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Fede Berckx

Fede Berckx
I am a postdoctoral researcher with an interest in plant-microbe interactions. I am currently working on microbiomes of different Swedish crops, such as winter wheat, soybean, and lupine.


Since August 2022, I am working as a postdoctoral researcher in the HeRo project (principal investigator: Martin Weih), and the IMPULSE project (principal investigator: Alexander Menegat). Here, I am looking into the microbiome of different Swedish crops such as winter wheat, soybean, and lupine. My main interest lies in the occurrence of plant pathogens and beneficial bacteria and fungi in relation to crop management, and how we can utilize microbial interactions to improve crop yield. 

Aside from doing research, I am passionate about science communication, e.g. via infographics. You can find some of my work on the Physiologia Plantarum website. I also enjoy teaching and supervising projects. If you are interested in doing an internship or a thesis project on plant-microbe interactions, feel free to contact me.


I obtained my PhD from Stockholm University in February 2022, in the lab of Katharina Pawlowski. Here I looked at root nodule symbiosis between nitrogen-fixing bacteria Frankia and their host plants (Coriariaceae and Datiscaceae) from an evolutionary perspective. 

I obtained both my master's (2017) and my bachelor's (2015) degrees from Ghent University (BE).

Selected publications

2023 Yang H, Berckx F, Fransson P, Weih M. Harnessing plant-microbe interactions to promote nitrogen use efficiency in cereal crops. Plant and Soil.

2022 Berckx F, Nguyen TV, ... , Pawlowski K. A tale of two lineages: How the strains of the earliest divergent symbiotic Frankia clade spread over the world. BMC Genomics 23: 1-12.

2022 Berckx F, Bandong CM, ... , Pawlowski K. Streptomyces coriariae sp. nov., a novel streptomycete isolated from actinorhizal nodules of Coriaria intermedia. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 72: 005603

2022 Berckx F, Nguyen TV, ... , Pawlowski K. Gene losses resulting in specialized metabolism in the earliest divergent symbiotic Frankia clade can be linked to its low saprotrophic capabilities. bioRxiv

2020 Berckx F, Wibberg D, Kalinowski J, Pawlowski K. The peptidoglycan biosynthesis gene murC in Frankia: actinobacterial vs. plant type. Genes. 11: 432.

2020 Herrera-Belaroussi A, Normand P, ..., Berckx F, ..., Pozzi AC. Candidatus Frankia  nodulisporulans sp. nov., an Alnus glutinosa-infective Frankia species unable to grow in pure culture and able to sporulate in-planta. Systematic and applied microbiology. 43: 126134.

2019 Nguyen TV, Wibberg D, Vigil-Stenman T, Berckx F, ..., Pawlowski K. Frankia-enriched metagenomes from the earliest divergent symbiotic Frankia cluster: They come in teams. Genome Biology and Evolution. 11: 2273-2291. 



2022 - Berckx F and Pawlowski K. What are the small lumps I see on some plant roots? Frontiers for young minds. 10: 660425.


You can find my most up-to-date publication list on my Google scholar account. I also occasionally send out a Tweet, but the best way to contact me is via email. 


Postdoctor at the Department of Crop Production Ecology; Plant Ecology
Telephone: +46760939556
Postal address:
Inst för växtproduktionsekologi, Box 7043
750 07 UPPSALA
Visiting address: Ulls väg 16, Uppsala