Under supervision of Dr. Joram A. Dongus (joram.dongus@wur.nl)

Aim: dissecting salt stress signalling using plant physiology and molecular biology

Salt stress is posing an increasingly larger threat to global food security and natural ecosystems. In the group of Christa Testerink (Plant Physiology – PPH), we want to find out how plants in the wild cope with salt stress and how to apply that knowledge to improve agriculture.  

We identified a protein that is key for salt stress responses in Arabidopsis. Since this protein is highly conserved throughout the plant kingdom, our research will also clarify how crop plants cope with salt stress. By comparing plants expressing mutated proteins to plants expressing the wild type protein, we aim to understand what the exact role is of our protein in salt stress signalling. To do so, we need to perform various experiments: phenotype various root and shoot traits under salt stress, determine protein localization using confocal microscopy, measure signalling outputs by qPCR, and study protein-protein interactions.  

In conclusion, are you looking for an MSc. thesis/internship project that focusses on physiology, or on molecular biology, or both!? Simply contact us at PPH in Dutch or English by sending an email to joram.dongus@wur.nl or check our website: rootsinsalt.com 


  • Phenotyping: Quantifying root and shoot growth parameters .
  • Confocal Microscopy
  • Data analysis: ImageJ/Fiji, R
  • Genotyping and plant propagation
  • qPCR
  • Protein-protein interactions (e.g. co-IP, FRET-FLIM, Y2H etc.)


MSc thesis/internship for student with basic lab skills and an interest in plant responses to abiotic stress. No specific courses required to apply.