Archive 2009 - 2014

Global Apple and Pear Conservation Survey

Conservation of Apple (Malus) and Pear (Pyrus) genetic resources is a global responsibility. It is important to develop a global conservation strategy for these important crops, particularly due to the inherent vulnerabilities of field collections and the difficulty of moving clonal propagules and seeds internationally. The strategy will have specific benefit to the worldwide research, breeding, and conservation communities.  This effort is being coordinated, in part, by the Global Crop Diversity Trust (Dr. Paula Bramel), the International Society for Horticultural Science (Dr. Kim Hummer), and the Chair of the US Apple Crop Germplasm Committee (Dr. Gayle Volk). This questionnaire has been developed to seek the advice and input of representatives of the world’s major apple and pear collections. This information will be compiled as part of the Global Conservation Strategy for Apple.  Although this effort is mostly focused on apple, since pear genetic resources are often conserved at the same location as apples, information about pears (if applicable) has also been requested.

If you are a curator of an apple or pear collection, we kindly request you to complete the attached questionnaire. We estimate that this will take approximately 45 minutes of your time. If you are not responsible for apple or pear collection efforts, then please feel free to forward this survey to a more appropriate contact.

Dr. Gayle Volk, at the USDA Agricultural Research Service, National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA is playing a key role in the distribution and assembly of the apple and pear surveys. Please return the questionnaire to Dr. Volk by Nov 30, 2014. If this deadline will not be possible, please send an email of your interest so that we can follow up with you.
Dr. Volk, the Trust, and ISHS are keen to have your active participation in the development of the apple  conservation strategy and will be pleased to keep your informed on its progress. If you have any questions about this questionnaire or about the proposed strategy in general, please contact:
Dr. Gayle Volk
USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation
1111 S. Mason St., Fort Collins, CO 80521
Tel: 971-495-3205, fax: 970-495-3241, Email:

This is a 2 part survey. Please fill out both parts of the survey separately for apple and pear collections, and submit them independently.
a) PDF questionnaire
b) Excel Spreadsheet for Inventory Information.

PDF Questionnaire:
Please open the attached PDF.
After you have completed filling out the form, click on “Submit Form” at the upper-right side of the PDF. There are 3 submission options for the Survey PDF form. Please select 1.

  • On the “Send Form” screen, enter your Email Address and Full Name, then click “Send”.
  • On the “Select Email Client” screen, select the second option, “Internet Email”, then click “OK”.
  • Save the PDF in a location you’ll be able to access, then email it to as an attachment.

Excel Spreadsheet:

Please insert or cut/paste information about your apple and pear collections into this spreadsheet. Columns can be modified as needed.
Please save and then submit the spreadsheet as an email attachment to

Apple Survey_distributed.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Dokument 791.8 KB
Microsoft Excel Tabelle 8.7 KB
Pear Survey_distributed.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Dokument 813.6 KB
Microsoft Excel Tabelle 8.7 KB

International WeGa Symposium "Horticultural Production - Safety and Predictability"

The WeGa – competence network of horticulture is one out of five BMBF AgroClustEr: WeGa for support of Agricultural and Human Nutrition Science in Germany. The WeGa network was initiated throughout Germany in several Science Collaborations in 2010 and is oriented towards the “Wertschöpfungskette Gartenbau” (WeGa; value-added chain in Horticulture). For completion of this project, we set up an international WeGa Symposium dealing with the topic “Horticultural Production - Safety and Predictability”.
The international WeGa Symposium and the 50th Horticultural Science Conference “Urban Horticulture” of the German Horticulture Association (DGG) e.V. and the Federal Association of Graduates/Engineers in Horticulture and Landscape Architecture (BHGL) e.V. will both take place in Freising-Weihenstephan (Germany) from February 24th - 28th 2015.
Abstracts for posters and orals for the WeGa Symposium and the 50th Horticultural Science Conference can be submitted online since last week. For abstract submission please follow the link on the WeGa website or directly by using the following link:
DEADLINE: The deadline for abstract submission is November 30th 2014.

Flyer International WeGa Symposium
WeGa Symposium 50. DGG-Conference.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Dokument 4.1 MB

Thanksgiving Reception took place at Campus Klein-Altendorf

On 25.9.2014 a Thanksgiving Reception took place at Campus Klein-Altendorf. Minister of State Ulrike Höfken (Rhineland Palatinum) and Minister Johannes Remmel (North Rhine-Westphalia) visited the joint stand of KoGa/DLR-RP and showed great interest in the network.

