Plant infection in a changed climate
Plant diseases are a major constraint for plant productivity. However, there is only limited knowledge about how multifactor climate changes will affect plant health in the future. The prediction is that climate change may alter rates of pathogen development, modify host resistance and lead to changes in the physiology of host-pathogen interactions.
In order to study climate change effects on plant health, we are growing plants under different water regimes, in multi or single factor treatments with CO2, ozone (O3) and temperature using values as they are today and forecasted to be in year 2075.
Will climate change lead to increase in microbial toxin production?
One of the diseases we investigating is head blight in cereals caused by the fungus Fusarium graminearum which produces myco-toxins, which are harmful to human and animal health. In the current study, we are investigating whether F. graminearum produce more toxins under the future climatic conditions and cause increasing problems with toxin contaminated cereal-derived products.