Professor Kornelia Smalla from JKI involved
Julius Kühn-Institut (JKI)
Federal Research Institute
for Cultivated Plants
apl. Prof. Dr. Johannes Hallmann
38104 Braunschweig, Germany
Ms Martina Ernst
Tel: +49(0)531 299-3701
Fax: +49(0)531 299-3006
06484 Quedlinburg, Germany
Ms Rita Pollin
Tel: +49(0)3946 47-502
Fax: +49(0)3946 47-255
How do pests of our crop plants look like and how do they spread? What kind of damages can viruses, bacteria, fungi and nematodes cause to cereals and others? And how do soil microorganisms influence growth and fitness of crop plants? The Institute for Epidemiology and Pathogen Diagnostics provides answers to these questions.
Viruses, bacteria and fungi as well as pests can cause substantial yield losses in agriculture and horticulture. Moreover, they can reduce the quality of harvested material. By producing harmful metabolites in their plant hosts (e.g. toxins) they can even threat human health. Today worldwide dissemination of pathogens and pests of crop plants is facilitated by high mobility of both people and commodities. On the other hand, they are permanently changing what can lead to epidemic spread under suitable conditions.
Detailed knowledge of pest’s biology and their interaction with plants is an indispensable prerequisite for every control measure to keep stands healthy. Moreover, specific methods are needed for efficient, reliable and sensitive detection of the various pathogens. To create, improve and standardize those methods represents a main part of institute activities.
Plants are always embedded in a certain environment and therefore regarded as biological systems to date. It is becoming increasingly clear that endogenous and other plant associated microorganisms have a tremendous influence on plant development. Therefore, exploitation of this microbial potential in favor of crop plant health and fitness is a central goal of modern plant protection. It requires research to elucidate and understand the very complex relationship between microorganisms and plants.
Consequently, the main research fields of the institute are
In our work we use a broad range of research methods including conventional biological techniques, serological and molecular methods as well as different variants of light and electron microscopy. We keep official collections of phytopathogenic fungi and nematodes and are the responsible JKI institute for the production of diagnostic antibodies.