UROP Project

The evolution of powdery mildews in the wild



Daniel Holder

Program Director UROP


+49 241 80-90695


Key Info

Basic Information

Project Offer-Number:
UROP International
Organisation unit:
Institute for Biology I, Unit for Plant Molecular Cell Biology
Language Skills:
fluency in English

The powdery mildew disease is a ubiquitous plant pest that causes severe losses in agriculture. Cereal powdery mildews, called Blumeria graminis, are well-known for infecting crops such as wheat, rye and barley, and dicot-infecting powdery mildews affect for example grapevine (Erysiphe necator). However, while the crop powdery mildews have been studied for decades, powdery mildews in non-agronomical environments have been neglected despite their importance in understanding the evolution and origin of the pathogen. In order to fill the gap, we will collect powdery mildew samples from diverse trees and shrubs found in the Aachen forest and urban area. The material will be used for whole genome shotgun sequencing and/or nanopore MinION long read sequencing, genome assembly and annotation. Using the acquired datasets, we will perform comparative genomic analysis with published cereal powdery mildew genomes (B. graminis f.sp. tritici, B. graminis f.sp. hordei) as well as representative dic


The student will first collect samples of powdery mildew infected plants. Next the student will isolate genomic DNA using established protocols, followed by preparation of the samples for DNA sequencing. The student will finally perform initial analysis of the genomic data, including assembly and annotation.


Basic experience in methodologies of molecular biology (laboratory work). Basic knowledge of unix command line usage is preferred but not required.