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iFZ Masters 2020

The iFZ Masters awards were initiated in order to honour exceptional, examplary master theses and to present them to the public.

Yukino Kobayashi at the microscope (Photo: M. Schetelig)

Yukino Kobayashi carried out a functional genetic study with the cherry vinegar fly in her master's thesis "Functional assessment of Cas9-expressing strains of the invasive pest Drosophila suzukii". Minimizing food losses from pests is a critical factor in securing food for a growing world population. The overarching goal of the work was to use genetic methods to provide fruit flies for biological pest control, which interrupt the reproduction of the pests to reduce the use of chemical agents. Ms Kobayashi was able to show that the targeted modification of the genome of the fruit flies can be improved by simple heat stimulation. This opens up possibilities for the development of biological pest control strategies using the CRISPR/Cas technology and will also increase the safe use of genetic engineering methods in agriculture.

for more information: Prof. Dr. Marc Schetelig



Merlin Hamp with the catch of the day (Photo: M. Hamp)

Merlin Hamp conducted his master thesis "Speziesspezifische Mikrohabitat-Präferenzen von zehn Fischarten der kolumbianischen Anden" in collaboration with the University of Antioquia in Medellin (Colombia). The study included extensive field work in Colombia and was part of a collaborative research project focussing on the interaction of hydro power and biodversity conservation. The study contributes to an improved understanding of these extremely diverse habitats, which were rarely studied so far.

for more information: Prof. Dr. Thomas Wilke


Johannes Junck during a bioaccumulation experiment in front of an incubator (Photo: A. Heinrich)

In his master thesis "Bioakkumulation von Ivermectin im Regenwurm Eisenia fetida - Methodenentwicklung und Beurteilung der Pharmakokinetik" Johannes Junck investigated an ecotoxicological test system for the accumulation of the anti-helminticum ivermectin in earthworms. Anti-helmintica are widely used for treatment of our domestic animals. The active ingredients are transferred with the excrements into the soil, where they potentially harm soil animals like earthworms. The thesis contributed relevant insights on uptake and decomposition of the anti-helminticum ivermectin in earthworms and facilitates the estimation of the environmental risk of anti-helminticum use.

for more information: Prof. Dr. Rolf-Alexander Düring



Santiago Andrés Quiroga Quisaguano in the laboratory (Photo: Y. Cifuentes)

In his master thesis "Evaluation of different bacterial strains as plant-growth promoting rhizobacteria on roses" Santiago Andrés Quiroga Quisaguano experimented with the rose species "Heidetraum", which is commonly planted at road sites affected by drought and salt stress. Plant tolerance to stresses can be mitigated by microorganisms living in the root environment. Santiago Quiroga Quisaguano analyzed the microbial community in vicinity of the rose roots for the first time. He also measured microbial changes after application of plant growth promoting bacteria and/or salt solutions.

for more information: Prof. Dr. Sylvia Schnell