The arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi of Plantago major and their role in regulating plant defences

Main area:Ecology
 
Target group:Biology, Bioinformatics
 
Educational level:Masters
 
Project description:

The arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi of Plantago major and their role in regulating plant defences

Plantago major (Vejbred) is everywhere in Denmark, from paving stones to parks, to the edges of forests and agricultural fields. They produce anti-herbivore compounds in the leaves, but there is a theory that fungal symbionts in the roots (arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, AMF) can enhance these defences. We have sampled populations from 15 locations across Denmark and quantified the defence compounds (against herbivores) in the leaves. In this project, you will characterise the composition of AMF species on the roots using DNA metabarcoding and quantify their abundance using microscopy. We can then study the ecology of AMF across the different islands and regions of Denmark, and most importantly ask the question, can AMF in the roots effect plant defences in the leaves?

This project will be based at the Natural History Museum with Christopher James Barnes and at the Department of Biology with Rasmus Kjøller.

 
Methods used:DNA metabarcoding, bioinformatics, multivariate statistics, microscopy
 
Keywords:Plantago major (Vejbred), arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, AMF, metabarcoding, cummunity ecology, plant defence
 
Supervisor(s):  Christopher James Barnes and Rasmus Kjøller
 
Email:c.barnes@snm.ku.dk