We aim to understand how microbes shape the immune gene repertoire of A. thaliana
. We are using natural populations to establish the
links that exist between microbiome composition and genetic diversity of the host.
This will be a crucial step in identifying causal agents that drive differentiation of the plant immune system in the wild. In addition, we are using local A. thaliana
populations from stands around Tübingen to investigate the dynamics of plant pathogen spread in natural host populations, taking into account that pre-existing microbiomes might alter host susceptibility.