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Institut für Systematische und Evolutionäre Botanik

Prof. Dr. Tobias Züst group


In our group we study co-evolutionary interactions between plants and insect herbivores. We are especially interested in the role of chemical diversity and chemical novelty in plant defence against specialized herbivores. We use laboratory, greenhouse, and field experiments, and combine them with genomic, transcriptomic and metabolomics tools. We maintain cultures of several herbivore species in the laboratory which we use for an ongoing experimental evolution experiment, behavioural assays, and physiological studies. Our goal is both trying to understand how plant defence traits shape and affect herbivore communities, and how in turn herbivores respond to plant chemical defence and shape plant communities.

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