“Apple Mikrobiome” – The Project:
Art as an interface between science and school
As part of the Apfelmikrobiom project, students are studying the microbiome of the apple in collaboration with scientists from Graz University of Technology. The investigations should lead to new insights and a rethinking of our relationship with microorganisms. The aim is to publish a scientific report on the composition of the microbiome of the apple, as well as the development of a new, sustainable method of storing apples and an environmentally friendly control of apple diseases.
Subsequently, a low-threshold knowledge transfer of the complex of topics takes place by means of different artistic representation in school and public space. The scientific and creative results are presented to the public in so-called “EcoArt Days” within the framework of multi-day exhibitions and documented and disseminated in social media.
Thus, the project represents an innovative teaching concept in that the creative work of the students serves as an interface between school and science and forms an ideal platform for the sustainable transfer of knowledge.
What is a “Microbiome”?
Recent research has shown that microorganisms ingested with raw vegetables and fruits have a positive impact on human health.
Research on food microbiomes has been classified as the number one research priority in international microbiome research.
Not only the human as a consumer, but also the vitality of the plant is fundamentally influenced by its inherent microbiome.
In collaboration withSparkling Science, a program supported by the Bundesministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Wirtschaftthat gives young people insight into academic research examines the apple’s microbiome, whose composition is still poorly understood.
Together with students from three schools in Graz, the microbiome of healthy and sick as well as organic and conventionally bred apples are compared.
The potential impact of apple on human health should be demonstrated.
The control of apple pathogens such as apple scab and bearing rot has so far been possible only through the use of pesticides, which brings massive economic problems for organic farming with it. Another research focus of the project is therefore to model sustainable and ecologically sensible options to curb these apple diseases and to optimize apple storage conditions together with industrial project partners.