Minister of State Ulrike Höfken with Dr. Günter Hoos, Martin Balmer, Jürgen Lorenz and Dr. Hannah Jaenicke at the DLR-RP/KoGa stand. © G. Baab, DLR-RP
Minister of State Ulrike Höfken with Dr. Günter Hoos, Martin Balmer, Jürgen Lorenz and Dr. Hannah Jaenicke at the DLR-RP/KoGa stand. © G. Baab, DLR-RP
 Minister Johannes Remmel in conversation with Gerhard Baab and Hannah Jaenicke. © M. Balmer, DLR-RP
Minister Johannes Remmel in conversation with Gerhard Baab and Hannah Jaenicke. © M. Balmer, DLR-RP

New KoGa Coordinator

Dr. Hannah Jaenicke is the new coordinator of the Competence Centre Horticulture (KoGa). Dr. Jaenicke brings to the position a rich experience in managing multi-disciplinary projects in agriculture and horticulture. After her studies in agriculture at Bonn university she did her doctorate at TH Darmstadt with a topic on the ecophysiology in desert areas. She then worked for ten years at the World Agroforestry Centre ICRAF in Kenya with a team of international scientists on the propagation of indigenous fruit trees, before she moved to a career in research management. She moved on to UK and later Sri Lanka, where she led the International Centre for Underutilised Crops (ICUC). Dr. Jaenicke is back in Germany since 2010, working as independent consultant in project management and project monitoring for domestic and international clients.

The KoGa coordination office is located at Campus Klein-Altendorf 2, 53359 Rheinbach, Germany.;

48th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Horticultural Sciences

The high density of internationally renowned scientific institutions and the excellent research facilities of the Cologne-Bonn Region have attracted almost 300 scientists from Germany and 9 European Neighbouring Countries as well as from overseas to attend the Annual Meetings of the German Horticultural Society hosted by KoGa, the Center of Competence for Horticulture at Bonn University. The main theme of the Symposium was „Biodiversity: sustainable utilization and effective promotion in Horticulture“. In the plenary section Internationally reknown speakers in the field of biodiversity have contributed to a most successful outcome of this Conference,  Furthermore, 3 Workshops and 200 scientific presentations, among those 100 posters.

The North Rhine-Westphalian Chamber of Agriculture joining the KoGa Network as new partner

From left to right: Prof. Dr. U. Schurr (Forschungszentrum Jülich), Prof. Dr. P. Stehle (Dean of the Agriculture Factulty at Bonn University) and Johannes Frizen (Chairman of the Chamber of Agriculture of North-Rhine Westphalia)
From left to right: Prof. Dr. U. Schurr (Forschungszentrum Jülich), Prof. Dr. P. Stehle (Dean of the Agriculture Factulty at Bonn University) and Johannes Frizen (Chairman of the Chamber of Agriculture of North-Rhine Westphalia)

On December 3, 2012, a cooperation agreement has been signed between the Chamber of Agriculture of North-Rhine Westphalia and the lead institutions of KoGa, e.g. the University of Bonn, the State of Rhineland-Palatinate and Juelich Research Center.

The main objective of the expanded cooperation agreement is a more intensive collaboration among parties in the horticultural sector on Campus Klein-Altendorf of the University of Bonn. The cooperation also targets the project-related use of the horticultural facilities of the North Rhine Westphalian Chamber of Agriculture. Besides, an application- and implementation-orientated combination of theory and practice is intended in order to make efficient use of synergy potential and to also apply for joint research and development projects. With the Chamber of Agriculture on board, KoGa is now well balanced with respect to basic and applied research.

KoGa participates in the discussion forum of the Goethe–Institute

The Goethe Institute held a discussion forum on 'Climate change in agriculture and horticulture'. The event was opened by Dr. Petra Raymond (director, Goethe Institute BiH, Sarajewo) and Dr. Smail Toromanovic (director, Institute of Agricutlture for Bosnia and Herzogovina (BiH), Bihac). The first session started with an introductory lecture by Prof. Nobert Reinsch of the University of Rostock on general effects of climate change, followed by Dr. M. Brka, whose talk focussed on the effects of climate change on animal physiology, and particularly, water availability for animal feed.

