Can phages replace pesticides? at Københavns Universitet

Bacterial plant diseases are a major problem in agriculture worldwide. To combat bacterial plant diseases we use pesticides and heavy metals, with detrimental effects on the environment and human health. Furthermore, bacteria are also responsible for losses post-harvest in every step of the production including the including in fridges of consumers and retailers where it manifests as food-waste.
In this project, we seek to develop bacteriophages (phages) as a green alternative to pesticides and heavy metal sprays in agriculture. We will also attempt to increase the shelf-life of green produce using phages. Phages are the natural enemies of bacteria in nature but unlike chemical pesticides and heavy metals, they are easily biodegradable and are safe for human consumption.
We have serval ongoing projects regarding the use of phages to replace pesticides and the student will have the option to join an existing project or tailor their own project within this overall topic. Tools often used in this type of work include; DNA sequencing, phage isolation, phage characterization and bioinformatics.
If you have any questions or want to hear more about the projects in the environmental microbial genomics group, you are more than welcome to contact Lars Hestbjerg Hansen at or Alexander Carstens at

Remember that a project is an invitation for dialogue where you agree on the focus of the project. You have the possibility to suggest other problem statements and perspectives besides what is outlined in the project description. Read more about project collaborations in Career guide