Dr. Stephan Schröder
Ph.D. Topic: Schröder, Stephan: Plant immunity as a result of co-evolution
In his Ph.D. work Stephan Schröder investigated the host-pathogen system grapevine and Downy Mildew of Grapevine from an evolutionary point of view. Downy Mildew was introduced 1860 from North America to Europe and devastate withing a few years all European wine regions. Wild grape species from North America that have coevolved with this pathogen, are resistant. During a one-year research stay in the US, Stephan Schröder collected various strains of Downy Mildew and constructed a molecular phylogeny that could be compared with European isolates. He could show that the European strains derive from a single American strain. At the host side he investigated genetic relationships in the last population of the Wild European Grape at the peninsula Ketsch near Mannheim using genetic markers as they are used in paternity assays. As a big surprise he detected resistance against Downy Mildew in some of these wild grapes in addition to other pathogen resistances, although they had never been in contact with these pathogens. These results are presently pursued in frame of a breeding project, aimed to breed grapes that are resistant to the newly introduced Black Rot Disease.
Tröndle, D., Schröder, S., Kassemeyer, H.H., Kiefer, C., Koch, M.A., Nick, P. (2010) Molecular Phylogeny of the Genus Vitis Based on Plastidic Markers. Am. J. Botany, 97: 1168-1178 - pdf
Schröder, S., Telle, S., Nick, P., Thines, M. (2010) Cryptic diversity of Plasmopara viticola (Oomycota, Peronosporaceae) in North America. Organisms, Diversity and Evolution, published online 23.11.2010, DOI: 10.1007/s13127-010-0035-x - pdf