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ORDIAmur Receives Around Four Million Euros of Funding from the BMBF

ORDIAmur Receives Around Four Million Euros of Funding from the BMBF

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Project on overcoming replant disease in apple cultivation extended for a further three years

Great success for horticultural research at Leibniz University Hannover (LUH): the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has extended BonaRes and will provide approximately 4 million euros of funding for the joint project. 1.25 million euros will be allocated to ORDIAmur, which is coordinated by Professor Traud Winkelmann from the Institute of Horticultural Production Systems at Leibniz University Hannover. The research work conducted in the context of the national research strategy "BioÖkonomie 2030" has received funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) since 1 November 2015. The second project phase will take place over a period of three years and starts on 1 January 2019.

BonaRes-ORDIAmur is a joint project, which brings together soil and plant scientists, as well as microbiologists and economists from eleven research facilities in Germany and aims to explore the causes of replant disease in apple cultivation. Replant disease occurs when apple plants are cultivated in soil where the same species was previously grown and results in stunted growth, massive root damage, and reduced yield - both quantitatively and qualitatively. ORDIAmur (Latin "let us begin") is an abbreviation of "Overcoming Replant Disease by an Integrated Approach". The project aims to develop measures against this form of soil decline by understanding what causes the disease.

During the first project phase, the partners identified and characterised areas, which provided soils affected by the disease, as well as healthy control soils with documented cultivation data. Replant disease occurs in all soil types; however, light soils are particularly affected. It is interesting to note that there are slight differences regarding the severity of the disease. Moreover, growers currently have no methods for diagnosing this phenomenon. Over the course of the project, researchers identified plant compounds in the roots as well as early microscopic markers at the cellular level that are associated with replant disease. They also proved that apple plants show an enormous stress reaction if they grow in affected soil and described communities of organisms that live in this soil. Furthermore, researchers demonstrated that the disease only occurs locally and remains immobile.

During the second project phase, researchers will continue to investigate possible causes and conduct experiments for overcoming replant disease. This will enable them to develop measures for pomiculture and tree nurseries. The overall aim of ORDIAmur and all BonaRes projects is to gain a better understanding of soil as an ecosystem. After all, soils perform a variety of tasks that go far beyond agricultural and horticultural purposes, such as storing water and carbon or preserving biodiversity.

In addition to LUH, other project partners include the Helmholtz Zentrum München GmbH, the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences, TU Braunschweig, the Julius Kühn Institute, the Chamber of Agriculture in Schleswig-Holstein in cooperation with the Horticultural Centre in Schleswig-Holstein, University of Bayreuth, the Dienstleistungszentrum Ländlicher Raum Rhein-Pfalz (DLR), the Fruit Advisory Service Jork, the Centre for Business Management in Horticulture, and TU Dortmund.



Note to editors:

For further information, please contact Professor Traud Winkelmann, Institute of Horticultural Production Systems, Woody Plant and Propagation Physiology Section (Tel. +49 511 762 3602, Email traud.winkelmann@zier.uni-hannover.de).