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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2016-05-01 - 2017-04-30

The aim of the proposed study is the scientific study of innovative subdivisions in plant pots. It should be investigated whether an effective interruption of the root zone is possible by lamellas and thereby the long roots formation can be suppressed as well as the hair roots formation optimized. In an experimental study with several ceramic pot prototypes, in which the lamellas for dividing the root zone in different combinations are used (short to long, low to high, narrow to broad), can these influences be for the first time scientifically investigated. This would make it possible to demonstrate the efficacy of internals in plant pots scientifically. It would be also conceivable to demonstrate, that through the stimulation of the hair roots formation the positive effects on plant health can be achieved. Thus, the consequences of stress (partially drought, lack of irrigation and unfavorable locations) may be at least reduced and contribute to the better resistance of the plant. This could be both for indoor as well as balcony, and patio plants beneficial.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2017-05-01 - 2020-04-30

Soil-borne pathogens pose particular challenges in the field of plant protection. Apart from direct antagonistic effects of certain fungi and bacteria also beneficial microorganisms such as arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and fungal endophytes can increase the resistance of plants to soil-borne pathogens. Although fungal endophytes such as Sebacinales have originally been isolated from AMF spores there is hardly any information available about their putative interactions in tomato plant health. For this project two European species of Sebacinales will be used. Serendipita williamsii as well as Serendipita herbamans have not been investigated yet for their putative role in plant growth promotion and against soil-borne pathogens. Therefore, in the first objective the effects of selected Serendipita spp. alone and in combination with AMF on tomato plant growth and disease control will be investigated. In the second objective, the colonization process of tomato roots by S. herbamans and S. williamsii alone and in combination with F. oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici and AMF will be analyzed by different microscopic analyses. Finally, in the third objective systemic effects of Serendipita spp. in tomato on F. oxysporum and AMF will be analyzed in split-root systems. Since P. williamsii and S. herbamans will be investigated for the first time for their plant growth promotion and bioprotective effects in tomato this proposal offers great innovative potential and will give the applicants the opportunity to be among the first ones in this new emerging direction. To visualize the colonization process of the roots the two sebacinoid fungi will be transformed with plasmids containing yellow fluorescent protein (eYFP) and red fluorescent protein (mRFP1), respectively, and investigated under a fluorescent microscope. Furthermore, FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization) will be used to investigate the interactions within the root tissue. Additionally, transmission electron microscopy will be performed. In order to investigate growth and bioprotective effects greenhouse experiments will be conducted. Disease incidence and severity will be assessed by visual rating and roots will be scanned and analyzed by the software WinRhizo®. Colonization of roots by sebacinoid and AM fungi will be quantified by qPCR. Furthermore, expression of defense-related genes will be estimated by real-time qPCR and selected secondary metabolites will be monitored by HTLC to investigate bioprotective effects in greater detail.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations