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Plant-Microbe-Interaction in the nitrification process


Supervisor: Wolfram Weckwerth

PhD student: Arindam Ghatak

Group: Division of Molecular Systems Biology, Department of Ecogenomics and Systems Biology







The aim is to investigate nitrogen availability as a direct effect of plant-microbe interaction. Several plant species have inhibitory effects on nitrification and/or growth activity, and thus, interact with AOA and AOB soil communities and the corresponding nitrification processes as well as N2O emissions either as N2O emission by soil processes and/or N2O emission by plants due to nitrate-assimilation. All these processes have important impact on nitrogen availability in ecosystems and agricultural processes. Plants can influence the nitrification process of AOA and AOB by secretion of inhibitory compounds or by regulating growth activities. Changes in AOA and AOB communities lead to varying nitrification activities and changes in the availability of nitrogen for the plants as well as decreased or increased leaching processes of nitrate from the soil. To investigate this intimate plant-microbe-interaction plant root exudate analysis will be correlated to microbial compositions and nitrification processes of the soil in cooperation with the Schleper lab. We will establish in vitro and in situ systems for the analysis of the plant-microbe rizhosphere. The data will be correlated with N2O emissions in collaboration with the Richter lab. By applying a metabolomics platform comprising GC/MS and LC/MS to root exudate analysis novel plantmicrobe interactions and allelopathic substances can be screened. As a complementary project root exudate effects on growth of Nitrososphera viennensis enrichment cultures will be tested by the Schleper lab. 

Co-Supervision: Silvia Bulgheresi, Gerhard Herndl

International collaborator: Subbarao, JIRCAS, Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences

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