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IBG-2 Profile

Plant sciences for improved resource use efficiency and performance for bioeconomy routes

IBG-2: Plant Sciences develops integrated bioeconomy concepts for the intensification and sustainability of plant production. The objective is

  1. to improve yield,
  2. adapt the quality to various uses (food, feed, raw materials, bioenergy),
  3. reduce the production footprint, and
  4. adjust processes to the future climate and production conditions.

IBG-2 has a globally leading position in plant phenotyping based on its excellent knowledge in dynamic plant-environment interaction above- and belowground combined with technology development, engineering and bioinformatics.

Focus areas

  • Scientific focus is to identify shoot and root traits that improve yield, biomass quality and resource efficiency.
  • Technology focus is to develop and implement methods and infrastructures for deep, high-throughput and field phenotyping and combine them with state-of-the-art bioinformatics.

Integration of plant sciences into bioeconomy value networks is another element of IBG-2 with its research in alternative biomass, cell wall and secondary metabolite biochemistry, targeted to feedstock optimisation for conversion and sustainable carbon and nutrient use in integrated biorefinery.

Research priorities include

  • identifying novel traits of roots and shoots, which contribute to the targets in breeding and agronomy practice, particularly with a view to improving resource use efficiency
  • developing and operating deep, high-throughput and field technologies and concepts for the selection and screening of (novel) traits in genetically diverse plant populations under relevant environmental conditions, with the objective of increasing resource use efficiency
  • developing alternative algal, plant organ or whole plant compositions and production systems (biomass quality and alternative resources) with special significance for novel utilization pathways in bioeconomy
  • integrating plant sciences in holistic approaches of bioeconomy with plant production and characterisation, biorefineries and optimisation for products and closing the nutrient loop with agricultural systems
  • developing and operating (national, European and global) next-generation infrastructure platforms and technologies in plant phenotyping (DPPN, EPPN2020, IPPN) and bioinformatics (PlabiPD), which are also available to external users

Technologies and bioeconomy concepts for sustainable plant production (examples)

Automated handling and phenotyping of
individual seeds

Contact: Dr. Sigi Jahnke, Dr. Robert Koller
Research Group: Enabling Technologies

Valorization of horticultural plant residuals for the extraction of secondary metabolites

Contact: Dr. Annika Wiese-Klinkenberg
Research Group: Bioinformatics, Cell Walls and Secondary Metabolites