Project properties

Title Powerful plants: how do they stop a fungal root pathogen?
Group Plant Ecology and Nature Conservation Group
Project type thesis
Credits 12-36
Supervisor(s) Eline Ampt, Liesje Mommer, Jasper van Ruijven
Examiner(s) Liesje Mommer, Jasper van Ruijven
Contact info
Begin date 2019/09/01
End date 2021/01/01
Description Do you want to do experimental work in your BSc or MSc thesis? We have several options for both short or longer thesis work, starting in any period!
Fungal root pathogens cause major diseases in agriculture that are hard to combat with regular measures such as chemicals and crop rotation. We have found that specific neighbouring plants can inhibit the disease spread of such a fungal root pathogen.

Now, we want to understand how these neighbouring plants inhibit the spread of soil-borne plant pathogenic fungi in plant communities.

There are several hypothesised mechanism(s) you can investigate, e.g.:
- Root intermingling
- Root exudates
- Root microbiome (bacteria and fungi)

You will perform small-scale bio-assays to assess the effect of one of these mechanisms on growth and spread of the plant pathogenic fungus Rhizoctonia solani.

These experiments can be performed year-round.
If you're interested, just contact and we can discuss the possibilities based on your interest!
Used skills This project combines the fields of ecology and phytopathology. You will perform bio-assays with a range of grassland plant species and a plant-pathogenic fungus under controlled conditions. This involves phytopathological techniques such as fungal culture, root inoculation, and various disease assessments. There might also be some molecular work involved, e.g. to detect fungi in roots or bacteria in the rhizosphere. You will analyse your own data and write a report (thesis).