Ny sökning
PFG0081

Biological control and the role of plant biomes in plant health

The course is the next in a series of four courses that follows a PhD course series in the Nordic countries with now 33 PhD courses in plant pathology – in each course the focus will be on a sub-discipline within plant pathology.



This first course, in the four courses applied for, the focus is on biological control of plant diseases where living organisms or virus (i.e. biocontrol agents (BCAs)) are used for controlling plant diseases. In plant production (BCAs) can be applied to the plant crop (augmentative biocontrol) or microbial populations active in the plant microbiomes can lead to disease suppression. The course will introduce fundamental concepts and the terminology in biocontrol and then have two main approaches for exploiting biocontrol in plant crop production: 1) augmentative biocontrol and 2) plant microbiome function for improving plant health. We will cover aspects from molecular, cellular, individual and population levels relevant for understanding the biology related to biocontrol interactions embracing effects of BCAs formulated with one strain or in consortia and the option to affecting microbiome function that result in disease suppression. State of art methodologies for studying biocontrol interactions and analysing plant microbiomes will be introduced. Practical aspects on how to develop BCAs from production, formulation and delivery to the crop are addressed and aspects of risk assessment and legislation will be discussed.

Kursplan

PFG0081 Biological control and the role of plant biomes in plant health, 4,0 Hp

Ämnen

Biologi

Utbildningens nivå

Forskarnivå

Förkunskapskrav

The course is primary for PhD students within the Nordic NOVA/BOVA-university networks but will be open for other PhD students and staff members too. NOVA/BOVA MSc. students in the final part of their studies can also attend. Staff and PhD/MSc students from other universities are welcomed if space allows. Basic knowledge of plant pathology, genetics, biochemistry and/or microbial ecology is preferable.

Mål

This course aims to give the participants an advanced insight and understanding of the sub-discipline "biological plant disease control" with special focus on the following aspects:



• Terminology and concepts used in biological plant disease control and plant biome research

• Sources of potential biocontrol organisms, their isolation and methods for selecting candidate biocontrol organisms (Biocontrol agents: BCAs)

• Mechanisms in biocontrol interactions – competition for space and resources, antibiosis, exploitation and induction of plant defence responses. In addition, also addressed in a microbial ecology context for linking mechanistic studies to the practical use of BCAs in plant production.

• Become familiarized with methods for studying biocontrol interactions at the molecular (genome and biochemical), cellular, individual and population levels – including relevant bioinformatics.

• Be familiar with plant microbiomes seen in relation to biocontrol functional groups and patho-biome function. One focus will be endophytism related to plant health. Insight in methodologies used for studying plant microbiomes (descriptive and functional studies) as well as biocontrol effects on plant pathobiomes will also be an outcome.

• Production, formulation and delivery of biocontrol agents (BCAs) in different plant cropping systems. Formulating BCAs in consortia or synthetic microbiomes will also be addressed.

• The role of biological control in IPM (integrated pest management) strategies – with focus on reducing chemical pesticide use and alleviating fungicide resistance in pathogen populations, and combining plant disease resistance with biocontrol approaches.

• Legislative aspects including risk assessment and registration in Europe and other countries as well as information about the Nagoya protocol for access and sharing beneficial organisms globally.

• Future goals in biocontrol research

Innehåll

The course is the next in a series of four courses that follows a PhD course series in the Nordic countries with now 33 PhD courses in plant pathology – in each course the focus will be on a sub-discipline within plant pathology.



This first course, in the four courses applied for, the focus is on biological control of plant diseases where living organisms or virus (i.e. biocontrol agents (BCAs)) are used for controlling plant diseases. In plant production (BCAs) can be applied to the plant crop (augmentative biocontrol) or microbial populations active in the plant microbiomes can lead to disease suppression. The course will introduce fundamental concepts and the terminology in biocontrol and then have two main approaches for exploiting biocontrol in plant crop production: 1) augmentative biocontrol and 2) plant microbiome function for improving plant health. We will cover aspects from molecular, cellular, individual and population levels relevant for understanding the biology related to biocontrol interactions embracing effects of BCAs formulated with one strain or in consortia and the option to affecting microbiome function that result in disease suppression. State of art methodologies for studying biocontrol interactions and analysing plant microbiomes will be introduced. Practical aspects on how to develop BCAs from production, formulation and delivery to the crop are addressed and aspects of risk assessment and legislation will be discussed.

Examinationsformer och fordringar för godkänd kurs

Examination: A student should attend at least 80% of the journal club discussions and be attending the physical course part for 100%. A short absence (1-2 days) can only be allowed for exceptional reasons. The student must be active throughout the course and give an oral- or poster presentation on own PhD subject or a topic relevant for the course themes. A short written report must be delivered at end of the course. All assignments must be approved in order to pass the course.



Grading scale: Pass / Failed. The course is a combination of a two months journal club on Zoom and a one full time physical course at a conference centre. This format and teaching load is similar to former courses in the NOVA plant pathology series that were given 4 ECTS.



Students assignments: At the journal club all students must be active in the discussion and each week two students are assigned to facilitate the discussion of the papers. Students also write up an abstract for a presentation at the "physical course" – either as an oral presentation or a poster presentation. Poster sessions will be organized where the presenting student will have about 10 minutes for presenting his/her poster and two other students will be opponents posing questions and comment on the poster presented. This will be followed by questions from all other students and teachers. The oral presentations will be about 15 minutes presentations also with students opponents assigned for questioning.



For the group work students will work together on a specific topic/assignment (for example a method used or trying out bioinformatics tools). They will then be responsible for presenting their assignment to the other groups comparing their results with the other assignments.



A final report summarizing what they have learned at the course must be finalized shortly after end of the physical course.

Ytterligare information

The teaching will be organized as follows: One week at course facilities where the participants meet for 5 days teaching (physical course part) that will be following a pre course period of two month where a journal club will be running on Zoom once a week. Papers discussed are suggested by the course teachers – the discussion facilitated each time by two students. All the above mentioned objectives will be included in the course scheme and two main international teachers with leading expertise in biocontrol- and microbiome research will be invited for the physical course. Other teachers will be coming from the participating NOVA universities. There are several Nordic NOVA teachers who are highly competent in the subjects addressed. These Nordic teachers will take part in the course.



At the physical course, there will be traditional lectures, students’ oral- and/or poster presentations, group discussions and special student assignments during the course – some assignments initiated before course start. An excursion will be organized including both social/societal- and professional aspects.