Effect of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria on grapevine disease management and grape quality


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China is the largest grape producing country in the world. The application of chemical fungicide and fertilizer in vineyards results in serious environmental problems.

This project will generate knowledge using plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria to manage grapevine pathogens and to enhance grape quality trait metabolites.

Research goals are to design bio-fungicides for grape growers, leading to direct economic benefit and reduced chemical pollution for Chinese viticulture and wine industries.

Project goals

The objectives of this project are:

  • Identification of the microbe strains with strong antagonistic ability to grape fungus using high-throughput isolation and plate confrontation.
  • Select microbe strains with the strongest disease-resistant and growth-promoting ability using pot and field experiments.
  • To explore the mechanism of Bacillus on enhancing disease resistance ability and on promoting growth using pot experiments. Explore optimum application methods in different cultivated areas.

Supervision team

Shanghai Jiao Tong University: Professor Jiang Lu, Professor Shiping Wang, Dr Yu Gao

The University of Melbourne: Professor Deli Chen, Associate Professor Kate Howell, Dr Pangzhen Zhan

*Click on the researcher's name above to learn more about their publication and grant successes.

Who we are looking for

We are seeking a PhD candidate with the following skills:

  • Demonstrated ability to write research reports or other publications to a publishable standard (even if not published to date).
  • Demonstrated research experience in the field of viticulture, agriculture, and biology.
  • Demonstrated time and project management skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of the team.

Further details

This PhD project will be based at Shanghai Jiao Tong University with a 12-24 month stay at the University of Melbourne.

The University of Melbourne team has strong expertise in soil biochemistry, soil microbiology and grapevine metabolites research, while SHJT team is a leader in grapevine physiology, molecular biology and plant disease research. The expertise of two teams are complementary than overlapping.

The newly established large ARC Research Hub for Smart Fertilisers led by Professor Chen has dedicated theme on developing biofertilizer. The University of Melbourne and SJTU have joint viticulture field trial in collaboration with industry partner in Shandong, China.

To apply for this joint PhD opportunity, and to view the entry requirements, visit How to apply.

First published on 24 February 2022.

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