Apple microbiome

Research and complex analysis for our health

Our food not only determines our health directly through its nutrient composition but also serves as an important source of useful microorganisms which in turn affect our own individual microbial community (the microbiome). The microbiomas of our foods are, however, largely unknown. With the aid of microbiological and molecular biology and microscopic analyzes, we looked for the search for the diversity of microbial communities in biologically and conventionally grown, healthy and disease-prone apples. Together with the students, we tried to find out which and how many of the microorganisms in the apple can be considered useful or potentially pathogenic for humans. Microbiological research also enables the search for so-called biocontrol organisms, which can counteract significant apple diseases and thus contribute to sustainable agriculture.

All school classes were involved in the project by allowing young people to examine apples from their own garden for their microbial composition. In addition, there was the possibility for particularly interested pupils to write a Matura work within the scope of the research.

With our innovative and interdisciplinary student design, which was scientifically, technically and artistically oriented, we wanted to try and improve the prevailing opinion about microorganisms not only among young people but also in the public. The artistic aspect of microbial architecture was to be captured by confocal laser microscopy and clarified by the design of sculptures. This strengthened the media's interest in research. In addition, an EcoArt-Day took place, in which the students presented the scientific results as well as the art projects.

This project has been completed.