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Plant, Food & Climate


Below please find a selection of ongoing research projects. Project descriptions for several of them are publicly available on websites which can be linked to from this page:

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  1. Phenotyping towards more resilient and sustainable crops

    Rong Zhou, Carl-Otto Ottosen, Bernd Wollenweber & Xiangnan Li

    It is predicted that atmospheric CO2 concentration will rise globally to 550 ppm in the middle of the present century and double in the end of the century but is accompanied by major fluctuations in both temperature and water supply. The challenge is how and why some genotypes are able to cope with multiple stress. Melatonin is a well-known hormone associated with diurnal regulations in plants and animals. We aim to use both wild and cultivated genotypes of tomato to study the roles of melatonin to clarify how it affects the responses to elevated CO2 and combined stress (heat, drought). The physiological, metabolic and genetic responses will help us understand the potential functions of melatonin. It is our hypothesis that melatonin might alleviate the detrimental effects of some stresses and facilitate the recovery by photosynthesis and antioxidant capacity. This will provide understanding of the hormonal effect on the sensitivity to the complex effects of global climate changes.

    Funding: Aarhus University AUFF grants

    Collaborator: Prof. Carl-Otto Ottosen, Prof. Bernd Wollenweber from Aarhus University and Prof. Xiangnan Li from Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, China


  2. Væksthus Industri 4.0

    Jesper Mazanti Aaslyng, Jakob Skovgaard-Petersen, Katrine Heinsvig Kjær, Carl-Otto Ottosen, Niels Holst, Bo Nørregaard Jørgensen, Christian Veje, Zheng Ma, Jan Sørensen, Krzysztof Arendt & Anders Clausen

    Dette projekt har til formål at sikre en position for den danske væksthusindustri som verdens førende inden for energieffektiv og miljømæssig bæredygtig produktion. Projektet vil nå målet ved at gøre de danske væksthusproducenter til verdens førende digitale front-runners ved at adoptere og kombinere Industri 4.0 teknologierne som IoT-sensorer, kunstig intelligens, Big Data, cloud computing og digitale tvillinger som integrerede dele af deres produktionssystemer. Projektet bidrager således til at transformere de dansk væksthusgartnerier fra at være anvendere af best-practice til at blive early-adopters af next-practice. Ligesom andre energi-og arbejdskrævende industrier, der konkurrerer med lavtlønsområder, skal den danske væksthusindustri løbende forbedre energieffektiviteten og produktionen uden at gå på kompromis med produktkvalitet eller bæredygtighed. Dette konkurrencepres kræver en omfattende vertikal integration og optimering af væksthusproduktionsprocesserne. Anvendelse af digital tvilling konceptet optimerer af produktion plan, energiforbrug, arbejdsløn ved at inddrage væsentlige faktorer som produktionsdeadlines, kvalitetsklassificering, kunstlys, energipriser (gas og elektricitet), og vejrudsigter. Resultatet af projektet er en væksthus Industri 4.0 digital tvilling software platform der vil blive installeret og demonstreret hos de deltagende væksthusgartnerier. Væksthus Industri 4.0 digital tvilling software platformen vil blive stillet til rådighed, nationalt og internationalt, til andre væksthusgartnerier på kommercielle vilkårDescription


  3. HyPErFarm - Hydrogen and photovoltaic electrification on farm

    Gabriele Torma, Jessica Aschemann-Witzel, Uffe Jørgensen, Marta Victoria, Johannes Wilhelmus Maria Pullens, Carl-Otto Ottosen, Claus Hunsballe & Alea Scovill

    The EU Horizon 2020 Innovation Action project “HyPErFarm - Hydrogen and photovoltaic electrification on farm” is a collaboration with 14 partners, in particular in Denmark, Germany and Belgium. The Department of Management will study the business case and public acceptability of agro-voltaic systems with dual land use for crop production and simultaneous power production. The project contributes to the general management and marketing and consumer behaviour field as well as to the study of farmer, citizen, and consumer acceptance of a sustainable technological innovation in particular. Description


  4. Saline Farming: Innovative agriculture to protect the environment and stimulate economic growth (SalFar)

    Hanne Lakkenborg Kristensen, Rong Zhou, Ulla Kidmose, Thayna Mendanha, Thomas Bak-Østerby & Louise Krogh Johnson

    Resource consumption and carbon emissions are major drivers of climate change. In order to reduce these, we have to look for alternative ways of production in agriculture, alongside other large economic players. As a highly important sector in all the countries of the North Sea Region, agriculture could contribute significantly in developing green business strategies and fostering environmental protection, alongside economic growth.
    This project aims to promote resource efficiency by (re)using degraded farmland and reducing fresh water consumption. 10 open field labs will be set up in each participating region to demonstrate innovative methods of farming on saline soil with natural adaptation processes in plants and crops. "Thinking green” in this way means a real change of perspective in farming and food producing, a change of behavior of the consumers of food, and, for authorities, rethinking water management and changing policies on environment and agriculture in coastal areas.
    As all coastal zones have to cope with sea level rise, our shared challenge is to create awareness for salinization and offer new methods of farming across the NSR. Further to setting up ‘living labs’ in each participating country to conduct experiments with the salt tolerance of crops, we will develop training modules for farmers on saline farming and creating new business strategies. A joint asset will be the branding of our products as terroir-based quality food to support green economies across the North Sea Region.
    The AU-FOOD contribution is focussed on documentation of unique qualities of food in terms of salinity effects on growth and quality of crops as well as effects on products’ sensory properties.