Nieuws - 14 februari 2013

Hanna Rövenich scores with fungus

Hanna Rövenich has won the 2012 Thesis Prize. The German student of Plant Biotechnology impressed the jury with her research on the mechanism of a fungal infection on tomato plants.

Each year the Wageningen University Fund and KLV award a thesis prize per subject area for the best thesis. The students get 500 euros each and a bronze statuette. There is 500 euro extra for the most outstanding thesis. This year this accolade went to Hanna. In her research she identified protein candidates that the fungus Cladosporium fulvum uses to infect tomato plants. 'The new thing about my research was that I combined old-fashioned and new techniques, which made it possible to isolate new protein candidates. New insights on the mechanisms underlying the tomato-fungus relationship help us to make tomato plants resistant.'
 According to the jury report, Hanna's thesis was by far the best of this academic year. 'The jury was very impressed by the level of excellence of her research, the new methodology and the potential for publication in a high ranking journal. On these grounds the jury unanimously thinks her thesis can be seen as an extraordinary achievement.'
Hanna's research was used by a PhD student and a postdoc as a basis for further research. 'They have some interesting results and are currently working on a publication. I haven't talked to them, so I have no idea if I will be cited in the article.' Hanna is now doing a PhD with the Department of Phytopathology. 'I still work on tomato plants but with a different fungus.'
 The three other winners of the Thesis Prize are Sebastiaan Hoenen (Social Sciences), Frans Boogaard (Agrotechnology and Food) and Anne Wegner (EnvironĀ­mental Sciences).