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Plant Microbe Interaction: The molecular Biology
Provider: Faculty of Science

Activity no.: 5715-20-09-31 
Enrollment deadline: 01/09/2020
PlaceDepartment of Plant and Environmental Sciences
Date and time16.11.2020, at: 00:00 - 29.01.2021, at: 16:00
Regular seats12
ECTS credits5.00
Contact personDavid B. Collinge    E-mail address: dbc@plen.ku.dk
Enrolment Handling/Course OrganiserDavid B. Collinge    E-mail address: dbc@plen.ku.dk
Written languageEnglish
Teaching languageEnglish
Semester/BlockBlock 2
Block noteMondays 13:00 - 17:00 & Wednesdays 8:30 - 17:00 (8 weeks all in all). Exam Week (dates to be announced). Internal assessment of lecture and term paper.
Scheme groupC
Scheme group noteRuns in the period November to January, ad hoc. Topics chosen by agreement with the PhD students from the lectures held for the MSc course " Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions" - LBIK10202. The PhD student should attend minimum 50% of the lectures of the course.
Exam formWritten assignment under invigilation
Exam detailsPreparation of lecture topic and term paper
Criteria for exam assessmentEvaluation of content of lecute prepared on a topic relevant to plant-microbe intereactions Evaluation of quality of term paper based on a different topic.
Course workload
Course workload categoryHours
Theory exercises10.00


This course uses individual topics from the MSc course "Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions - LBIK10202

This course provides an overview of the biology of host-microbe interactions at the molecular level. Plant diseases caused by pathogenic microorganisms are among the most important factors affecting quality and yield of crop plants. Resistance is a biological and environmentally-friendly form of plant protection depending on natural, biological defence in plants against pathogenic micro-organisms. The rapid development of biotechnology in plant science is leading to enhanced knowledge of the physiology and molecular biology of plants, and of the crosstalk between microorganisms and plants. The study of these fundamental biological processes leads not only to the improvement of strategies for disease control in plant production, but also to the discovery of molecules and genes with novel applications for industry.

Topics covered include:

- Bacterial pathogenicity and pathogenicity mutants; fungal pathogenicity: toxins and tissue destruction; microbial trophic strategies e.g. biotrophy, necrotrophy; symbiotic and virus interactions with plants.
- Molecular and biochemical basis of plant defence mechanisms, disease resistance including secondary metabolites and antimicrobial proteins. Disease resistance through transgenic plants, new strategies for resistance breeding.
- Genomics, microarrays and virus-induced silencing (VIGS).
- Genetic basis of disease resistance. Plant immunity, effector molecules. Mechanisms of hypersensitive reactions (HR).
- Induced resistance, Elicitation and Signal transduction pathways.
- Mutants in Arabidopsis: how to understand signal transduction pathways in plant defences.
- Counter adaptations: suppressors and detoxification of secondary metabolites.
- Symbiosis
- Microbial stress tolerance.

Learning outcome
The course gives an understanding of the biology of plant-microbe interactions at the molecular level.
After completing the course the student should be able to:

-Give an overview of the mechanisms by which plants respond and protect themselves against pathogens.
-List cellular signal transduction mechanisms in plants and microorganisms.
-Describe the molecular mechanisms used by pathogens for overcoming host defences.
-Have an understanding of the continuum from mutualistic symbiosis to necrotrophy.

-Explain how the above topics are studied experimentally.
-Interpret primary data from research articles relating to these molecular interactions and apply the knowledge to new situations in biology.

-Discuss the potential of biotechnological and plant breeding technologies for developing disease resistant plants
-Consider the ethical aspects of the use of different approaches (e.g. transgenic) for disease problems associated with plant protection and to put these into perspective.
-See the potential for industrial processes using novel molecules derived from plant-microbe interactions.
-Relate the knowledge gained from the course to their own research.

Review articles and primary literature.

Teaching and learning methods
Active participation in timetabled lectures and colloquia.


Academic qualifications:
To be enrolled in a relevant PhD programme


UCPH discloses non-sensitive personal data to course leader/speakers, if any. In addition, we will disclose non-sensitive personal data to the other participants in the course. Non-sensitive personal data includes names, job positions, institution names & addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses.

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