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Division of Vegetables and Ornamentals

Univ.Prof. Anna Keutgen

Mission Statement

The Division of Vegetables and Ornamentals represents in both, teaching and research, the areas of quality management, nutritional science, analyses of intrinsic compounds, pre- and post-harvest physiology, use and stress physiology, whereby horticultural production is considered as a logical, consecutive-causal production chain to meet the modern needs. Such an approach involves specific requirements for cultivation, processing and relevance in the human diet. It includes a.o. the incorporation of new, wild plants, crop yields, crop data, crop rotation, conservation measures, marketing routes and nutritional values depending on variety and production system (conventional, integrated, organic, alternative), as well as post-harvest technologies and processing. Furthermore, the research of the Division comprises the 'Impact of environmental stress and climate change on the product quality of horticultural crops'. Here, the focus is put on stress tolerance and resistance to abiotic factors such as temperature, water availability, ion excess and light. They include tolerance mechanisms at the systemic level up to cell reactions and synthesis of specific compounds. For the research of stress responses and plant resilience targeted and appropriate pre- and post-harvest measures, starting with the genetic potential of crops and leading to the development of a product, are taken into account. Contributions to human nutrition and health are increasingly taken into consideration. This research approach will be complemented with the development of preferably in vivo evaluation methods for the determination of ingredients, pigments and bioactive substances and studies on the ingredient-dependent modification of surface properties. Further work concerns modern concepts of plant use in the green public sector (natur-orientated, easy to care, aesthetically effective), the eco-physiological interactions of plants and horticultural cultivation systems with the environment, exploring and preserving the Pannonian flora and using wild growing perennials.

Statistik Austria, science classification

Cultivation of ornamental plants
Food testing
Landscape conservation
Organic farming
Plant nutrition
Special crops
Sustainable agriculture
Vegetable growing

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