Thesis subject

The evaluation of possible effects of cultivation on soil (microbial) communities

In the ERGO project we are looking for enthusiastic students, who are interested in examining the possible effects of different cultivated Cabbage lines on soil organisms. There are a variety of research opportunities available depending on the interest of the student and previous experience.

What is the program about?

The Dutch government initiated this program to evaluate the effects and have a good scientific basis to decide whether or not to allow Genetically Modified plants into the Dutch agricultural system. Part of this project is to evaluate the normal variation that exists in the normal cultivated plants to see if Genetically Modified plants have totally altered metabolites when compared to these normal varieties.


What can you do?

  • Microorganism: with the Help of DGGE or/and PLFA examine soil samples.
  • Previous knowledge of DNA extraction, PCR or DGGE might be helpful but is not absolutely necessary.
  • Springtails/Nematodes/Mites/Pot worms/ Earthworms: With the help of microscopy and a variety of extraction techniques the effects on these organism groups can be investigated.


Field experiments are possible during summer; greenhouse experiments are possible during the entire year. In the same project there are other possibilities with Genetically Modified plants (The evaluation of possible effects of Genetically Modified plants on soil (microbial) communities).


Depending on your previous experience but at least 2 months.