On February 10th 1917 the first female professor in the Netherlands, Johanna Westerdijk, held her inaugural speech at Utrecht University. She became professor in Phytopathology, currently the Plant-Microbe Interactions chair group.



Plant-Microbe Interactions

Part of the Institute of Environmental biology

In nature, plants are attacked by a multitude of pathogens and pests that can cause major crop losses in agriculture. To protect themselves, plants can activate a sophisticated immune system. Moreover, they recruit beneficial microbes to their root system that help them to grow better and boost immune responses. The Plant-Microbe Interactions group aims to unravel at the molecular level how the plant immune system orchestrates interactions with beneficial microbes, pathogens and insects. This provides a rational basis for developing sustainable strategies for disease resistance in next-generation crops that produce more with less input of fertilizers or pesticides.


Corné Pieterse



Soil-Borne Legacies - Management of the Root Microbiome
14 March 2018
Utrecht biologists describe exciting developments in the quickly evolving field of study into the plant microbiome
iGEM Utrecht 2017 Logo
30 August 2017
This year marks the first time that Utrecht University students take part in the international Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition.
Mechanisme ontdekt dat natuurlijke afweer van planten versterkt
7 February 2017
Een overzicht van 100 jaar Fytopathologie in Utrecht en haar bijdrage aan belangrijke maatschappelijke problemen zoals voedselzekerheid.