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Fang Dong

The significance of NO and CO2 as signal substances in the competition for nitrogen between beech and soil microorganisms

My PhD research on “The significance of NO and CO2 as signal substances in the competition for nitrogen between beech and soil microorganisms” aims (1) to investigate the effects of rhizospheric NO and CO2 as signalling compounds for N uptake by roots of Fagus sylvatica L., (2) to establish the significance of the gaseous environment of the rhizosphere (NO, CO2) for uptake processes of inorganic and organic N sources and, hence, (3) for the competition for N between plants and soil microorganisms in the field and in microcosms in the glasshouse. To achieve these objectives, in experiments under controlled conditions, the dependency of the NO effect on the N uptake by beech roots on CO2 will be studied. Furthermore, the influence of mycorrhization on the effect of NO on N uptake in beech seedlings will be investigated. In these experiments, labelled 15N compounds will be feed to the roots and the accumulation of 15N inside the roots will be determined. Moreover, N-metabolite profiling will be conducted to characterize the N-nutrition status of the roots. To gain insights into the molecular mechanisms of N-acquisition, gene expression patterns of selected transporters will be analysed by quantitative real-time PCR. In addition, we will analyze whether NO induces the production of a nitrification inhibitor. In a field experiment, the correlation between soil NO concentration and N uptake and its seasonal changes will be characterised in beech and spruce stands on different soil substrates.

 

Supervisors: Heinz Rennenberg; Judy Simon; Hans Papen (KIT)

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