Once again the Research Alliance and its members took part in the Long Night of Science 2018 in Berlin and Potsdam. One could find the information booth in the House of the Leibniz Group in central Berlin. With pleasure we displayed the work of the research alliance and its members with experiments, games and personal conversations with the guests. Participating were employees of the following member institutes: LSB, IPK; ZALF, IGZ, and ATB.

How tolerable is wheat? Are old varieties better than new ones?

The Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) and the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the technical University of Munich (LSB) are working together on the “Wheatscan” project  to research what intolerance. Wheat intolerances are a highly present topic of discussion in the public and wheat free diets are widely popular even without a medical need. But does wheat really make us sick and are old varieties better than new ones? In order to identify the healthiest the IPK and the LSB are analysing 60 different varieties that have dominates the market in Germany between the years of 1891 and 2010.

The Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy (ATB) is researching technical and production-based questions. Information about this was given at the Information booth as well as in a 30 min presentation on the topic.

Agriculture 4.0: Drones, Data, Digital Fruit

Dr. Manuela Zude informed guests on ever-developing digitalisation in agriculture. Cherries signalling their status of ripeness via SMS, fruit trees turning on the tap to quench their individual thirst, cucumbers being harvested by robots: Digitalisation has arrived in horticulture. Miniature sensors on fruit gather information on its quality, on the tree and in storage. With an app that information can be transferred to the farmer’s smartphone where they help to make better decisions, e.g. for when to harvest or how best to store the fruit. The presentation presented some examples of how digitalisation can aid in efforts to use water and resources more efficiently and precisely.

How “smart” can agriculture be?

Guests were given insight into the work of the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) on smart farming technologies in European agriculture. The project is called smartAKIS and forms a thematic network. What solutions suit the needs best and where do the limits of acceptance lie in the practical application of such technologies? Here the visitors’ opinion was asked for and other European countries’ position on the matter were revealed.

How does the environment impact the immune system of plants? What can I do so my plants stay healthy?

Patient Plant: here visitors learned about the role of a plant’s immune system. As the fifth partner of the Research Alliance the Leibniz Institut for Vegetables and ornamental crops (IGZ) was present. One research focus at the IGZ is the unveiling of the processes of the plant immune system and the question, how these findings can be transferred practical applications. We explained to you , how the immune system of plants works and how it is different from that of humans.

Book a Scientist

In addition to that there was the possibility of “booking a scientist” in the house of the Leibniz Group for a 20 minute conversation about certain topics with some of our experts.

About the growing population and changing lifestyles, increasing scarcity of resources or climate change. The speaker of the research alliance Prof. Dr. Rainer Brunsch was available to answer relating questions. He informed about the possible solutions for feeding the world population in a sustainable way.

More information on the event can be found here.