24 Jul 2020 · DBG · Politics

Open Statement on the Regulation of Genome Edited Plants and Crops

The EU and New Zealand differ from most other countries and their regulations for precision breeding techniques (see Schmidt, Belisle, Frommer (2020), EMBO Rep 2020, e50680, https://doi.org/10.15252/embr.202050680)

132 European research institutes and science associations – with DBG being one of them - strongly recommend to the European Council, European Parliament and the European Commission to revise the existing directive for precision breeding, also known as genome editing. This is not only important for recovery from the COVID-19 crisis but also since genome-editing offers many solutions for a fast, relatively simple and much more directed way to create resilience to climate change compared to previous breeding techniques. Moreover the breeding of plants that are less dependent on fertilizers and pesticides is more efficient. Use of these methods preserves natural resources of our planet and supports to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations as well as the Green Deal of the EU. The European Sustainable Agriculture through Genome Editing (EU-SAGE) Network, under which the institutions named above are unified, recommends the European Commission to endorse this message for the benefit and welfare of all EU citizens and to adapt the current regulations to use genome-editing for crop and plant breeding to recent scientific results. In its Open Statement the EU-SAGE network cites scientific studies that demonstrate the successful creation of genome-edited plants with resilience to climate change and resistance against pests and diseases and therefore higher yields and revenues. Other studies have proven to reduce the dependency on pesticides by improving resistance against diseases in rice, wine, wheat, and grapefruit. In addition precision breeding accelerates the introduction of healthy traits into vegetables and fruits, as studies have shown.

Read EU-SAGE's whole open statement (pdf)

20 May 2020 · Actualia (engl.) · People and Careers

Awarded: Pines „smell“ pest insect’s sex pheromones

Dr. Norbert Bittner receives DBG’s Prize for the Best Plant Science Publication for his work on early defense strategies of pines against insect herbivores. Photos: private and Benjamin Fuchs

The DBG awards Dr. Norbert Bittner (Lab of Prof. Dr. Reinhard Kunze at Freie Universität Berlin) with its Best Paper Prize. Bittner who did this work in the lab of Prof. Dr. Monika Hilker during his PhD thesis together with other scientists from the Universities at the Spanish Barcelona and the Swedish Lund has demonstrated in the journal PNAS (DOI: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1910991116) how pines defend themselves against larvae of the herbivorous pine sawfly at an early stage. The pine trees notice the sex pheromones that female sawflies spread to attract males and thus before they lay eggs. Exposure to the pheromones primed the tree’s defense against sawfly eggs. The priming effect results in enhanced egg mortality. “For the first time it has been shown, that trees defend themselves against eggs of a herbivore at a very early time before herbivory even takes place,” the board of DBG’s own Wilhelm Pfeffer Foundation summarizes the results. Bittner will receive the deed at the next Botanikertagung. The award is endowed with 1,000 Euros.

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14 May 2020 · Actualia (engl.) · DBG

Actualia has a new editor

In 1998 Actualia were published as printed supplement of our journal Botanica Acta, which now is Plant Biology.

Prof. Dr. Christian Wilhelm has handed over his editorial function in Actualia to Dr. Jutta Ludwig-Müller after having filled this position for 23 years now.

Der Herausgeber unserer Actualia, Seniorprofessor Dr. Christian Wilhelm (Uni Leipzig) übergibt nach 23 Jahren dieses Ehrenamt nun Professorin Dr. Jutta Ludwig-Müller von der TU Dresden. Was unsere neue Herausgeberin auszeichnet, was die Actualia leistet, wie sie entstand und welchen Arbeiten Wilhelm sich nun zuwendet, schildert dieser Artikel.

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02 Apr 2020 · Actualia (engl.) · Conference Gleanings

Mitteldeutsche Pflanzenphysiologie-Tagung

About 80 participants of the plant physiology meeting gathered in front of Matthias Schleiden Institute in Jena, Germany. Photo: Vivien Hotter

Sorry, in German only

Zum 18. Mal trafen sich Wissenschaftler*innen aus Halle, Dresden, Jena und Leipzig zur Mitteldeutschen Pflanzenphysiologie-Tagung. Die zweitägige Veranstaltung fand am 21. und 22. Februar 2020 in Jena statt und bot vor allem Studierenden und Promovierenden Gelegenheit, ihre neuesten Forschungsergebnisse zur Physiologie und Zellbiologie photosynthetisch aktiver Organismen vorzustellen. Prof. Jan Schirawski beendete die Konferenz als eingeladener Gastreferent mit einem Vortrag über einen parasitären Pilz, der die Entwicklung der Nutzpflanze Mais beeinflusst. Die Jenaer Doktorandin Vivien Hotter nennt die Vorträge und fasst die Schwerpunkte der Tagung zusammen.

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27 Mar 2020 · Actualia (engl.) · Conference Gleanings

Phykologentagung in der Eifel

Participants discussed research results in phycology in Steinfeld monastery in the Eifel, Germany. Photo: Kerstin Hoef-Emden

Sorry, in German only

Die 18. wissenschaftliche Tagung der Sektion Phykologie fand vom 8. bis 11. März 2020 im Kloster Steinfeld in der Eifel statt. Prof. Dr. Burkhard Becker hatte die Algenforscher*innen zum wissenschaftlichen Austausch geladen und knapp 65 Teilnehmende waren dem Ruf gefolgt. Prof. Dr. Peter Kroth, Vorstandsmitglied und Bindeglied zur Federation of European Phycological Societies (FEPS), listet die Vorträge und Tagungsschwerpunkte. Die Sektion verlieh erstmals den Schüler*innen-Preis und zeichnete hervorragende Vorträge und Poster der Nachwuchskräfte mit Preisen aus. Die turnusgemäße Wahl der Sprecher*innen und Funktionäre bestätigte alle amtierenden Mitglieder des Vorstands im Amt.

