If we want to satisfy the increasing demand or plant biomass for food and feed, for materials and chemicals as well as for bioenergy through sustainable production we will need
The scientific focus of the IBG-2: plant sciences is the dynamic and the control of structural and functional parameters during the developmental processes and the role of dynamic changes in environment and resource conditions; the dynamic and control of plant internal transport of water, assimilates, nutrients and signalling substances as well as the dynamic processes and evolvement of structures and functions in used ecosystems, the exchange of energy and substances by plants with atmospheric and soil compartments (photosynthesis, root processes, biotic interactions and functional biodiversity). Beyond these primary production processes, the composition and physico-chemical structure of the plants are optimised for specific routes of utilisation in bioeconomy routes (food, feed, materials, chemicals, energy) (integrated biorefinery concepts). With the target of a circular (bio-) economy we develop integrated production and biomass utilisation systems, which are optimised for a multitude of parallel targets (e.g. yield, resource use, recycling of nutrients, etc.). Further on, the institute is working on transformation processes and their communication from a fosil-based to a bio-based economy.
Ground-breaking contributions are addressed by the IBG-2: Plant Sciences through the development and application of methods for quantitative, often non-invasive analysis of plant and environmental conditions in space and time (phenotyping) at controlled, semi-controlled and field conditions. The institute develops novel approaches to quantify plant structure and functions, implements and applies them in the Jülich Plant Phenotyping Center (JPPC).
These methods are utilized to generate knowledge about the dynamics of plant characteristics that are important for resource use efficiency (water, nutrients, etc.), yield and quality of crops (trait discovery). Deduced properties and proxies are used for breeding and plant management to optimize plant performance, for screening at controlled, semi-controlled and field conditions (phenotyping). In selected cases the institute assembles these expertise and concepts to novel integrated systems of highly efficient and automated production facilities (integrated production).