Arne Weinhold

Arne Weinhold


Microbial interactions relevant for the fitness of Nicotiana attenuata in the native environment

Microorganisms play an important role in most ecosystems. They are responsible for many diseases, but can also be beneficial or even essential for the fitness of many organisms. Rhizobacteria are abundant symbiotic partners of plants. They are known for their importance during the growth of plants and many so called plant-growth-promoting-bacteria (PGPB) have been identified. The wild tobacco Nicotiana attenuata inhabits the southwestern deserts of the United States and growths in hot and dry post-fire environments. The plant has to balance quick growth and strong defense utilizing the limited resources. Many ecological interactions have been studied for years, but yet the microbial influence on the plant has not been adequate analyzed.

Therefore plant-strain have been constructed overexpressing anti-microbial-proteins (AMP). These plants should have a greater resistance against pathogenic bacteria , but will also interfere with beneficial rhizosphere inhabiting bacteria. In this plant the balance between repelling pathogens and harming symbionts will be corrupted and the effect on the growth and the total fitness will be studied. Goal of this work is to characterize the microbial community and study its total fitness influence for Nicotiana attenuata in the wild.


Luu VT, Schuck S, Kim SG, Weinhold A, Baldwin IT (2015) Jasmonic acid signalling mediates resistance of the wild tobacco Nicotiana attenuata to its native Fusarium, but not Alternaria, fungal pathogens. Plant Cell Environ 38(3), 572-584. Details PubMed

Santhanam R, Luu VT, Weinhold A, Goldberg J, Oh Y, Baldwin IT (2015) Native root-associated bacteria rescue a plant from a sudden-wilt disease that emerged during continuous cropping. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 112(36), E5013-E5020. Details PubMed

Schuck S, Weinhold A, Luu VT, Baldwin IT (2014) Isolating fungal pathogens from a dynamic disease outbreak in a native plant population to establish plant-pathogen bioassays for the ecological model plant Nicotiana attenuata. PLoS One 9(7), e102915. Details PubMed

Gase K, Weinhold A, Bozorov T, Schuck S, Baldwin IT (2011) Efficient screening of transgenic plant lines for ecological research. Mol Ecol Resour 11(5), 890-902. Details PubMed


Ian T. Baldwin


Erika Kothe

Start of PhD

February 10, 2009

Doctoral Disputation

July 18, 2014

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