PHP-30306 Plant-Microbe Interactions


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work2
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. MHAJ Joosten
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. GHJ Kema
dr. M Seidl
prof. dr. ir. FPM Govers
dr. ir. MHAJ Joosten
dr. JAL van Kan
Examiner(s)dr. ir. MHAJ Joosten

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

PHP-30806 Molecular Aspects of Bio-Interactions; ENT-30306 Ecological Aspects of Bio-Interactions.


The course focuses on the physiological, biochemical, molecular-genetic, genomic and ecological aspects of interactions between plants and pathogenic microbes (fungi and oomycetes).
The following topics are discussed:
- the role of microbial (in particular Verticillium, Botrytis, Cladosporium fulvum and Phytophthora) gene products (effectors) and metabolites in pathogenesis;
- monogenic and polygenic resistance of plants to pathogenic microbes;
- perception of microbial effector (elicitor) molecules by cell surface and cytoplasmic immune receptors of plants;
- signal transduction in the plant leading to local and systemic defence responses of plants;
Experiments in the practical (such as plant inoculations, microscopy, symptom assessment, in vitro growth tests, protein extractions, agro-infiltration), also including a computer practical on (fungal) genomics, illustrate the various aspects of the theory.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- understand the molecular basis of interactions between plants and microbes (fungi and oomycetes);
- demonstrate detailed understanding of how immune receptors function in the defence of plants against invading microbes;
- perform basic experiments that are aimed at studying plant-microbe interactions;
- understand computational methods to analyze genomic sequencing data (genome assembly; identification of protein-coding genes and their functional analysis);
- write a report about the aims, setup and outcome of an experiment.


The course consists of different theoretical and practical elements:
- lectures dealing with defined pathosystems (infection of plants by fungi and oomycetes);
- tutorials pre-selected recent publications illustrating important break-troughs in molecular phytopathology;
- (computer) practical.


- written exam with four open questions (each consisting of four to ten sub-questions) (75%)
- report on practical (25%);
To pass for the course, the result of the written exam should be at least 55 points out of a maximum of 100 points.


The required course documents will be placed in Brightspace and/or will be provided in printed form.

Restricted Optional for: MBIBiologyMScB: Organismal Adaptation and Development6WD
MPSPlant SciencesMScE: Plant Pathology and Entomology6WD
MPBPlant BiotechnologyMScC: Molecular Plant Breeding and Pathology6WD