kagr2745

Dr. Karin Groten

   
   International Max Planck Research School
 Phone:+49 (0)3641 57 1001Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology
 Fax:+49 (0)3641 57 1002Hans-Knöll-Straße 8
  emailD-07745 Jena

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Research Interests


I am interested in understanding the communication between plants and microbes with special interest in the interaction between root-associated bacteria, arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) and wild tobacco (Nicotiana attenuata) and the consequences of the colonization for the plants’ fitness in its natural environment. N. attenuata is a post-fire annual that depends on smoke-derived signals for mass germination after fires. A broad variety of fungi from the phylum Glomeromycota, so-called arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, establish symbiotic relationships with most herbaceous plants in ecosystems all over the world. The mycorrhizal network that arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) form in the soil links individuals of the same and different species, enabling an interplant transfer of nutrients and signals. AMF interplant connections are assumed to modulate the plants’ responses to biotic and abiotic stress, and therefore it was hypothesized that they are involved in structuring plant communities. However, this hypothesis has never been fully tested in the field due to the lack of a suitable experimental system. Our long-term goal is to experimentally explore if and how AMF infection affects plant communities that are challenged by the limitation of resources and by biotic stress factors such as herbivory and pathogen attack. Using a transgenic line that does not get infected by AM (irCCaMK) we have a tool at hand to do these analysis in the plant's native habitat.
Additionally, we are establishing a native AM inoculum to investigate in more detail the effect of different AM fungi and AM communities on the plant’s growth and fitness.

Current students


Ming Wang (PhD student) investigates the interaction between Nicotiana attenuata, smoke-derived signals and arbuscular mycorrhiza Julia Wilde (PhD student) focuses on the ecological role of arbuscular mycorrhiza in the field. Rakesh Santhanam (PhD student) is interested in revealing the factors determining the structure of root and shoot endophytic bacterial community of N. attenuata. Nam Nguyen (MSc student) develops and characterizes a native inoculum for future glasshouse studies. She also wants to find of if carbon drain is the major cause for the growth depression we observe for glasshouse-grown plants infected by AMF.
last updated on 2014-04-07