DFG Poplar Communication

The project funded by DFG (SCHN653/5-1 2011-2013) is a cooperation between EUS and the Department of Forest Botany and Tree Physiology at the University of Göttingen. Poplars are strong isoprene emitters. Within this project we study the role of isoprene and monoterpenes in herbivore and mycorrhizal interactions. In addition to wild type poplar plants (isoprene and non-monoterpene emitters) we will make use of transgenic poplar lines, that are either non-isoprene emitters or non-isoprene, but constitutive monoterpene emitters. The influence of the VOC emission on the interaction with herbivores and/or ectomycorrhizal fungi will be studied under laboratory, phytotron and free air conditions. Furthermore, we investigate how attack by herbivores affects the survival of ectomycorrhizal fungi or pathogenic fungi and vice versa, and how EM changes the VOC blend emitted by the plants and the performance of leaf feeding insects. Responses of the plant and the ectomycorrhiza will be studied on molecular level. Our results will provide important knowledge about poplar interaction and defense from herbivory.