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15 years Horticulture Competence Centre (KoGa)

A festive colloquium was held on 7th September to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Horticulture Competence Centre (KoGa). At the same time, this event was in honour of Professor Georg Noga’s lifetime achievement. He will retire at the end of September.

Speakers, from left to right: Mr Gerhard Baab, Prof Peter Stehle, Prof Ulrich Schurr, Prof Georg Noga, Prof Georg F. Backhaus, Dr Andreas Mager, Mr Franz-Josef Schockemöhle
From left to right: Mr Gerhard Baab, Prof Peter Stehle, Prof Ulrich Schurr, Prof Georg Noga, Prof Georg F. Backhaus, Dr Andreas Mager, Mr Franz-Josef Schockemöhle

Already during the welcoming speech of the Dean of the Agricultural Faculty, Professor Peter Stehle, and the Head of the Department for Agriculture and Horticulture of the Chamber of Agriculture North Rhine-Westphalia, Franz-Josef Schockemöhle, it became clear that one of Georg Noga’s main concerns was to unite the research areas of the university in Klein-Altendorf with the fruit orchard research station of the Service Center for Rural Regions (DLR, back then in Walporzheim close to Ahrweiler). Starting his efforts directly after his appointment to Professor in 1988, the competencies of both facilities were finally joined in 2002, when the DLR and the University of Bonn established KoGa. The Forschungszentrum Jülich (2009) and the Chamber of Agriculture (2012) joined forces soon after. The presentations during the colloquium highlighted with how much vision Professor Georg Noga promoted his ambition.

President and Professor of the Julius-Kühn-Institute, Dr. Georg F. Backhaus, gave a talk about “Research for the Future of Horticulture”, in which he explained the challenges in the upcoming years, from applied research to more efficient harvest technologies and molecular breeding questions. Gerhard Baab, Research coordinator of the Pomology Section of the DLR at Klein-Altendorf, presented in his contribution on “Apple Replant Disease: Cooperative research”, a perfect example of successful collaboration within KoGa, which also resulted in many bachelor and master theses as well as two international collaborative research projects. Dr. Andreas Mager presented 70 years‘ of horticultural research in Bonn during his talk entitled “The Institute of Horticultural Science in Bonn – a cross-generation partner for practical application”. He demonstrated how the institute has focused on storage physiology and virus removal in the beginning and how brave Prof Noga’s efforts were to achieve a cooperation of facilities working within the topic of fruit and horticulture.

Finally, Professor Ulrich Schurr from the Forschungszentrum Jülich reported about “Cooperations big times: Horticulture, phenotyping and bio-economy”, where he presented the very successful networking activities between the institute and the Forschungszentrum Jülich.

The KoGa birthday as well as Professor Georg Noga’s retirement were celebrated until late at night with a reception at the Mediteranean Hall in the Botanical Gardens and music from the “Peasants”.

Bonner expertise on fruit colouration at the ENFRUTE

In the temperate fruit growing area in Southern Brazil, fruit congresses alternate between the ENFRUTE in the ‘Parque de Maca’ in Fraiburgo in one year and the Seminario Internacional de Fruticultura in Vacaria in the next year.

In July 2017, Dr Michael Blanke of INRES - Horticultural Science (University of Bonn) gave an inspiring talk on causes, which prevent or reduce fruit colouration (including chemicals) under the often cloudy conditions of Brazil and suggested countermeasures to improve fruit colouration of the predominant cvs ‘Gala’ and ‘Fuji’. This follows on from two talks at the previous ‘ENFRUTE’ in 2015 in Fraiburgo (SC) on ‘Crop load management (CLM)’ and hail nets, and two invited presentations at the 3rd ‘Seminario Internacional de Fruticultura‘ in Vacaria (RS) in May 2016.

As a result of recent climate change, Brazil’s temperate fruit industry suffers from delayed flowering, heavy rainfall, sunburn, lack of fruit colouration and lack of winter chill.

Brazil‘s apple tonnage of a million tonnes originates from an acreage of 33,393 ha (2016) concentrated in the Southern states of Rio Grande do Sul (RS) and Santa Catarina (SC) with yields of approximately 40 t/ha; well-coloured fruit are an incentive for the growers and make any efforts worthwhile, since their returns can increase up to 15 fold for well-coloured over poorly-coloured fruit– the background for the talk.

„BioSC in Dialogue“ at the Citizens` Forum RWTHextern: „Vertical Farming – A Concept for the Future?“

On 30th June 2017, „BioSC in Dialogue“ offered a lecture in Aachen together with the citizen`s forum RWTHextern. Prof. Dr. Georg Noga, professor for horticulture at the University of Bonn, presented the concept of Vertical Farming, an innovative approach for food production in metropolitan areas. The lecture met an interested audience and ended with a lively discussion.


You can find the detailed article in the BioSC Newsletter for July:

FSAB congress in Palermo

The ’Flower induction, fruit set and alternate bearing‘ (FSAB) congress in June 2017 at the University of Palermo exceeded the organizer ’s expectation and attracted as many as ca. 100 scientists from 26 countries and all continents.

Alternate bearing, i.e. change of years with high and low fruit crop, is a common issue in worldwide fruit production- fruit crops most affected include almond, pistachio, Citrus mandarin, litchi and mango and in apple, cvs Honeycrisp, Fuji and Elstar.
This inaugural congress was jointly organised by Prof. Francesco Marra und Prof. Tiziano Caruso, ISHS and the Italian Society for Fruit Cultivation SOI.
Dr Lutz Damerow (University of Bonn, Institute of Agricultural Engineering) and Dr Michael Blanke (University of Bonn, INRES – Horticultural Science) contributed a lecture on ’Underlying mechanisms of alternate bearing in cv.’ Elstar’ apple, based on Ms Krasniqi’s diploma thesis and our review on this topic in Plant Science*. Furthermore Dr Michael Blanke provided the chairman of the physiology session.

III International Symposium on Horticulture in Europe - SHE2016

Every four years, horticultural scientists meet at the European level under the auspices of the ISHS. After the first meeting in Vienna in February 2008 and second meeting in Angers in 2012, ca. 350 scientists attended the 3rdSymposium on Horticulture in Europe (she) organized by Prof. Panagiotis Kalaitzis (Mediterranean Agronomic Institute at Chania) and Prof. George Manganaris (Cyprus Institute of Technology) in Chania, Crete in October 2016. 
Two parallel oral sessions were accompanied by ca.230 posters ranging from phenotyping, health aspects of fruit and vegetable consumption, adaption strategies to combat climate change effects, new breeding and new orchard technologies including reducing spray drift and volumes. 
The University of Bonn, BIOSC and FZ Jülich provided an invited plenary speaker, session chair, an oral lecture on ‘wax bloom on plum’ and presented their latest findings in two oral and eight posters on reflective mulches, climate change effects on fruit (chilling), forcing cherry under cover, extraction of tomato leaf ingredients, mechanical thinning and yield prediction in apple and opto-electrical sensors for the detection of fruit surface features in apple and pear as well as pomegranate.
On Friday morning, excursions provided the option for insights into Crete’s leading winery or an organic olive oil press in Maich. The symposium contributions are due to be published in Acta Horticulturae. The next SHE will take place in 2020 in Trentino, Italy.