Division of Applied Plant Nutrition
An increasing world population demands for an increased, but efficient and environmentally friendly food production. In this context, supplying crops with all essential nutrients plays an important role.
Research on plant nutrition allows us to gain a detailed understanding of the different responses of plants to varying nutrient supply regimes in order to develop resource-efficient fertilization recommendations and strategies. Within the research on plant nutrition, the inclusion of plant physiology knowledge reveals itself of utmost importance, as changes in nutrient supply lead to changes in their physiology as plants respond to them. Therefore, the research conducted at the Division of Applied Plant Nutrition combines topics of plant nutrition with related aspects of plant physiology.
Our main research focus is on crop nutrition, particularly with the macronutrients magnesium and potassium. For this reason and considering plant potassium and magnesium requirements, we also dedicate special interest to photosynthesis and photoprotection, plant-water relations, water-use efficiency, drought and salt stress, for which we have gained experience on several experimental methods.
The courses we offer focus on some of the most relevant aspects of crop nutrition and plant physiology primarily. Therefore, providing students a sound knowledge about the most important crops cultivated worldwide is of central importance to us. For example, the Bachelor course "Plant Nutrition encounters Plant Physiology - Experimental Studies Involving both Fields" intends to give students knowledge about central aspects of nutrient dynamics, water-use efficiency, and plant adaptation mechanisms.
In the Master course “Modern Plant Nutrition - Application of Molecular Methods in Plant Nutrition Research”, students are introduced to the basics of molecular methods that are commonplace in research these days through practical exercises. The module is aimed in particular at international students, who often lack the teaching of molecular methods throughout their studies in their home countries.
Our courses, structured interactively, include both theoretical and lab classes, where students are presented with experimental work. In this way, we believe that by promoting fruitful discussions and sharing of teaching experiences from both students and teachers is the best way to obtain success in teaching and learning.