Before I started my thesis, I had to choose between two subjects at two different departments with two kinds of supervisors. The enthusiasm of my supervisor Ava got me right into the Department of Nematology.
I learned a lot while doing my thesis and I enjoyed being positively challenged and working on things outside of my expertise, for example: growing plants, hatching nematodes and performing several assays. I also learned how to properly work in a laboratory in ways that I did not learn during courses. I liked how my Biotechnological background took a turn towards Plant Science and Nematology during my thesis.
The aim of my project was to find out what the purpose of OPR2 was in plant defense. I tested this by growing control Arabidopsis thaliana plants and A. thaliana plants that were deficient of OPR2 expression and exposing them to nematodes of the genera Heterodera schachtii. I also conducted an experiment in which I exposed samples of these plants to pathogenic molecules and see what their initial defense responses were in the form of a Reactive Oxygen Species production.
I liked the people I was working with and the atmosphere in our laboratory (the spit lab) and the lunches after a work-meeting. I also thought it was nice how everyone contributes and helps with everyone’s work. There were thesis rings among students, and I could always ask other people in the lab for help when my supervisor was not there. I would definitely recommend doing a thesis here, because I learned a lot and I had a lot of fun!