MIE International Year of Plant Health – January 2020
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The year 2020 is the United Nations' International Year of Plant Health (IYPH). The year aims to raise global awareness on how protecting plant health can help end hunger, reduce poverty, protect the environment, and boost economic development. The research in Molecular Interaction Ecology at iDiv substantially contributes to achieving these goals. Our scientific mission is to unravel the molecular and chemical mechanisms governing interactions between plants and aboveground and belowground herbivores. In other words, we try to understand which strategies plants have evolved to stay healthy in a world full of organisms that want to feed on them. We thereby analyse natural plant defence compounds directly aimed at plant feeding organisms as well as plant volatiles attracting natural enemies. We also include the effects of beneficial microbes, such as mycorrhiza and rhizobium, which may boost plant health. The knowledge we generate in our research projects contributes to the development of integrated pest management strategies.
Every month of 2020, one of our team members will introduce his or her interest in plant health here. So stay tuned!