...sieving sand and counting spores..." is what I tell my colleagues when they ask me what I do for my Master thesis. Actually I try to put new populations of AMF into in vitro culture. Only under such monoxenic conditions can enough DNA be obtained to perform molecular analysis and population genetics. The final aim of this study is to compare AMF populations from agricultural fields in Switzerland at the molecular level in order to explore genetic differences between distinct AMF populations.
A second project consists of a "healing experiment" with another AMF species. It has been observed that cut hyphae of the same AMF individual can fuse back together. I want to investigate if such a healing mechanism exists between genetically different individuals too and if fusion frequency of more or less related individuals is genetically determined.