Biochemical & Molecular Aspects of Plant Defense Mechanisms

Special Problems in Plant Science
Term II - January - April

Instructor Course Description
Additional References

Evaluation  Late Submissions
General Academic Regulations


   Dr. F. DAAYF
207 Agriculture

Course description

This course is designed for graduate students who want to learn how plants defend themselves against pathogens. Students will have an opportunity to discuss the current theories, mechanisms, and applications of knowledge in this area. 2-hr weekly meetings will compose the course and will include: (i)- Lectures, (ii)- Presentation and discussion of assigned readings, and (iii)- A term paper prepared by every student, that will be presented and discussed in class before the end of the term.


To become familiar with current theories and trends in plant responses to pathogens, and to understand the concept of integrating such knowledge into potential disease management strategies


To learn about (i) plant defense mechanisms at a tissue/cell/molecular level, (ii) techniques used to acquire such knowledge, and (iii) Means to integrate plant defense findings into potential disease management strategies.


None. Assigned readings will be provided to students or put on reserve at the library.
Additional References    


01   Term paper     35 %
02   Oral presentation of term paper     15 %
03   Assignments/Presentations     20 %
04   Discussion/Participation     10 %
05   Final oral exam     20 %


Late Submissions

Assignments that are submitted after the stated deadline will be deducted 5 % a day of the grade up to the end of the first week and 25 % thereafter for each week the assignment is late.

       Note: Student performance in the Midterm and two Lab Tests will be evaluated before the -date TBA- deadline for voluntary withdrawal without academic penalty. Students experiencing difficulty will be counselled accordingly.

General Academic Regulations

Please refer to the University of Manitoba General Calendar for regulations regarding plagiarism and cheating and examination impersonation.

    Please note that assignments, reports, or exams which are illegible or poorly written may be subject to refusal or deduction of the final grade.

Discussions Topics

Structural plant defense:
Pre-existing structures
Induced structures

Biochemical plant defense:
Pre-existing defense
Induced defense
Hypersensitive response
Antimicrobial/PR proteins
Active oxygen species

Elicitor-induced defenses:
Elicitor production
Elicitor recognition
Signal transduction
Defense expression

Systemic acquired resistance

Methodology in plant defense mechanisms studies:
Histo-cytochemistry (structural and biochemical changes)
Phytochemistry (Secondary metabolites)
Molecular biology (Gene expression)
Bioassays - design and interpretation

Integration of defense mechanisms in control strategies.