Research Interest

In times of an increasing number of food scandals it gets more and more important to explore new ecologically sustainable methods for food production. In my opinion it is an essential task to produce food that neither causes damage to human nor to nature. Until now most fungal pathogens are repelled using chemical fungicides. These substances are often questionable concerning environmental sustainability, hence new techniques to protect crops from fungal disease are necessary.
Fungal epi- and endophytes show a ubiquitous distribution. They grow as one-celled or few-celled organisms on the surface or in foliar tissues of their hosts. For some representatives of this group antagonistic activity against other fungi is reported. Fungal epi- and endophytes are able to induce resistance against several plant pathogens and hereby influence plant fitness.
Thus the objectives of my PhD project are firstly to characterize specific communities of epi- and endophytic fungi and secondly to identify antagonistic activity against other fungi, especially against Uromyces appendiculatus (PERS. ex PERS.) UNGER, the causal agent of beanrust on common bean. Thus my work is believed to make a contribution to organic farming, the aim of which is to diminish the application of pesticide.
My work includes working steps of sampling different parts of host plants, isolation and cultivation of fungi on different media, in vitro tests for antagonism against other organisms and finally analyses of promising isolates in vivo on common bean.


Contact

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René Prior
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Geobotanik - Gebäude ND 03/175
Universitätsstrasse 150
44780 Bochum

Tel. +49 (0)234 32 22097
Fax +49 (0)234 32 14434
e-mail: rene.prior@rub.de