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Plant Pathology with a Nordic Dimension

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NOVA PhD course series scheduled for 2017-2020. Each course in the series is of 4 ECTS.
Responsible for course series: Dan Funck Jensen, Professor, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

  • 2017: Biological Control: Microbial Interactions for Improved Plant Health
    Course dates: 29 May - 3 Jun. 2017
    Distance learning period: The Journal Club will be running 10 times from Mar. - end of May 2017
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

    Two themes will be addressed a) inoculation biocontrol where biocontrol microbes are applied to the plant crop and b) conservation biocontrol where interactions and function of indigenous microbial communities in the plant crop suppress diseases.
  • 2018: Biotrophy in Plant Pathogens - from Recognition to Ecology
    Course dates: 29 Apr. - 4 May 2018
    Distance learning period: The Journal Club will be running 6-10 times from February – April 2018
    Aarhus University, Science and Technology
    Focus is on plant interactions with biotrophic pathogens aiming at understanding plant defence reactions, pathogen effector biology and the ecology of biotrophs.
  • 2019: Epidemiology and Populations Genetics
    Course dates: 6-11 May 2019
    Preliminary distance learning period: mid Feb. to May 2019
    Norwegian University of Life Sciences 

    Epidemiology including local dissemination and distance spread of pathogens. Include the role of population genetics and the race concept in relation to host plant resistance.
  • 2020: Secondary Metabolites in Plant Resistance and Pathogen Virulence
    Preliminary course dates: 11-15 May 2020
    Preliminary distance learning period: mid Feb. to 9 May, 2020
    University of Helsinki, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry 
    Metabolites play an important role for virulence of many pathogens and in plants defence. This will be addressed in different pathosystems.

Each course includes definitions, terms, concepts and theories within the plant pathology disciplines reflected in the course title. Two main themes will be the core of each course schedule. Cases with special relevance for the Nordic zone will have highest priority. Understanding plant pathogen interactions and biocontrol at the molecular level will be prioritised embracing genomics, transcriptome and gene expression studies. Importance of cell wall degrading enzymes, effector molecules and secondary metabolites will be addressed. Discussions of biocontrol, epidemiology, population dynamics and plant resistance as part of integrated pest management will be part of each course. Course 1 will also include theory of microbial ecology, microbial community interactions and their trait effects as they relate to conservation biocontrol.

Pre-/Post-Campus Assignments
A journal club will be running weekly for 3 months discussing papers suggested by teachers. Students prepare either a poster or an oral presentation.

Learning Outcomes
The student will:

  • obtain knowledge of definitions, theories and concepts within the pathology disciplines addressed in the course series
  • obtain basic skills of genomics/bioinformatics methods used in advanced plant pathology and knowledge about strategies for integrated pest management (IPM)
  • obtain specific competences in
    • course 1: inoculation biocontrol and conservation biocontrol embracing suppressiveness due to interacting microbial communities and effects of crop management
    • course 2: biotrophic pathogen ecology and host interactions, including effector biology and plant defence
    • course 3: epidemiology, population genetics and race development
    • course 4: the role of metabolites in microbial- and pathogen host interactions.
  • Skills in presenting a scientific subjects is another learning outcome of the courses

Evaluation Elements
Evaluation will be based on participation in the journal club and student presentations at the course. Evaluation will also include active participation in group discussions, activity at lectures and at other discussion sessions at the course.

Pedagogical Approach
Several forms of teaching are used including lectures, literature discussion sessions and computer exercises. The students acquire facts by reading relevant literature during the journal club and through lectures. These facts are then processed during computer exercises and during discussion sessions. Discussion sessions are opportunities for students with different backgrounds to learn from each other. All students will get the opportunity for an oral presentation of a poster with feedback or an oral presentation at the lecture sessions.

Prerequisite Knowledge
A prerequisite is that the students have an MSc within natural sciences. MSc students can occasionally be accepted to attend.

Admission for NOVA courses is handled by the course organiser/ the NOVA member institution organising the course.

Detailed information on each course in the series and information on how to apply will be available on each course's information web page. The information web page will be published on the NOVA website in the beginning of the year when the course is sheduled to run. Please see NOVA's course catalogue.

Published 1. August 2017 - 16:06 - Updated 14. November 2019 - 9:19