Druckansicht der Internetadresse:


Professorship Agroecology - Prof. Dr. Johanna Pausch

Print page

Rhizosphere Biogeochemistry

Ongoing Projects

Logo rhizotraits in garu grün mit Wurzeln

Rhizosphere traits enhancing yield resilience to drought in modern cropping systems

(RhizoTraits I)

from 02/2020 to 04/2024

PhD student: Andreas Wild
Technical Assistance: Angelika Mergner

As a result of climate change, cereal crops will undoubtedly be exposed to longer and more frequent periods of drought. How well they survive this depends on their interaction with water, nutrients, bacteria, and fungi in the soil. Rhizosphere traits are thus of fundamental importance to increase resistance and resilience of yields to forcing by global change. Still, an optimization of belowground traits has been rarely considered in plant breeding schemes. The interdisciplinary RhizoTraits project aims to provide a systematic understanding of the most important rhizosphere traits and the mechanisms by which they support quality and quantity of yield and drought resistance. 

Most of the cereal varieties cultivated today have been bred in the last 50 years. The focus has been on increasing yields, while sufficient supplies of water and nutrients have been taken for granted. The question of whether these plants can adapt to climate-related shortages of water and nutrients has therefore been largely ignored. In the course of this development, however, certain genes that are important for the resilience of cereal plants may have been lost. They enable plants to influence soil conditions to their own advantage. For example, the roots can secrete substances that promote the establishment of colonies of fungi and bacteria in the immediate vicinity. Old crop varieties can show whether the genetic basis for such self-protection has been changed by purely yield-oriented breeding. In addition, they may contain further indications as to which rhizosphere characteristics can enhance the stress tolerance of plants. For this reason, one special feature of the research work in the project is that old crops, hardly relevant for agriculture today, are included in its investigations. RhizoTraits is seeking to get to the bottom of the varying resilience of cereal varieties!

Project Partners:

Technical University of Munich (Chair of Soil Science),
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research),
Bavarian State Research Center for Agriculture (Institute of Agroecology and Organic Farming)

Homepage: https://www.bayceer.uni-bayreuth.de/rhizotraits

Webmaster: Prof. Dr. Johanna Pausch

Facebook Twitter Youtube-Kanal Instagram LinkedIn UBT-A Contact