M (Mengshuai) Liu

M (Mengshuai) Liu

PhD candidate


I started my PhD study on the current integrated program, under the supervision of Dr. Chunxu Song, Prof. Liesje Mommer, Dr. Jasper van Ruijven, and Dr. Jose Macia Vicente.

Understanding the roles of negative plant soil feedback and main soil-borne pathogens in North China Plain agriculture

Globally, soil-borne diseases can cause serious impacts on crops, leading to major yield losses. Pesticides have been an efficient way to suppress soil-borne diseases but lead to environmental contamination. Hence, sustainable approaches are urgently needed to achieve agricultural sustainability and environmental protection goals.  North China Plain is one of the most important regions for the production of cereal crops in China. It is common that winter wheat-summer maize is grown continuous cropping systems, in some of which intercrop with soybean. Soil-borne diseases, such as Fusarium is known to occur. However, the main soil-borne pathogens in this cropping system in North China Plain is poorly understood.

The objectives of this project are to 1) explore the extent of the potential soil-borne pathogens in current cropping systems in North China Plain 2) understand the extent of negative plant-soil feedbacks in the wheat and maize cropping systems in this area and 3) reveal the interactions of soil-borne pathogens with nutrient applications. To achieve these goals, we will choose North China Plain as a case study, to identify the key soil-borne pathogens and propose the mechanisms behind negative plant-soil feedbacks in wheat, maize and soybean cropping systems, based on literature review, high-throughput sequencing, and pot experiments. We deem this project will provide a roadmap towards finding more sustainable cropping systems in the North China Plain.