For my master thesis (MSc Biology) at Nematology, I chose to focus on plants and their response to nematode infection. My thesis is about the function of a particular plant gene (FRNI1) that is known to be a regulator of susceptibility in Arabidopsis thaliana to the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita.
The aim of my project was to identify in which pathways the protein was involved. To figure this out, I was given the opportunity to try quite a number of different experiments: infection assays, hormone assays, RT-qPCR and RNA-seq analysis. I really liked it that I could try these different techniques and thus discover what I actually like to do. I had never worked with R before I started my thesis, but during these six months I had sufficient time to decipher R code, make R scripts and work out some way to analyse my data, which was very challenging and interesting.
The atmosphere at Nematology is quite relaxed, there are shared coffee breaks, often with cake. Also in the lab, the other people working there are always willing to answer questions. The thesis rings were also nice. By giving to and receiving feedback from students who work on quite different subjects, I gained a better understanding of different techniques, types of research and of science that is not plant related.
I really enjoyed my time at Nematology. I learned a lot and I now have a clearer picture of what I would like to do after my master. I would definitely recommend doing a thesis at Nematology, because of the relaxed atmosphere and the interesting research that is done in the department, whether you’re interested in plants, biotechnology, nematodes or immunology.