These courses are focused on introducing undergraduate students to scientific research.

Course Description: Acquire scientific research experience in the laboratory. Learn how to conduct laboratory experiments, analyze data, and present results in a format suitable for scientific publications.

Course Objectives: Teach students basic techniques used in microbiology and molecular biology scientific research. Students will be able to design experiments, follow protocols, and interpret the results obtained. At the end of the semester, each student will write a short report, in the format of a scientific research publication, outlining his/her findings and discussing problems and solutions learned during the research.

Course Description: Comprehensive and updated review of bacterial interactions with plants.

Course Objectives: The course provides fundamental and current information regarding different aspects of the interactions of bacteria with the host plants. Aspects of pathogenic and beneficial relationships will be discussed at both the macroscopic and molecular level to assure a global understanding of these interactions. The discussion of recent publications dealing with basic aspects of research in plant-associated bacteria will help the students be aware of cutting edge discoveries in this discipline. An additional objective of this course is to develop critical thinking and scientific writing skills in the students, for which the students will be required to write a short review papers on a chosen topic. The laboratory exercises will give the students and overview of some basic methods and procedures needed to conduct research in plant-bacterial interactions.

Course Description: Discuss recent scientific publications on basic aspects of research in entomology and plant pathology.

Course Objectives: Familiarize students with current research in their fields beyond their own area of expertise. The discussion of publications dealing with basic aspects of research will keep the students aware of the state-of-the-art in their discipline. Discussion of the techniques, approaches, and conclusions used in the publications will help build critical thinking skills. An emphasis will be placed on discussions of the accuracy and relevance of the publications’ conclusions.

Course Description: Comprehensive and updated review of molecular biology aspects of plant-pathogen interactions.

Course Objectives: The course will present information regarding different aspects of plant pathology at the molecular level. The students will acquire an understanding of the molecular basis of the interactions between microbial plant pathogens and the host plant. The impact of molecular biology on the understanding and control of plant diseases will be emphasized. The discussion of recent publications dealing with basic aspects of research in plant pathology will make the students aware of cutting-edge discoveries in this discipline.

COURSES TAUGHT internationally:

This course was jointly developed by Leonardo De La Fuente, Maria Julia Pianzzola (Departamento de Biociencias, Facultad de Química, Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay), and Saul Burdman (The Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment,  The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, Israel). This is a graduate-level intensive course (2 weeks, 4hrs lecture per day) that is funded by the Uruguayan-based agency ANII (Agencia Nacional de Investigación e Innovación). This course was offered at the Faculty of Chemistry in Montevideo, Uruguay in July 2009, May 2011, and September 2013 and will tentatively be offered again in June 2015. The course is taught in Spanish, and its content reviews both basic and current concepts on the interactions between plants and pathogens, with special focus on bacterial plant pathogens.

Uruguay collage

2014 Training Network courses

Sponsored by Campus de Excelencia Internacional Agroalimentaria (ceiA3)

Cordoba Collage

Course Advertisement

Venue: Instituto de Agricultura Sostenible. Alameda del Obispo. Córdoba, Spain.

Director: Blanca B. Landa del Castillo (blanca.landa@csic.es)

Date: from 15th to 19th September 2014. This course will be offered again in the near future.

Objectives: To improve the training and specialization in quarantine phytopathogenic bacteria for the European Union, and Spain in particular, and to offer an opportunity of offsetting the lack of specialized education on this discipline at university level. To achieve these objectives the course will address advanced and innovative topics in the field of phytobacteriology. The course is divided into three sections: (i) An update of fundamental and innovative aspects in bacterial plant pathogens and diseases; (ii) Case studies of 10 quarantine plant pathogenic bacteria of major importance for the EU. For each of them we will address the nature of main losses and disease symptoms, as well as the biology, epidemiology, diagnosis and control measures; and (iii) Practicum to complement lectures on the theory of phytobacteriology. Practical sessions will be in the evening and will include demonstration of conventional and molecular-based protocols and techniques for the diagnosis and characterization of plant pathogenic bacteria. Finally, each student will conduct a practical case study to validate progress made in the course.

Academic profile of the applicants: Graduate students in Biology, Agricultural Engineering, Forestry, Engineering and Environmental Sciences, or students on the latest year of their degree.

We are pleased to inform that a new course entitled “Advanced course on Xylella fastidiosa, a quarantine plant pathogenic bacterium for the European Union” will be offered later in 2015, and is funded by the “Campus de Excelencia Internacional Agroalimentaria” (ceiA3), Spain.

October 5-9, 2015, Córdoba, Spain.

For more information visit here “Course information”, or contact Blanca Landa del Castillo (blanca.landa@ias.csic.es)



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In 2015, we organized for the first time a study abroad visiting Peru to learn about the agricultural production in that country, and the historical impact of the Inca civilization. For more information click here (this year itinerary)

This study trip will be offered again in the near future, contact Leonardo De La Fuente (lzd0005@auburn.edu) for more information.