Dr. Karin Groten

   Research Operations Office
 Phone:+49 (0)3641 57 1000Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology
 Fax:-Hans-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.

last updated on 2017-11-01