PhD Position (m/f/d) in Agroecgology, Microbial and Chemical Ecology & Toxicology – University of Würzburg, Germany
PhD Position (m/f/d) in Agroecgology, Microbial and Chemical Ecology & Toxicology - University of Würzburg, Germany
Unlike gene editing and GMO, modifications of crops with endophytes received little attention in agroecological studies. Endophytic fungi of the genus Epichloë occur in many grass species and can protect their host plant by the production of numerous alkaloids. These alkaloids can be toxic for insect pests but also for livestock and can be used by seed companies to enhance the hosts fitness. In Germany such Epichloë – grass associations occur frequently in native grass species in natural habitats. However, it is unknown, if endophyte infection rates and alkaloid profiles differ between natural grasslands and sown pastures. It is also unknown, how frequently Epichloë infected seeds occur on the German seed market and if the infected plants produce alkaloids above the toxicity levels for livestock. This project aims to provide a scientific background to an emerging discussion about the distribution of symbiotically modified organisms on German pastures.
The PhD position will be supervised by Prof. Dr. Jochen Krauss and is located at the
Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology https://www.biozentrum.uni- wuerzburg.de/zoo3/team/krauss/. Cooperation partners for chemical analyses will be Prof. Dr. Nicole van Dam (iDiv, Jena, HPLC-MS) https://www.idiv.de/de/profile/121.html and Prof. Dr. Thomas Schmitt (Würzburg, GC-MS) https://www.biozentrum.uni- wuerzburg.de/zoo3/team/schmitt/.
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