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RNAi Modification of Arthropod-Plant Interactions

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NOVA Master's course of 3 ECTS, organised by Prof. Velemir Ninkovic, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
Preliminary course dates and location: 10-15 Dec. 2018 in Uppsala, Sweden. The course is CANCELLED.

The Master's course series "Future trends in sustainable plant protection: RNAi technology for insects" consist of three consecutive Master's courses:

Course Description
Changes in pest management will be required over the next decade to fill the gap being left by legislative restrictions on pesticide use and the evolution of pest and disease resistance. There will be a growing demand to develop new solutions that are practical and effective at the grower level.

The first objective of this course is to understand the molecular basis of plant interactions with insect herbivores. Modification of insect plant-interaction by manipulating insect behavior offers a route to new strategies for sustainable plant protection. Using RNAi technology could open the possibility of strategically modifying plant-insect interactions temporally and spatially within plant tissues. Further, it would allow targeting of critical insect herbivore genes via the host plant. This course will bring students up to date on the latest progress in the field including- potential insect and plant traits that could be targeted by RNAi, methods of delivery including use of nanotechnology, potential for modifying chemical ecology of plantinsect interactions and prospects for use in crop protection including case studies of crop-pest systems.


Programme Outline

Pre-/Post-Campus Assignments

Learning Outcomes
After taking a course individually or the complete series, the students will have acquired the knowledge at the advanced frontier of novel insect management tools based on RNAi technology. Each course is emphasising one aspect particularly. This course will emphasise understanding the molecular basis of plant interactions with insect herbivores and the necessary skills in understanding underlying insect physiology and ecological safety aspects.

Evaluation Elements
Oral exam at the end of the course.

Pedagogical Approach
The course is using as pedagogical tools in-depth lectures, case studies and laboratory demonstrations.

Estimated Workload

  • lectures: 20 h
  • seminars: 5 h
  • independent work, distance learning bloc: 50 h
  • laboratory demonstrations: 15 h

Prerequisite Knowledge
Bachelor degree in a relevant field is required. Relevant fields: biological sciences (including agriculture), bio-informatics, genetics, environmental sciences, agroecology, wild-life management, biology.

Admission for NOVA courses is handled by the course organiser/ the NOVA member institution organising the course. Please see the links in the margin for more information.


Published 15. January 2018 - 13:46 - Updated 19. October 2018 - 14:23