Thesis subject

The beginning of infection: Hormone manipulation during nematode invasion

Plant-parasitic nematodes are a major pest in agriculture. They penetrate the plant and feed from it by forming a unique organ on the roots.

The mechanism by which these organs are made is unknown but they can be created anywhere on the plant, from the root to the shoot to even the leaves. This indicates that nematodes alter a fundamental process in the plant to achieve this. Hormones stand at the basis of plant organogenesis and are involved in nematode infection. I investigate the role of the two hormones auxin and cytokinin to understand how nematodes initiate their feeding organ and what role hormones play in this process. I do this on a genomic, transcriptomic and metabolic level.

Techniques that will be used:

•Quantitative PCR

•Laser confocal microscopy

•Mass spectrometry