MIE celebrates Plant Health, featuring Ming Zeng
The year 2020 is the United Nations' International Year of Plant Health (IYPH). Every month, one of our team members introduces his or her interest in plant health. August 2020 is the month of Ming Zeng.
“My name is Ming Zeng from China. I did my master study in China, where I learned about the molecular mechanisms of phosphate uptake and efficiency in rice. This motivated me to study how plants effectively uptake and utilize nutrients from soil under biotic and abiotic stress. . I am now doing my PhD in systemic signaling in plants with mycorrhiza and plant herbivores, which was funded by Flexpool project from the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv). This project includes working groups from three different iDiv institutions, the iDiv core group Molecular Interaction Ecology, Applied and General Botany at Leipzig University and Leibnitz Institute of Plant Biochemistry in Halle. My aim is to investigate signalling in Medicago truncatula plants, which have two types of interactions in parallel: a mutualistic arbuscular mycorrhiza Rhizophagus irregularis (symbiosis)in the roots and herbivory by Spodoptera exigua caterpillars on the shoots. The main goal of this project is to identify the main signalling pathways controlling and affecting both interacting organisms. I make use of an integrative combination of state-of-the-art omics technologies (transcriptomics, metabolomics analyses), laser capture microdissection and microcosm bioassays to address my research questions. “