Research


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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2017-09-01 - 2019-12-31

Conservation and utilization of soil fertility is among the key objectives of sustainable cropping system intensification. Cover cropping is a well-established and efficient agro-environmental measure for groundwater protection, erosion control and stabilization of soil organic matter content. Currently there is hardly any scientific information available to quantify cover crop induced mobilization of soil nutrients with low mobility and thereby estimate potential positive effects on a subsequent main crop. Based on soil and plant nutrient analyses for 13 different cover crops and a bare soil control from a field trial, a database for cover crop nutrient mobilization will be established and the effect on nutrient uptake and yield of the subsequent main crop will be determined.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2016-07-01 - 2017-09-30

The project “Berry Shrivel – an unsolved physiological disorder in grapevine” analyses the early changes during BS induction. The ripening disorder is of highly economic importance for winegrowers and especially in Austria the main red wine cultivar Zweigelt can show high incidence of BS in vineyards. The onset of BS induction starts at or short after Veraison, the start of grape berry ripening, and is leading to grapes of low quality with low sugar contents, high acidity, reduced anthocyanin content and strong off flavors. The processes and causes leading to BS induction and symptom development are still unclear. In the presented project we are following the hypothesis that BS is due to a reduced transport of assimilates towards grape berries. According to the current knowledge we are focusing on anatomical changes within the vascular system and we will establish an in vitro system to manipulate the carbohydrate support of single berries with the aim to artificially induce BS. Thereby different microscopic and molecular biological methods will be applied. Our approach is the first effort to analyze these early events during BS induction and will provide essential knowledge towards the unraveling of this complex ripening disorder affecting grape berries.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2018-05-01 - 2023-04-30

ECOBREED will improve the availability of seed and varieties suitable for organic and low- input production. Activities will focus on four crop species, selected for their potential contribution to increase competitiveness of the organic sector, i.e. common wheat, potato, soybean and common buckwheat. The project will develop (a) methods, strategies and infrastructures for organic breeding, (b) varieties with improved stress resistance, resource use efficiency and quality and (c) improved methods for the production of high quality organic seed. The objectives are: • To increase the availability of seeds and varieties for the organic and low-input sector • To identify traits and combinations of traits suited to organic and low-input production environment including high nutrient use efficiency and weed competitiveness/allelopathy • To increase breeding activities for organic and low-input crop production. ECOBREED will increase the competitiveness of the organic and low-input breeding and farming sectors by: • Identifying genetic and phenotypic variation in morphological, abiotic/biotic tolerance/resistance and nutritional quality traits that can be used in organic breeding • Evaluation of the potential of genetic variation for enhanced nutrient acquisition • Evaluation of the potential for increased weed competitiveness and control • Optimisation of seed production/multiplication via improved agronomic and seed treatment protocols • Developing efficient, ready-to-use farmer participatory breeding systems • Pre-breeding of elite varieties for improved agronomic performance, biotic/abiotic stress resistance/tolerance and nutritional quality • Development of training programmes in (a) genomic tools/techniques, (b) PPB and (c) use and application of improved phenotyping capabilities. • Ensuring optimum and rapid utilisation and exploitation of project deliverables and innovations by relevant industry and other user/stakeholder groups.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations