Subproject 08: Microbiome & Stress (1 PhD position)

Principle Investigators: Stefanie Schulz, Helmholtz Zentrum München; Michael Schloter, Technische Universität München

Summary: If you are eager to apply molecular, isolation and inoculation techniques to answer burning questions related to plant-microbe-interactions under drought stress, this project is waiting for you!

We will use modern techniques like metagenomic sequencing, microbial isolation as well as their phenotypic and genotypic characterization to shed light on the following research questions: 1) How does plant diversity alter the relative abundance and diversity of bacteria exhibiting different drought-tolerance traits? 2) At which drought intensity do drought-resistant bacteria prevail and how is that mediated by plant diversity? 3) How do drought-tolerance traits of seed and soil-derived bacteria differ and improve plant survival under stress? We will use the Y-A-S ecological framework to classify drought resistance traits in the categories related to yield improvement (Y), nutrient acquisition (A) and stress tolerance (S). This framework will be applied in several experiments, which include field sampling campaigns of the “Jena Experiment” field site as well as a series of short-term incubation experiments which test the effect of increasing drought and plant diversity levels or the efficiency of the isolated drought-tolerant bacteria to mitigate plant-drought stress.

With this project the PhD student will learn to use state-of-the-art wet lab and bioinformatic tools to improve our knowledge about plant-microbe mitigation strategies under drought stress.

Available positions: 1 PhD student

Job advertisement: (pending)

Contact: Dr.Stefanie Schulz (