Microbe-drought/insect-plant interaction

Zulema Carracedo Lorenzo, MSc

PhD student at: Wageningen University, Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Laboratory of Entomology

Supervisors: Prof. Marcel Dicke (WUR), Prof. Christa Testerink (WUR), Prof. Rumyana Karlova (WUR) and Dr. Karen Kloth (WUR)

Overall aim: The aim of this project is to unravel the plant mechanisms for stress alleviating soil microorganism recruitment. The project will be focused on plants of the Brassicaceae family and the stresses studied will be drought and herbivore.

Key Objectives & Expected Results


  • To identify the plant mechanisms (pathways) for beneficial soil microorganism recruitment
  • To identify beneficial microorganisms for drought/herbivore resistance
  • To identify when/how does the microbiome prime/induce resistance
  • To identify if there is an overlap between the plant responses to drought and herbivore stress

Expected Results:

  • The identification of plant pathways (genes, metabolites) of stress alleviating microorganism recruitment that could be targeted in plant breeding programs
  • A comprehensive understanding on how the below ground microbiome affects plant resistance to drought and herbivore