The second session was chaired by Dr. Pakeza Drkenda, Chair in Horticulture at the University of Sarajewo. Dr. M. Blanke (University of Bonn) stressed the relevance of long-term concomittant weather and phenological records of perennial crops, such as fruit crops, as an ideal candidate and indicator to detect and describe the effects of climate change on plants. Dr. Blanke reported the effects of climate change on apple phenology, based on 52 years of both phenology and weather records from the Campus Klein-Altendorf Research Centre/Meckenheim of the University of Bonn. Dr Blanke's research showed that apple trees now flower 9-11 days ealier than before climate change (before 22 years ago), with 3-9 days earlier harvest and 1-3 days earlier leaf fall with increased hail incidence. Phenology results from Bosnia and Herzogovina, presented by Dr. P. Drkenda, showed that apple flowering was advanced by 2 days and leaf fall by 1 day over the last 10 years. Also, an interesting discussion followed on the risk of frost, which highlighted stronger climate change effects for the temperate zone of the Meckenheim fruit growing region, i.e. earlier flowering, compared with the more mediterranean climate in Bosnia. The discussion forum, which offered simultaneous translations into / from German, was attended by ca. 60 participants and was accompanied with interviews by the local television stations .

The discussion forum was part of a series on 'Climate change – a challenge for our society' organised by the Goethe Institut, German Ministry and DAAD Alumni with speakers both from Germany and the host country. It included forums on 'Architecture and climate change' (coping with rising temperature and radiation but sparser energy consumption), 'technology and chimate change', etc. The forum series provides a platform for exchange of thoughts from research experts, local businesses and the general public in the field of innovative approaches to overcome adverse effects of climate change.

Literature: Blanke, M. and A. Kunz, 2010: Influence of recent climate changes on pome fruit phenology at Klein-Altendorf – a study based on 50 years of records - [ Einfluss rezenter Klimaveränderungen auf die Phänologie bei Kernobst am Standort Klein-Altendorf – anhand 50jähriger Aufzeichnungen]. Erwerbs-Obstbau 51 (3), 101-114.

KoGa participates in EUFRIN thinning WG meeting at Wageningen

M. Blanke and G. Costa chairing a session (c) Frank Maas (WUR)
M. Blanke and G. Costa chairing a session (c) Frank Maas (WUR)

Hans-Josef Weber (DLR-RP) and Dr. Michael Blanke (University of Bonn) actively participated in the recent annual EUFRIN thinning working group (WG) workshop at the University of Wageningen (WUR). The meeting was organised by the chairman of the group, Prof. G. Costa (University of Bologna) and secretary Matej Stopar (University of Slovenia) and hosted by Dr. Frank Maas, WUR.

The welcome lecture by Prof. van den Ende (Plant Science, WUR, and formerly director of Randwijk) was followed by an invited lecture by Prof. Terence Robinson (Cornell University, Geneva, New York, USA) on the use of the carbohydrate model 'Malusim' for apple fruit thinning.

The KoGa representatives reported their latest findings of their active research on mechanical and chemical thinning of pear and plum, using the technology and results obtained at the Campus Klein-Altendorf Research Centre.

The EUFRIN thinning WG is the most active and sucessfull EUFRIN working group with well-attended annual meeting and growing attendance numbers. It provides a platform for research, extension and industry in the field of innovative approaches for thinning to achieve good fruit quality over the whole range of horticultural crops. The initially European 3-day workshop was attended by ca. 40 participants from 15 countries not only from within-Europe, but also by participants from South Africa and the US. The workshop finished up with a visit to the nearby Fruitmasters grading facility and a tour of Randwijk research station.

Presentation of Klein-Altendorf's crop load management

By invitation from American colleagues, Dr. M. Blanke from INRES-Hort Science participated as the sole lecturer from Europe in the 106th congress of Washington State Hort Association in Yakima, WA in December 2010.

He presented his integral approach on crop load management (CLM) in apple, which incorporated assessments of flowering strength, mechanical blossom thinning, chemical fruitlet thinning and grading results after harvest and allowing a safety margin for late spring frost and June drop. This approach contributes to avoid or overcome alternate bearing, i.e. alternation of years with low and high yields and is refined from year to year. The results presented are based on ongoing, long-term experiments of the University of Bonn at Klein-Altendorf in Germany.

