstocks cope differently well with drought. The decision on which rootstock to use should therefore be made with the greatest possible care and on the basis of sound knowledge, as this will influence the performance of a vineyard for decades.
Studies under controlled conditions are essential to understand the basic interactions and to develop concepts and strategies to increase resilience to drought and heat stress.
Questions from Johanna Moser's project are:
- Is there a detectable influence of rootstock on xylem function (in stem and petioles)?
- Are the stomata (number, distribution) influenced by the rootstock on leaf?
- How strongly does the rootstock influence the reaction to drought stress of the scion (here V. vin. cv. Blaufränkisch)?
The Josef Pleil Research Prize is endowed with 3000 euros. The prize money can be used to cover personnel, material and rice costs directly related to the project.
Precipitation fails to materialise
"Climate change with all its increasing weather extremes is a fact. Hardly a year goes by without precipitation," emphasised Dr. Kurt Weinberger, Chairman of the Board of Österreichische Hagelversicherung and Chairman of the BOKU University Advisory Board on the occasion of the award ceremony Thursday evening. "Drought damage is therefore a recurring theme. This also affects domestic viticulture. Scientific work of such high quality offers us, as a specialised agricultural insurer, the opportunity to gain new insights in order to optimise our services. That is why we are keen to support young scientists in their work."
In his laudation, Josef Pleil emphasised the practical relevance of the research project: "Ms Johanna Moser is investigating the influence of different rootstocks on the resilience to drought and heat stress of Blaufränkisch - an important and practically relevant topic in Austrian viticulture."
Project combines basic and applied research
Moser is very interested in scientific research topics for practical use and combines her academic knowledge with profound practical knowledge, Univ.Prof. Astrid Forneck, head of the Institute of Viticulture and Pomology at BOKU, also emphasised in her laudation. "We are pleased about the award for a project that combines scientific principles with practical application," concluded Forneck.
Within the framework of the annual awarding of the Josef Pleil Research Prize, one scientific project is promoted each year, which scientifically deals with current practice-relevant questions in viticulture with innovative concepts. Research projects in the field of sustainability and quality assurance under the conditions of changing environmental conditions are the focus of the call for entries.
Projects planned or currently being implemented at the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Vienna in cooperation with the Department of Viticulture and Pomology there can be submitted. The main criterion for the selection is the link between basic and applied research.
Dr. Ulrike Anhalt-Brüderl
Institut für Wein- und Obstbau
Universität für Bodenkultur Wien
01 47654 – 95815