LBIK10202U Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions
MSc Programme in Biology-Biotechnology
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
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.
- Microbial stress tolerance.
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.
Review articles and primary literature
- Theory exercises
- 7,5 ECTS
- Type of assessment
- Written examination, 4 hours under invigilationWritten examination in lecture hall
- Written aids allowed
- Marking scale
- 7-point grading scale
- Censorship form
- No external censorship
One internal examiner
Criteria for exam assesment
Written Exam (4 hours), Weight: 100%