Until my thesis at Nematology, I considered myself a student who was interested in almost every aspect within plant sciences. In a previous thesis I got acquainted with plant-pathogen interactions on a cellular level, thus it was a logical step to continue working on these interactions. I never thought about the chair group of Nematology for my major thesis, until I heard about the excellent reputation of the group for it’s nice work atmosphere and good supervision for students. So, after an introduction with Qi, I decided to work on her topic. And indeed, from the very first day I loved working here with fellow thesis students and the Nema-staff.
I’ve worked on Gpa2-mediated resistance against the potato cyst nematode Globodera pallida. Nowadays, we know that plant immunity relies on an orchestra of interactions between immune receptors, effectors and other host-derived components. Glycine rich RNA binding protein 7 (GRP7) is one of these host-derived components from which it is thought to play a role in Gpa2-mediated defence. Qi learned me multiple molecular techniques in the laboratory; With chlorophyll assays, western blots, co-immunoprecipitation and RT-qPCR we found indications for our hypothesis to be true.
During my thesis I got more and more intrigued by how plants defend themselves against invading pathogens, especially the cascade of interactions between parasitic nematodes and their hosts which is required to eventually result in resistance. The chair group of Nematology showed me that studying these complex interactions is not only an exciting topic, but also that a good atmosphere in the lab contributes to obtaining positive results.