Doctoral Programme in Crop Production Science (soil-plant-food models)
Programme leader: Dr. Péter PEPÓ, university professor, DSc
The Doctoral School conducts complex research in relation with the interactive effects of land use systems, agriculture, including crop production on the condition and changes of natural resources (water, soil, air) and the dynamic processes taking place in the crop production space. In the scope of the Doctoral School programme, education is conducted to promote an interdisciplinary understanding of the scientific topics of PhD students, for the lectured subjects to help solve research tasks, and create possible points of connection with the various subjects lectured at the faculty. In addition to education, it is extremely important to develop research and innovation activities in complex projects such as the examination of site- and variety-specific technologies, soil ecosystems, various plant growth processes, abiotic and biotic stressors of plants, climate change and numerous additional factors. Our primary task in research projects is to develop the foundations of sustainable, environment-friendly technological models with an interdisciplinary approach, their diverse, complex evaluation, which includes soil protection, soil erosion, chemical and biological and physical degradation, soil life, soil nutrient balance and many additional analyses of cyclical and non-cyclical processes in the crop production space. To solve the research tasks, the field background is provided by several experimental sites and bases. Of these, the Látókép Experimental Station (year of establishment: 1983) is of outstanding international importance; there, diverse research projects (winter wheat, winter barley, maize, sunflower, rapeseed, sweet corn, soybeans, etc.) are implemented in long-term and other experiments. Other important experiments take place at other experimental sites (Hajdúböszörmény, the demonstration garden in Debrecen, etc.).
In addition to traditional examinations (phenology, phenometry, agronomy, phytosanitary parameters, etc.), in situ non-destructive plant and plant physiology studies are an increasingly important and expanding group of field experiments. In the Doctoral School, coherent, professional interdisciplinary relationships between different institutes and departments is expanding, which is characterized by cooperation based on long-term experiments and supplementing them with additional studies (e.g. winter wheat sulphur circulation, groundwater circulation studies, crop quality studies, etc.). Traditionally, it is of decisive importance to thoroughly examine the quality of plant samples (main and by-products) obtained during research in collaboration with other departments and researchers. The laboratories that serve the research infrastructure of the departments within the Doctoral School play an important role in the research of the Doctoral School and the completion of the projects of the PhD students. Of these, the laboratories that provide opportunities for botanical, plant physiological, pedological, soil ecological and other studies, as well as the instrumental background ensuring quality testing are also extremely important. Instruments for the determination of protein, amino acid, flour quality, element content and other nutrient indicators are available for quality tests.
Special measurements are made possible by gas chromatographs, liquid chromatographs, as well as AAS, GF AAS, ICP, ICPMS, flow injection, calorimeter, NIR devices.
The research programme is closely linked to various domestic and international collaborations. The Doctoral School has extensive cooperation with the relevant faculties of the University of Debrecen, Hungarian agricultural higher education institutions, but also has established and ongoing close research cooperation with several foreign universities (University of Oradea, University of Osijek, Agricultural University of Nitra, BOKU, University of Cluj-Napoca, etc.). In connection with the priority programme of the Faculty, we pay great attention to the practical application of agri-environmental indicators and to the strengthening of the scientific basis of renewable and cyclical systems. It is also extremely important to examine the practical applicability of new scientific results and to analyse their impact on the efficiency of farming.
Doctoral Programme in Horticultural Science
Programme leader: Dr. Imre HOLB, university professor, DSc
In the future of the North Great Plain Region, the most advanced horticultural production can only be successfully realized in the medium and long term if the theory of horticulture is established and carried out on the basis of internationally recognized scientific standards. The University of Debrecen was able to ensure the conditions for its successful operation. For the past one and a half decade, the research workshop equipped with state-of-the-art laboratories has been conducting successful horticultural research in horticultural sciences that have been operating successfully for years. The research areas and profile of the horticultural programme are also related to international collaborations, e.g. through the European Union's environmentally friendly horticultural production and plant protection research programmes. In addition, the Pallag Horticultural Experimental Plant and the Research Institute of Nyíregyháza under the care of the UD Institutes for Agricultural Research and Educational Farm (IAREF) have been serving as the background for R&D for decades, where fruit, vegetable and ornamental plant research is carried out.
An important area of research is the development of the biological background of fruit production; production of fruit and vegetable products with high antioxidant activity, selection of fruit varieties/clones rich in biologically active substances; study of bioactive substances of selected vegetable species; breeding annual flowers resistant to drought and atmospheric drought; production of new ornamental genus and species hybrids; identifying and expanding the biological potential of new, alternative horticultural plant species; in vitro propagation of herbaceous and woody plants; development of fruit growing technology (phytotechnics, environment-friendly crop regulation, sensible plant care and plant protection); rational land use, maintenance of soil fertility (modern, environmentally friendly agrotechnics and nutrient management, soil-friendly irrigation) the study of the impact of soil life, soil structure and tillage on the uptake and utilization of water and nutrients; development and harmonization of integrated production systems in the horticultural sectors; comparison of environmentally friendly cultivation and plant protection systems, development of its technologies in practice.