Thesis subject

How does it all begin: early events of nematode feeding site formation

Cyst nematodes are one of the most damaging nematodes in agriculture. They feed on plant roots by forming a unique organ called syncytium, which allows cyst nematodes to suck up nutrients from the plant vascular system.

The mechanisms through which cyst nematodes initiate the syncytium are unknown. In my research I investigate the very early events of syncytium development. To do this, I focus on the changes in cell type that occur upon nematode infection and on pathways that are regulated by two important plant hormones, jasmonic acid and auxin.

Techniques that will be used:

•Nematode bioassays

•Laser confocal microscopy

•Light microscopy