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Biotic and abiotic effects on pollen production and allergenicity of birch and related health impacts

Instruction manual for collecting pollen and leaf samples

Although higher temperatures were often found to increase pollen production and allergenicity, several studies reported decreased quantities of pollen and allergen content under warmer conditions. Up to now, little is known about additional biotic and abiotic factors that might alter these pollen characteristics. There might exist a remarkable difference in the impact of pollen on human beings depending on the overall production and allergenic potential of pollen.

In this study, we focus on the most important allergenic tree species in northern, central, and eastern Europe: birch (Betula spp.). The major novelty is the analysis of biotic and abiotic impacts on pollen of cloned birch individuals free from genetic differences in their natural environment across International Phenological Gardens in Europe. Besides the investigation of abiotic factors (e.g., air temperature, relative humidity, air pollutants) influencing pollen production and allergen content, we also focus on biotic factors such as virus infections (Cherry leaf roll virus) or the pollen-associated microbiome and the in vivo relevance of the pollen’s allergenicity using skin prick tests.

A greater knowledge gained by our study allows the prediction of future alterations under climate change conditions in more detail. An interdisciplinary collaboration between scientists of landscape ecology, phytomedicine and environmental medicine shall answer how biotic and abiotic factors impact pollen production and allergenicity and finally the allergic reactions in patients.

Part of the DFG-Project “Biotic and abiotic effects on pollen production and allergenicity of birch and related health impacts” are the three Universities KU Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, HU Berlin and UNIKA-T of the TUM (Munich) in Augsburg.

 

 


Project information

Project mail adress: pollenPALS(at)ku.de

Coordination and contact person

Prof. Dr. Susanne Jochner-Oette
Physical Geography / Landscape Ecology and Sustainable Ecosystem Development
Catholic University Eichstätt-Ingolstadt
Ostenstraße 18, 85072 Eichstätt
Phone.: +49 8421 93-21742
EMail: susanne.jochner(at)ku.de
http://www.ku.de/mgf/geographie/landschaftsoekologie

Surendra Ranpal
Physical Geography / Landscape Ecology and Sustainable Ecosystem Development
Catholic University Eichstätt-Ingolstadt
Ostenstraße 14, 85072 Eichstätt
Phone: +49 8421 93-23190
EMail: Surendra.Ranpal(at)ku.de

Project partners

Prof. Dr. Carmen Büttner
Phytomedicine
Phytomedicine Division
Humboldt University at Berlin
Lentzeallee 55/57, 14195 Berlin
Phone.: +49 30 2093-46445
EMail: carmen.buettner(at)agrar.hu-berlin.de
http://www.agrar.hu-berlin.de/de/institut/departments/dntw/phytomedizin

 

Prof. Dr. Claudia Traidl-Hoffmann
Environmental Medicine
UNIKA-T, Technical University of Munich (TUM)
Neusässer Straße 47, 86156 Augsburg
Phone: +49 821 598-6417
EMail: claudia.traidl-hoffmann(at)tum.de
http://www.unika-t.de/

 

Project duration: 2019-2022