MPI-CE_Maize pest exploits plant defense compounds to protect itself
A new study explains why biological control of the western corn rootworm has not been efficient

The western corn rootworm continues to be on the rise in Europe. Why attempts to biologically target this crop pest by applying entomopathogenic nematodes have failed, can now be explained by the amazing defense strategy of this insect. In their new study, scientists from the University of Bern, Switzerland, and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, show that the rootworm larvae are able to sequester plant defense compounds from maize roots in a non-toxic form and can activate the toxins whenever they need them to protect themselves against their own enemies. (eLife, November 2017, DOI: 10.7554/eLife.29307.001) more...
MPI-CE_Desert ants cannot be fooled
These master navigators are able to assess the reliability of landmarks as they search for the way home

Cataglyphis fortis desert ants can learn visual or olfactory cues to pinpoint their nest, but only if these cues are unique to specify the nest entrance. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, discovered that the insects ignore visual landmarks or odors as nest-defining cues, if these occur not only near the nest but also along the route. Hence, ants are able to evaluate the informative value of such cues and are not fooled by ubiquitous unreliable cues. (Current Biology, November 2017, DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.10.039) more...
MPI-CE_Microbial resident enables beetles to feed on a leafy diet
Thistle tortoise beetles outsource the job of breaking down plant cell walls to a symbiotic bacterium

An international team including researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology has described a bacterium residing in a species of leaf beetles which has an unexpected feature: it provides the beetle with the enzymes required to break down certain plant cell wall components. The genome of the bacterium is the smallest ever sequenced of any organism living outside a host cell. It contains genes that are responsible for the production of pectinases, the enzymes that break down pectin, an essential component of the plant cell wall. The production of pectinases is therefore the primary function of these bacteria. Without bacterial symbionts the beetles could not to gain access to the nutrients inside the plant cells and hence would be unable to survive (Cell, November 2017, doi 10.1016/j.cell.2017.10.029). more...
The Beutenberg Campus Jena e.V. is a registered association. It reflects the respective interests of the institutions assembled on the Beutenberg, a hill near Jena which boasts major research establishments, a couple of start-up centres, and an operating unit providing services. This setup is to ensure that the scientific and technological synergy that has been developed can be utilised by all members of this conglomerate.

Board meeting of the Campus Association, Beutenberg Campus Jena e.V.
The next board meeting is planned for March, 2017 in the Abbe Center Building at the Beutenberg Campus.

Forsche Schüler Tag
Every year the Beutenberg Campus invites schoolchildren to a research day where they can get to know the scientists’ working world. The invitation is parallel to Girls’ Day.
With the 'Forsche Schüler' project, 'School Scientists' from the 8th year onwards can look behind the scenes of research and ‘try out’ science. Schoolchildren can choose from a multitude of offers in the physical and life sciences, exactly in keeping with the campus motto ‘Life Science meets Physics’. Beutenberg’s many institutes offer taster workshops allowing schoolchildren to do experiments and discover science for themselves.

Forsche Schüler
The next event in the "Noble Talks" series will be organised on December 01, 2016, 17:00 in the Abbe Center Building at the Beutenberg Campus. The speaker is Prof. Dr. Karsten Danzmann, Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, Hannover/Potsdam.

Campus Map and Portrayal of Individual Institutes
Click here for an enlarged map. Detailed information on individual institutes can be found here...