Research


Latest SCI publications

Latest Projects

Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2018-08-01 - 2018-10-31

In the years 2017 and 2018 the sugar beet weevil, Bothynoderes punctiventris, was the most damaging pests of sugar beets in the Eastern parts of Austria. Applicationof synthetic insecticides against this pest did not result in sufficient control. The aim of the project is to investigate alternative and sustainable control strategies against the sugar beet weevil.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2018-07-01 - 2019-03-15

In 2017, glyphosate was approved for another 5 years as a plant protection product in Europe, despite dissenting amongst others from Austria. A national feasibility study for Austria will be done in order to assess the possible ecological and economic effects of an exit or further restriction of use. This study will provide a sound basis for an Austrian action plan on the possible phasing out of glyphosate in plant protection products to mitigate any ecological and economic disadvantages in agriculture. A re-examination of the approval of the active substance, health policy aspects as well as an economic cost estimate of a glyphosate waiver are not the subject of this study.
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