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Plasma Agriculture

The research group "Plasma-Agriculture" develops innovative plasma processes with the aim of increasing the resistance of plants to abiotic and biotic stress factors, but also to increase growth and yield. Another central topic is the decontamination of seeds, also by means of plasma-based technologies, which should improve storage and transport. Plasma treatment can also have a stimulating effect on plant germination. For these tasks, an interdisciplinary team of scientists and technicians has been formed, bringing in expertise from plant biology, microbiology, plasma physics and structural plant engineering. Initially, the research group will investigate the effects of physical plasmas on plants in the laboratory and develop suitable plasma sources. The results of these experiments then form the basis for applications in agricultural plant production. Against the background of the planned stricter EU regulations for plant protection products and climate change, alternatives are to be developed that will make it possible to reduce the use of chemicals in the fields. The research group focuses on the two signal molecules ROS and RNA, which have a cytotoxic effect due to damage to cellular components - combined with oxidative and nitrosative stress. These reactive oxygen and nitrogen species also represent important signaling substances and have a crucial function within redox regulation. The effects of ROS and RNA span the entire plant life cycle from seed germination to seed formation. The plasma sources Gliding Arc and DBD have been used in previous research. Seeds and plants can be exposed to a direct or indirect plasma effect.

Head of Research Group „Plasma Agriculture“: 
Dr. Henrike Brust
Tel.: +49 3834 554-3971