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​​​​​​​​​​​​​Leibniz Competition - Collab​orat​​ive Excellence - VolCorn (2019-2022)

Volatilome of a Cereal Crop-Microbiota System under Drought and Flooding (VolCorn)

Climate change is leading to an increase in extreme weather events, which are endangering global food production. Abiotic stress factors like floods and droughts reduce yields and make crops more susceptible to ​pathogens and herbivores. Against this background, the project will investigate the functional relationships between plants and mycorrhizal fungi, in particular the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) they emit, which are important for communication between plants and for protection against herbivores. The project will investigate these interactions, using wheat as an experimental model, and will identify VOCs that promote beneficial biotic communities and, in turn, increase the fitness of the plant. Investigations will be conducted as plant-scale and field-scale experiments.

Wheat-Microbiota Complex
© Steffen Kolb, ZALF

Project Consortium - Partner Institutes

  • Leibniz-Institut für Gemüse- und Zierpflanzenbau (IGZ)
  • Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengentik und Kulturpflanzenforschung (IPK)
  • German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), Leipzig
  • Leibniz-Zentrum für Agrarlandsc​haftsforschung (ZALF)


Prof. Dr. Steffen Kolb

​Communication & Coordination of Experiments:

Dr. Davide Francoili

Team ZALF:

Dr. Andreas Ulrich (PI), Dr. Marina Müller (PI), Dr. Davide Francioli (scientist), Dr. Saranya Kanukollu (scientist)

ZALF - WG Microbial Biogeochemistry new tab icon, ZALF - WG Fungal Interactions new tab icon

Team IPK:

Dr. Mohammed Hajirezaei (PI), Geeisy Cid (phd student)

IPK - Molecular Plant Nutrition Staff new tab icon

Team IGZ:

Dr. Silke Ruppel (PI), Dr. Michael Bitterlich (scientist), Richard Pauwells (phd student)

IGZ – MICRO.2 Beneficial plant-microbe interactions new tab icon

Team iDiv:

Prof. Dr. Nicole van Dam (PI), Dr. Alexander Weinhold (scientist), Dr. Andreas Schedl

iDiv – Molecular Interaction Ecology new tab icon

Associated Partner FSU Jena:

Prof. Dr. Phi​llip Franken (associated scientist)

FSU Jena - Molecular Phytopathology new tab icon



ZALF-Logo  Logo IPK  Logo IGZ  Logo iDiv