Last months I have been busy with my Bsc Thesis at the department of Nematology (at the plant nematode interaction department). I found my thesis subject after having followed the course Host-Parasite Interactions.
I wrote a review paper on the plants response on formation of feeding structures. My thesis subject was narrowed down to one specific nematode and one specific plant species. The nematode I worked with was RKN Meloidogyne incognita. Incognita is a major pest to many of the cultivated plants and can also infect Arabidopsis thaliana, which happens to be the perfect model species for plant research. So Arabidopsis and incognita make the perfect couple to study interactions between host plant and plant-parasitic nematodes.
Research by one of my supervisors, Sonja Warmerdam revealed different genes that are possibly involved in susceptibility to incognita. Two of these genes were assigned to me, on which I executed a functional characterisation. I performed infection assays and harvested roots. The roots were researched by counting the number of nematodes inside the roots and also by performing qRT-PCR on the roots.
In addition to my lab and writing work, there were weekly meetings. An example of a meeting that is weekly held is the Thesis Ring. In the thesis ring students supervise each other’s work. The thesis rings had a great added value to my thesis writing. It is good to have your work reviewed and to review work of others, I learned a lot from it!
The department is very open to every student that wants to join. To me, this was very important. I could go to anyone with questions and in the breaks there always was a lot laughter in the coffee corner. This also resulted in the fact that I truly loved my thesis here at Nematology!
Taken this all together: my thesis here at the department of Nematology has been very interesting and I had a lot of fun while working on it!