ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This thesis is the account of more than five years of devoted work in the field of microbiology, molecular biology, and agriculture at the Institute for Vegetable and Ornamental Crops, Germany (IGZ) and at the Institute of Microbiology, Uzbekistan Academy of Sciences (UzAS) which would not have been possible without the help of many.

A few lines are too short to express my deep appreciation for my advisors. I wish to express my gratitude to my supervisor, Prof. Dr. George for his detailed and constructive comments, his patience, for his great understanding and for his important support not only throughout this work, but also during my further study-reaserch progress. I wish to thank Dr. Silke Ruppel for her profoundly optimistic attitude to research, trust, steady support and encouragements in the most difficult times which have been essential to the success through my work under her supervison. She taught me how to write academic papers, contributed to all original papers and the thesis with a major impact. I also wish to thank her for giving me an opportunity to work with sophisticated Bioinformatics tools during our analyses, which encouraged me take the decision to embrace the amazing field of Bioinformatics. I also thank for the very relaxing time we spent together outside work with her family, Peter, I still own and play the guitar he have given me as a gift.

I wish to thank Dr. Phillip Franken who has also greatly supported me and given invaluable pieces of advice.

My sincere thanks to my advisors at Uzbekistan Academy of Sciences, Prof. Dr. Kahramon Davranov and Dr. Dilfuza Egamberdiyeva. I am deeply indebted to them for helping me to prepare my PhD work proposal, recommending me to work at IGZ under the supervision of wonderful scientists, my two advisers, and also for encouraging me to apply for DAAD scholarship.

I am grateful to IGZ for financing part of this research work, and also DAAD for financing my stay in Germany.

I am much obliged to Dr. Ruth Willmott, who revised the language of the manuscripts.

My experience at IGZ would not have been such a pleasurable one without the presence of all the people working there. I owe my special thanks to Mrs. Birgit Wernitz for excellent assistance in the lab. I warmly thank her for these years and for her patience, especially during the first months of my doctoral project in IGZ. Many thanks to Mrs. Christa Henkel, at work, she has been a great support in my plant experiments, and also, for the first time, I have experienced German family hospitality with her family, I thank her and her family for wonderful weekends we spent together. I also thank Mrs. Schmidt for elemental analysis.

All my friends, I thank them for bearing my little availability trough those last years.

I wish to thank my family: my sister Dilsuz, my brothers, Akmal and Sanjar for their encouragements throughout my work in Germany. I owe my parents much of what I have become. I thank them for their love, their support, and their confidence throughout the past thirty years. My parents have always put education as a first priority in my life, and raised me to set high goals for myself. They have always been there for me as an unwavering support, for me to achieve my goals in life. I dedicate this work to them, to honor their love, patience, and support during these years.

1:

Dilafruz Juraeva


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