Lena Jünemann successfully defended her MSc thesis

Today, Lena Jünemann successfully defended her MSc thesis on synergistic effects in the antifungal activities of chitosans and commercial fungicides, supported by her first and second referees, Prof. Bruno Moerschbacher and Prof. Dr. Prüfer, from our institute. Lena had been supervised in the lab by Philipp Lemke who has defended his doctoral thesis only yesterday. Lena’s project built on our previous work on a synergistic activity of chitosan polymers and copper-based fungicides and results from literature reporting a synergistic effect of chitosan oligomers and synthetic fungicides, and on our own work on synergistic effects of different chitosans in their antifungal activities. Systematically combining these known effects allowed her to optimize the potential of using chitosans in attempts at reducing the amount of chemical fungicides required for efficient plant protection. When in future, these results can be translated into novel agricultural products, this will become an important contribution towards making agriculture more sustainable. In the second part of her project, Lena began to study the fungal stress reaction on a transcriptomic level, to investigate to which extent chitosan fungicide treatments trigger such reactions which might involve the undesirable synthesis of mycotoxins. And in parallel to her Master project, Lena also worked a few hours a week as a student assistant in our group, supporting Max Linhorst and Rita Weyer in their doctoral projects in the framework of the grEEn graduate school. Lena is now scouting for new challenges outside - which no doubt she will master equally successfully. All the best wishes from all of us!