Project properties

Title <b> Trade-off between growth and defence in plants across the Brassicaceae family
Group Entomology, Laboratory of
Project type thesis
Credits 18-39
Supervisor(s) Laura Zuidema, Erik Poelman
Examiner(s) Erik Poelman, Marcel Dicke
Contact info
Begin date 2024/08/01
End date 2026/04/01
Description Plants can defend themselves against insect herbivores in several ways. For example, they can produce toxic compounds or try to attract natural enemies of the herbivores. It is believed that there is a trade-off between plant growth and defence. If a plant is focusing on growth (because of plant-plant competition for example), it might be less able to defend itself against herbivores. However, which specific defence responses are affected is not yet known. In my project, I try to discover how plants balance growth and defence against herbivores. In several greenhouse experiments, you measure plant growth, performance of aphids and caterpillars, collect plant defence compounds, compare plants' abilities to attract natural enemies of herbivores, and test butterfly oviposition preferences.
Used skills Plant growth, plant defence, tri-trophic interactions, insect behaviour, statistical analysis
Requirements For doing a BSc-thesis at Entomology, there are no requirements for specific courses.
For doing a MSc-thesis or Research Practice at Entomology, the following requirements apply: ENT-30806 + a second ENT-course (preferably ENT-30306 or ENT-50806 or ENT-53806). As an alternative for the second ENT-course, PHP-30806 or BHE-30306 can be selected.
For doing an Internship, the following requirements apply: ENT-30806.
1) these requirements do not apply for MBI students;
2) MBI students should check the requirements for doing an ENT MSc-thesis, Research Practice or Internship in the study programme of their specialisation.