Research programmes

Sustainable bioeconomy

BIOP participates in the cross-program theme ‘Sustainable Bioeconomy’, together with 4 other Helmholtz Centers, as well as the research units Microbe-Plant Interactions (AMP), Ecosystem Genomics (EGEN) and the bioinformatics unit (IBIS), all at the Helmholtz Zentrum München. The major source of sustainable bioproducts is provided by plants and a bio-based economy will have a central role in competitiveness of future economies. Infection by pathogens and abiotic stress of plants are major factors of negative influence to the productivity of crops and woody bioenergy plants. Understanding fundamental principles of plant resistance enhances our ability to ensure sustainable bioproduction and a sufficient food and feed supply for human requirements. The increased demand for agricultural areas for bioenergy and biomass production has enhanced the competition for land between food production, alternative uses of plant raw materials, and natural preservation areas. To alleviate this competition, biomass production should resort to areas with limited value for cultivating agricultural products because of soil properties and climatic boundaries. However, this use requires the development of a new generation of biomass plants and novel concepts of land use and agricultural management.