Detection and Epidemiology of Plant Virus Diseases &Molecular-Plant Pathogen Interactions

Aims

To provide solid background in plant virus transmission, virus diagnosis technology, plant virus epidemiology towards virus control consultation. • To present the sequence of events in discovering molecular biology tools and knowledge on plant virus genome expression and plant interaction. • To expose students to latest approaches in virus resistance. • To present examples of biotechnology applications (pros and cons discussion).  

Prerequisites

• Plant pathology and biology, basic entomology.
 
  

Learning Outcomes

• To understand plant virus transmission mechanisms and their impact on epidemiology and damage. • Ability to combine information on transmission and epidemiology and consult on virus control. • Thorough knowledge of most applicable detection methods for a number of economically important plant viruses. • To develop a clear connection of the central dogma in biology, the use modern molecular techniques and studies on viral detection, replication and genome expression. • To become familiar with experimentation regarding virus-host interactions and resistance against plan viruses. • Critical review of transgenic plants case studies and basic principles of risk assessment.  

Syllabus

Detection of plant viruses and viroids: indicator hosts, cytological effects, serological assays, molecular assays. Transmission and epidemiology of plant viruses and viroids: mechanical, seed, insect, fungal, nematodes, pollen. Control of plant viruses and viroids: plant virus control based on their epidemiological properties, farming practices to avoid-reduce inoculum, physical methods of protection, cross protection, antiviral agents. Virus-free seed production, propagation and maintenance of virus-free plants. Case studies in the Mediterranean area.   Genetic engineering and biotechnology. Central dogma of the transfer of genetic information from DNA to RNA to protein. Molecular biology techniques for the identification of nucleic acids and proteins.   Replication of plant RNA viruses and strategies for genome expression. Resistance sources against plant viruses: a. natural, b. virus itself (PDR), c. various other. Resistance mechanisms to plant viruses using pathogen derived resistance (PDR) (an overview). Post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS) and PTGS suppressors.   GMO Case Studies.  Potential direct and indirect impacts of transgenic crops on the environment. Gene flow from crops to related species. Risk assessment  New methods to develop resistance against plant viruses.  

Content Delivery

The Lessons will be given in the form of lectures (through the help of Powerpoint presentations). A one day laboratory practical demonstration will expose students to modern molecular biology techniques related to virus diagnosis.  

Coursework And Assignment Details

Assessment of students will be performed through written examinations.