Professor emeritus of Botanical microbiology
1. Biological Control of Plant Root Diseases
Our model disease is TFRR (tomato foot and root rot) caused by the pathogenic fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lycopersici. We study bacteria (such as Bacillus and Pseudomonas) and fungi (such as Trichoderma), which suppress TFRR and several other plant diseases. Elucidating the mechanisms of action of microbes which control plant diseases is a major goal of our research. We study disease control in substrates as diverse as stonewool and salinated desert soil.
2. Bacterial endophytes
In the NWO Centre of Excellence, supported by the governments of the Russian Federation and The Netherlands, I supervise Natalya Malfanova, a PhD student who studies bacterial endophytes and addresses questions such as
- what is the origin of endophytes?
- where and how do they enter the plant?
- where in the plant are endophytes located?
- are they transferred to the next generation of plants?
- do they have a function in the plant?
3. Interactions of microbes with each other and with small animals
I read literature about complex interactions between bacteria and fungi and about interactions of microbes with small animals such as nematodes and protozoa.