Beate Berkelmann-Löhnertz

Prof. Dr. Beate Berkelmann-Löhnertz

Function: Deputy Head of Department
Organizational Unit(s):Department of Crop ProtectionProfessorship for Crop Protection in Viticulture and Horticulture
Committees: Standing Commission on Good Scientific Practice
Phone: +49 6722 502 415
eMail: Beate.Berkelmann-Loehnertz(at)
Postal Address:Von-Lade-Straße 1
D-65366 Geisenheim
Address: Building 6120
Room 01.57
Von-Lade-Straße 2
65366 Geisenheim
Research Projects

Project start: 17.06.2019
Project end: 31.05.2024
Sponsor: Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture

The control of downy mildew, caused by Plasmopara viticola, is one of the major challenges in viticulture, especially in organic viticulture. Due to the ban of copper-containing pesticides and massive impacts of climate change, organic viticulture is increasingly entering an economic crisis. Therefore, the aim of the proposed joint project "VITIFIT" is to develop a catalogue of measures with practicable strategies for maintaining grapevine health. In this way, cultivation conditions are improved, the production security is consolidated and thus economic viability is guaranteed. Crop protection strategies will mainly be based on copper minimisation (microencapsulated copper salts) and copper substitutes (plant extracts, UVC technology) and their combination. Associated cultivation and cultural measures should reduce the inoculum potential of P. viticola. Molecular biological analyses will address the mycobiome of the vine leaf under these conditions. Particular attention should be paid to the plant protection agent potassium phosphonate. Existing and newly bred fungus tolerant grape varieties (in German: PIWIs) should play a central role in the developed action plans. Aims here are the improvement of the enological wine style, the market acceptance of PIWIs and their introduction into practice. The identification of new resistance loci against P. viticola and their integration into current breeding lines will support the development of novel PIWIs. Another focus of the project is the adaptation of the forecast model "VitiMeteo Rebenperonospora" to PIWIs. In the sector of knowledge and technology transfer, communication, the flow of information and networking between research and practice are to be optimised. The VITIFIT project should make a significant contribution to achieving the "20% goal" (national sustainability goal concerning the percentage of organic agriculture area).

Project start: 01.06.2015
Project end: 31.12.2017
Sponsor: Hessisches Ministerium für Landwirtschaft und Umwelt, Weinbau, Forsten, Jagd und Heimat

Project start: 01.01.2014
Project end: 31.12.2016
Sponsor: Hessen State Ministry of Higher Education, Research and the Arts

As little is known about the effect of eCO2 on grapevine-pest interactions, we studied the effects of eCO2 on interactions between grapevine and two of its economically most significant pests – downy mildew (Plasmopara viticola) and European grapevine moth (Lobesia botrana). Experiments conducted investigate parameters of the biology of P. viticola (e.g. duration of incubation period, vitality of zoospores, germination of soilborne oospores) as well as the developmental biology of L. botrana (e.g. hatching rate, duration of development stages, pupal weight, longevity and survival rate, fertility of females). Microscopic studies of pest-relevant morphological characteristics of grapevines (e.g. thickness of berry skin, stomatal density and stomatal aperture) are supposed to provide explanations for possible changes in pest infestation levels under eCO2. Furthermore, expression levels of relevant defense genes in grapevines were investigated to record possible changes in defense reactions of the host plant towards the respective pest organism. The data obtained will contribute to a better understanding of mechanisms in plant-pest interactions under altered environmental conditions.

Project start: 01.01.2013
Project end: 31.12.2016
Sponsor: European Commission

InnoVine is a European collaborative project funded through the Knowledge Based Bio-Economy (KBBE) program, launched in January 2013.  During 4 years, it will involve 27 different partners from 7 European countries (Bulgaria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Portugal and Spain).

According to Directive 1107/2009 of the EU our department is officially recognized as a facility for efficacy testing of plant protection products. We are thus holding a GEP (good experimental practice) Recognition Certificate, authorized from the German Plant Protection Service. Over the years, we have gained huge experience in conducting field trials in particular in viticulture, testing various aspects of integrated and biological control of grapevine pests and diseases. In field and greenhouse trials, we are testing plant protection products and/or agents for their efficacy, selectivity and (un)desired side effects, focusing on the best application date and interval, screening for the optimal concentration of active ingredients, taking fungicide resistance aspects into consideration and optimizing newly developed biological control agents (e.g. application coat, uptake by fungal cells, rain stability).