Plant Culture Hall goes on tour – Model container will be presented in Dresden from the end of March

The plant culture hall of the IPK is one of the flagships of the institute. There, growth conditions such as temperature, light and wind can be regulated in a targeted manner. One of the containers in which the plants grow is currently being converted into a model for an exhibition in Dresden.

24.02.2020 · FV Lebensmittel & Ernährung

The plant culture hall of the IPK goes on a journey - at least in a very small form. For the new exhibition "Future Food. Food for the World of Tomorrow", which will open on 21 March 2020 at the German Hygiene Museum in Dresden, carpenters, technicians and electricians are converting one of the large plastic containers from the Plant Culture Hall and setting it up specifically for the exhibition. The aim is to explain to visitors on a model how the globally unique system works at the IPK. Scientists can already anticipate climate change and simulate the field of the future. For this purpose, environmental influences such as temperature, humidity, light and wind are specifically regulated. The researchers then look at how maize, cereals and rapeseed react to the respective conditions. And that is exactly what visitors in Dresden should be able to understand on the model from Gatersleben. "Our aim is to recreate the field and show what previously unimaginable dimensions we are entering with the Plant Culture Hall," explains Dr. Jens Freitag, Head of the IPK's Office. Visitors to Dresden can also understand this through a video.

"Luckily, we can also use plastic and not just wood," says master carpenter Frank Reinecke from Ilsenburg. However, these skills are also needed for the project. For the exhibition, Reinecke had to reduce the size of the original plastic container. He shortened the sides and replaced the plastic back with a wooden wall. At the front, he installed four large viewing windows. On the right, the visitor can see a cut model of the ground through two plexiglass panes. And on the left side, a look at the technology, which is also used by the researchers in practice and which is currently being installed by technicians and electricians at the IPK, becomes clear. These include sensors for temperature and humidity, long pipes that control temperature, and a camera system. In the rear right part of the container a corn plant is later inserted. On the upper cover of the model comes a kind of artificial turf. In addition, irrigation of the soil is recreated there.

None of this, of course, is an end in itself. Climate change is also one of the key challenges for plant researchers. It is important to make crops more stress resistant. But not only that: in view of the growing world population, yields must also be increased. How will we and how can we feed ourselves in the future? This is precisely the question that is at the heart of the exhibition in Dresden. The figures speak for themselves. In industrialised countries, for example, almost 200 million tons of food are disposed of every year. At the same time, 800 million people are starving in other parts of the world. For master carpenter Reinecke, however, it is first of all a matter of making the model fit for the trip to Dresden at the beginning of March. "The converted body provides above all the necessary stability." But the master craftsman is very confident. "Basically, it's all doable."

Summary:

- The exhibition "Future Food. Food for the world of tomorrow".

- A converted container from the plant culture hall of the IPK will also be on display there.

- The aim is to explain to visitors, on the basis of this model, the functioning of the plant culture hall, where plants grow up under strictly controlled conditions.

Contacts

Scientific contact

Dr. Jens Freitag
Leibniz Institute for Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK)
Tel.: +49 39482 5427
E-mail: jens.freitag(at)ipk-gatersleben.de

Press

Christian Schafmeister
Office for Public Relations
Leibniz Institute for Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK)
Tel. +49 39482 5461
E-Mail: christian.schafmeister(at)ipk-gatersleben.de