Pint of Science in pub atmosphere


CEPLAS members provided insights into the fascinating world of plant research in the frame of the Pint of Science Festival 2022.

Pint of Science Düsseldorf
Pint of Science Cologne

Finally, science in a pub atmosphere again! After two Corona-related online events, visitors* to the Pint of Science festival were able to experience exciting contributions to scientific topics in presence again. CEPLAS scientists were present in Düsseldorf and Cologne to give talks on various plant-related topics and to discuss them with the visitors afterwards.

With the title "Plants and microbes: Keep your friends close, but your enemies even closer", CEPLAS PhD student Priyamedha Sengupta from the University of Cologne addressed the interaction of plants with microbes. At the Stapel Bar on May 10, she explained a special trick that plants use to protect themselves from disease-causing microorganisms with the help of special microbes. In a sold-out location, she generated a lot of interest from the audience with this topic and had to answer several questions.

Also on May 10, CEPLAS PhD students Svenja Augustin, Laura Merx and Christian-Frederik Kaiser from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf asked the question: "GMO for Good! How a little genetic engineering could make us more sustainable." At a sold-out event at Café Weise in Düsseldorf, the audience heard three exciting stories from plant research. The scientists offered genetic engineering solutions to current problems, such as the fungal threat to banana cultivation or the high land consumption caused by corn cultivation. Using proteins from salt plants to adapt rice to salt stress presented another exciting solution that can be achieved through the use of new breeding technologies. After the presentations, many questions appeared in the audience, which were answered in a lively discussion.

Philipp Katzey from the University of Cologne explained in his presentation on May 11 at Tankstelle Köln how natural plant protection methods can stimulate the self-defense of corn plants. If the processes in the plants can be understood, it can help to increase yields and at the same time reduce the burden of pesticides on soils and the environment.