The reknowned international panel consisted of one representative from Europe, one from New Zealand and several panelists from the US. The WSHA congress is a prestigous annual meeting held on the West coast of the USA. The ca 1,800 participants are mainly from this largest fruit growing region in the world with an area of ca. 75,000 hectares, stretching from Seattle in the USA to Vancouver in Canada. This mountainous fruit-growing region is also affected by late spring frosts, like Klein-Altendorf, and the west coast climate in Washington State gives rise to conditions where severe thinning is required.

KoGa provides expertise for plenary session at INTERPOMA

Logo Interpoma
Worldapple (c) INTERPOMA

"Food safety and carbon footprint" were the two plenary sessions at the INTERPOMA in November 2010 in Bozen, South Tyrol, Italy. KoGa provided expertise i.e. one of the three keynote speakers for the carbon footprint session.

The Carbon Footprint session was opened by Prof. Massimo Tagliavini from Bolzano University, who explained the carbon viz CO2 flow in an apple ochard. Dr. Michael Blanke spoke about food miles and carbon footprint of home-grown European versus apples imported from New Zealand. The session was finished up by Amjad Karim, who presented a case study to minimise CO2 efflux in an apple orchard on Blackmoor Estate in the UK. The sessions had simultaneous translations into German, English and Italian with subsequent speaker interviews.

The meeting finished up with a visit for the invited keynote speakers to CAFA Meran, one of the world's largest fruit grading facility. INTERPOMA is organised every two years jointly by VOG and VIP and this year attracted ca. 15,000 visitors from 58 countries.

5 lectures, one colloq and six posters at the IHC Lisbon 2010

Six scientists from INRES - Horticultural Science of the Uniersity of Bonn participated actively in the 28th International Horticultural Congress in Lisbon in August 2010. These KoGa representatives gave five lectures in the plant physiology sections, presented six posters, organised "Colloquium 6" on "Innovation in horticulture" and acted as a section or discussion leader.

The congress was held in the International Convention Centre by the Tejo River west of Lisbon and attracted nearly 3,500 participants from around the world.

The IHC is organised every 4 years by a member country of the International Society of Horticultural Science (ISHS), based in Leuven, Belgium. The Congress proceedings can be obtained as several volumes of Acta Horticulturae.
The next IHC will be organised jointly in Australia and New Zealand in August 2014.
More information is available on their website:

Appointment to the Board of Directors of the ISHS

In this year's ISHS Council meetings in Lisbon, Prof. Dr. Georg Noga was elected member of the Board of Directors by the representatives of the Council of the International Society of Horticultural Sciences (ISHS). The term of office is 4 years. The Council is composed of delegates from the National Horticultural Societies from currently 60 countries; however, ISHS is taking care of interests of individual members from currently 210 countries. ISHS enjoys a high visibility around the world, in particular through its scientific publication organs and its international symposia and congresses. Under the auspices of the ISHS, on average each week an international conference in one of its member countries is being held.

Newly elected members to the Board of Directors of ISHS from left to right: Ir. J. Van Assche (BE), Prof. G. Noga (DE), Dr. K. Hummer (US), Prof. A. Monteiro (PT), Prof. Y. Desjardins (CA), Prof. E. H
Newly elected members to the Board of Directors of ISHS from left to right: Ir. J. Van Assche (BE), Prof. G. Noga (DE), Dr. K. Hummer (US), Prof. A. Monteiro (PT), Prof. Y. Desjardins (CA), Prof. E. Hewett (NZ), Prof. I. Warrington (NZ).

Humboldt Alumni Prize for innovative network initiatives 2009

Picture: Humboldt Foundation/W.Reiher
Picture: Humboldt Foundation/W.Reiher

Prof. Odunayo C. Adebooye intends to set up a "Scientific and Humanities Research Information Network" (SHRINET) in Nigeria. The intent is to overcome information deficit of Nigerian academic students due to lack of access to the web and to international publications. Famous Humboldt fellows should consult Nigerian scientists and support them with their grant application, e.g. for Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and German Academic Exchange Service.

Prof. Odunayo C. Adebooye is reknown for his breeding and genetic work in vegetables at the Department of Plant Science of the University of Obafemi Awolowo in Ile-Ife. In 2006, he was rewarded with the “Georg Forster” grant of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He is in close contact to his host, Prof. Dr. Georg Noga, INRES-Horticultural Science of the University of Bonn; both have initiated the African German research network jointly with other Humboldt fellows.