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Correct identification of agronomically relevant organisms such as pests and diseases is a prerequisite for successful and sustainable crop protection. Together with epidemiological data on frequency and distribution and on the occurrence of possible pesticide resistances this information builds the basis for developing robust and reliable crop protection strategies.
We develop molecular identification tools for a broad range of pests and diseases such as phytopathogenic bacteria, fungi, nematodes, insects, mites, and of crop plants. In addition, we establish molecular markers for specific characteristics of certain pests, such as pesticide or pathogen resistance genes, and of crop plants, such as incompatibility groups.
We study population genetic parameters of pests and diseases with the aim to understand the factors that shape their distribution and abundance. Furthermore, we study the frequency and distribution of pesticide resistance genes of selected pests to obtain information on possible interactions between environmental factors (including pesticide treatments) and different resistance conferring genes. This will eventually further our understanding of the evolution of pesticide resistance in agronomically relevant pests and diseases.
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