I am an independent group leader hosted by Markus Fischer and Matthias Erb, and funded through an Ambizione fellowship by the Swiss National Science Foundation.
We study the ecology and evolution of plant-herbivore interactions, with a particular focus on phytochemical diversification in coevolved plant-insect systems. By using a new model plant system and combining experimental ecology with different techniques including metabolomics, transcriptomics, and phylogenetic comparisons, we aim to elucidate the selective forces that drive phytochemical diversification. Ultimately, our goal is to link variation in genes and metabolites to long-term success of plants in a variable and changing environment.
See also my personal website for more details on my ongoing projects: www.plant-insect.org
Züst, Tobias; Petschenka, Georg; Hastings, Amy P.; Agrawal, Anurag A. (2019). Toxicity of Milkweed Leaves and Latex: Chromatographic Quantification Versus Biological Activity of Cardenolides in 16 Asclepias Species. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 45(1), pp. 50-60. Springer 10.1007/s10886-018-1040-3
Li, B.; Förster, C.; Robert, Christelle. A. M.; Züst, Tobias; Hu, Lingfei; Machado, Ricardo A. R.; Berset, Jean Daniel; Handrick, V.; Knauer, T.; Hensel, G.; Chen, W.; Kumlehn, J.; Yang, P.; Keller, B.; Gershenzon, J.; Jander, G.; Köllner, T. G.; Erb, Matthias (2018). Convergent evolution of a metabolic switch between aphid and caterpillar resistance in cereals. Science Advances, 4(12), eaat6797. American Association for the Advancement of Science 10.1126/sciadv.aat6797
Züst, Tobias; Mirzaei, Mahdieh; Jander, Georg (2018). Erysimum cheiranthoides, an ecological research system with potential as a genetic and genomic model for studying cardiac glycoside biosynthesis. Phytochemistry reviews, 17(6), pp. 1239-1251. Springer 10.1007/s11101-018-9562-4
Züst, Tobias; Mou, Sophie; Agrawal, Anurag A. (2018). What doesn't kill you makes you stronger: the burdens and benefits of toxin sequestration in a milkweed aphid. Functional Ecology, 32(8), pp. 1972-1981. Blackwell Scientific Publications 10.1111/1365-2435.13144
Johnson, Scott N.; Züst, Tobias (2018). Climate Change and Insect Pests: Resistance Is Not Futile? Trends in Plant Science, 23(5), pp. 367-369. Elsevier Current Trends 10.1016/j.tplants.2018.03.001
Yan, Juan; Song, Zhihong; Xu, Qin; Kang, Lifang; Zhu, Caiyun; Xing, Shilai; Liu, Wei; Greimler, Josef; Züst, Tobias; Li, Jianqiang; Sang, Tao (2017). Population transcriptomic characterization of the genetic and expression variation of a candidate progenitor of Miscanthus energy crops. Molecular Ecology, 26(21), pp. 5911-5922. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/mec.14338
Züst, Tobias; Agrawal, Anurag A. (2017). Plant chemical defense indirectly mediates aphid performance via interactions with tending ants. Ecology, 98(3), pp. 601-607. Ecological Society of America 10.1002/ecy.1707
Züst, Tobias; Agrawal, Anurag A. (2017). Trade-offs between plant growth and defense against insect herbivory: an emerging mechanistic synthesis. Annual review of plant biology, 68, pp. 513-534. Annual Reviews 10.1146/annurev-arplant-042916-040856
Züst, Tobias; Agrawal, Anurag A. (2016). Mechanisms and evolution of plant resistance to aphids. Nature Plants, 2(1), p. 15206. Nature Publishing Group 10.1038/nplants.2015.206