Bachelor / Master Thesis

The Root-Herbivore Interactions Group at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena offers a Bachelor / Master Thesis.

Toxic sugars

How cock chafer larvae circumvent defensive metabolites of dandelion
Plants produce toxic metabolites to fend off herbivores insects. Many of these metabolites are stored as non-toxic sugars in the plant. Upon insect attack, the sugar moiety is cleaved off and toxic products react inside the insects’ body.
In this project, we investigate how the cock chafer larvae deal with sugar containing defensive metabolites of the dandelion. Does the plant activate its metabolites upon insect feeding, or do the larvae even poison themselves?

We are looking for a motivated and reliable student with interest in plant-insect interactions. We offer an exciting project in a worldwide leading research institute, the opportunity to learn a wide range of methods and optimal supervision in a small and young research group. Starting time of the project is flexible.

Interested students please contact Meret Huber: mhuber [at]

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