Christine Becker

Dr. Christine Becker

Phone: +49 6722 502 89412
Fax: +49 6722 502 410
eMail: Christine.Becker(at)
Postal Address:Von-Lade-Straße 1
D-65366 Geisenheim
Address: Building 6120
Room 01.55
Von-Lade-Straße 2
65366 Geisenheim
Research Projects

Project start: 01.11.2021
Project end: 31.10.2024
Sponsor: European Commission, Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture

The main objective of the ResBerry project is to provide the necessary knowledge and demonstrate the effectiveness of tools to enhance above- and belowground biodiversity in European organic berry orchards in order to increase resilience of berries against major pests and diseases. Accordingly, ResBerry will apply the most recent advances in: a) Implementation of preventive pest control measures through management of habitats for natural enemies in organic berry orchards by including companion plants in the form of flower strips, trap plants and/or cover crops supported with an optimized crop canopy structure; b) Deciphering the soil microbial community in organic berry orchards, how communities are shaped by companion plants, and which measurements can be applied to favour beneficial soil microorganisms as a preventive measurement against soil-borne pathogens and for overall increased resilience; c) Raising awareness among farmers for using direct innovative pest control strategies, such as entomopathogenic nematodes for control of spotted wing drosophila and entomovectoring for control of grey mould; d) Evaluating the implications of the proposed measures on yield and nutritional quality of berries and tackling the consumers’ expectations regarding these measures; e) Disseminating and communicating the results to stakeholders, growers, market organizations, research scientists, academia, technical services and consumers. With a wide geographical coverage in five European countries, the project will focus on strawberries and raspberries but will also consider other small fruits as well.

Hochschule Geisenheim
© Oana Bujor-Nenia (USAMV)

Project start: 15.08.2018
Project end: 14.10.2021
Sponsor: Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture

Will mating disruption be an effective method to control the European grapevine moth (Lobesia botrana) in the future or will it be hindered by elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations? L. botrana, the major pest insect in vineyards, is currently well-controlled in Germany, resulting in a massive decrease of applied insecticides. Yet, it is unclear if this success will persist in a changing climate. Male European grapevine moths find females in the vineyard by following the trace of sex pheromones they emit. In order to prevent successful location of females, artificial pheromones are dispensed all over the vineyard, concealing the real traces (mating disruption method) and hence reducing the number of mating events. Elevated CO2 concentrations can affect insect physiology. We therefore study if (1) the composition of female sex pheromones and/or (2) the perception of these pheromones by males as well as their behavior changes under future CO2 concentrations. “KlimaKom” is a joint research project of the Applied Chemical Ecology lab at the Julius Kühn Institute and the Department of Crop Protection at the HGU, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. Using the vineyard Free Air Carbon dioxide Enrichment (FACE) facility in Geisenheim as well as the wind tunnels and gas chromatography-electroantennography equipment in Dossenheim, we are combining field and laboratory experiments. Additionally, we are studying the impact of elevated atmospheric ozone concentrations.

Hochschule Geisenheim
© Hochschule Geisenheim

Project start: 01.03.2018
Project end: 28.02.2021
Sponsor: Hessen State Ministry of Higher Education, Research and the Arts

The aim of this project is to assess the effects of abiotic stressors (in particular increased atmospheric CO2 concentration) on the interactions between grapevines and the two grape berry moth species (Lobesia botrana and Eupoecilia ambiguella). For this purpose, experiments will be carried under controlled conditions in greenhouse chambers as well as in the Geisenheim VineyardFACE facility. Parameters of development of both moth species under different CO2 concentrations are recorded, as well as changes in the expression pattern of relevant genes during the larval development on grapevines in the field under elevated and ambient CO2 concentration. For this purpose, investigations of the larval transcriptome will be carried out by RNAseq.

Hochschule Geisenheim
© Dr. Moustafa Selim