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25 Mar 2020 · Actualia (engl.) · Conference Gleanings

Molecular Biology of Plants 2020

Plant scientists from Germany, Austria and UK met in Dabringhausen despite the stormy weather in February. They discussed latest research results. Photo: Pavlína Miklankova

Sorry, Molecular Biology of Plants conference report in German only

Die 33. Tagung Molecular Biology of Plants unserer Sektion Pflanzenphysiologie und Molekularbiologie fand vom 11. bis 14. Februar 2020 wieder in Dabringhausen im Bergischen Land statt. Organisator Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Hell berichtet über die Themenschwerpunkte der von DBG und GBM geförderten Tagung und nennt die ausgezeichneten Preisträger*innen der Poster- und Vortragspreise.

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22 Mar 2020 · Actualia (engl.) · Promoting young researchers · Conference Gleanings

Strasburger-Workshop: Diversity of chemical and molecular signaling networks in plant-microbe interactions

On the second day, participants hiked to Drachenfels, 321 m.a.s.l.. Photo: Sebastian Klenner

Sorry, report in German only

Ihre Ergebnisse und Forschungsarbeiten über die vielfältigen Interaktionen zwischen (Nutz-)Pflanzen und Mikroben tauschten knapp 20 angehende Wissenschaftler*innen aus drei Ländern im Februar in Königswinter aus. Die Tagung thematisierte sowohl Symbiosen als auch Pflanzen-Pathogene. Eine externe Vortragende berichtete über Jobs außerhalb von Universtäten und ein Mitmach-Workshop ermunterte die Teilnehmenden über Chancen und Risiken der öffentlichen Kommunikation ihrer Forschungsthemen nachzudenken. Einig war man sich, dass es ein großes Interesse an der Interaktions-Forschung geben sollte, da diese dazu beiträgt, anwenderfreundliche Lösungen für den Erhalt der Pflanzengesundheit und der Ertragsmengen zu bieten. Die fünf Organisator*innen des Eduard-Strasburger-Workshops der DBG von angehenden Nachwuchskräften der Sektion für Interaktionen für andere junge Pflanzenwissenschaftler*innen fassen die Veranstaltung zusammen.

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28 Jan 2020 · Actualia (engl.) · People and Careers · Promoting young researchers

DBG honours best plant science master theses

Prof. Dr. Christian Wirth (supervisor of the master thesis), awardee Hellen Bellasus, Ronny Richter (co-supervisor of the master thesis), Prof. Dr. Alexandra Weigelt (jury member), Prof. Dr. Severin Sasso (DBG's contact partner at Leipzig University) (f.l.t.r.). Photo: Anja Kahl

Temperature regulation in tree canopies, heavy metals and herbivory, speciation, development of fluorescent sensors for hypoxia investigations, a phytopararetrovirus of sugar beet, (bio-)synthesis and chemistry of suberin and leucine, as well as the development of orchards in the city were topics of the ten awarded master theses, which were given DBG's awards for best plant science master theses in 2019. The work was carried out at the universities of Bayreuth, Bielefeld, Bonn, Dresden, Cologne, Leipzig, Münster, Oldenburg, Rostock, Salzburg, and the Karlsruher Institut für Technologie. DBG thanks all involved jury members at the universities.

​read more about all 10 awarded theses

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27 Jan 2020 · Actualia (engl.) · Promoting young researchers

Call for nominees "Best Paper Prize"

The board of DBG's Wilhelm-Pfeffer-Foundation invites nominations and applications for the Prize for the Best Plant Science Publication ("Best Paper Prize"), which will be awarded for an outstanding paper that resulted from a Master, Diploma or PhD thesis.

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07 Jan 2020 · Actualia (engl.)

Extended registration: Workshop on plant-microbe interaction

Registration for the DBG-funded 5th Eduard Strasburger Workshop for early-career scientists was extended to January 10th.

The topic is “Diversity of chemical and molecular signaling networks in plant-microbe interactions” and the target group are PhD students and postdocs. When and where? 3rd to 5th February 2020 in Königswinter near Bonn, Germany. We have 26 places available and every participant will be giving a talk. Accommodation and meals during the meeting are covered by DBG's Eduard Strasburger Workshop funds. Abstract selection will happen shortly after the registration closes.

Proceed to workshop's website

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03 Jan 2020 · Actualia (engl.) · DBG

Two new board members take over their offices

Prof. Dr. Andreas Weber (right) and Prof. Dr. Andreas Meyer. Photos: private

Our new president and another board member duly started their offices on first of January. Prof. Dr. Andreas Weber, molecular biologist Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) holding several offices, and Prof. Dr. Andreas Meyer, chair for Chemical Signalling at INRES of Bonn University were elected during the member assembly in Rostock, Germany, in September last year. All other board members were re-elected.

Read more about their election

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