Interaction of plants with other organisms: friends and foe

February 22-24, 2006


The student will  get an insight into the different types of interactions plants can have with their biotic environment and on the molecular, biochemical and physiological mechanisms involved in these interactions.

speakers and content

Dr. Marcel Bucher, ETH Zürich, Switzerland: Beneficial fungi - Mechanisms and interactions in mycorrhizal phosphate uptake

Dr. Brion Duffy, Agroscope FAW Wädenswil , Switzerland: Plant pathogenic bacteria - Fire blight

Prof. Monica Höfte, Ghent University, Belgium: Plant pathogenic fungi - role of plant hormones in the interaction of tomato with pathogenic fungi

Dr. Gernot Kunze, ETH Zürich, Switzerland: Elicitors as activators of plant innate immunity

Prof. Peter Putnoky, University of Pecs , Hungary: Beneficial bacteria - Bacterial genes involved in the invasion of  the symbiotic nodule

Dr. Urs Schaffner, CABI Delémont , Switzerland: Using insects to manage exotic weed invasions

Dr. Sergio Svistoonoff, ETH Zürich, Switzerland: The actinorhizal symbiosis

Prof. Ted Turlings, University of Neuchâtel , Switzerland: Beneficial insects - Tritrophic interactions

The teachers will each give a general introduction on the broader topic of their field of expertise as well as a more specialezed talk on their actual research.

precourse assignment: journal clubs

The Ph.D. students are expected to present scientific papers (journal club) in relation to the treated topics. The papers are proposed by the speakers.

The literature list for journal clubs is available. Please choose one paper (with a second and a third choice) in the list and send the numbers (ex. 4-1-2) to christiane.bobillier(at)unine.ch.
The attribution of the papers will be done on a first come first choice basis. In red papers already choosen or for references. Updated daily.

general information

Dates: February 22-24, 2006

Schedule: 9.00 - 17.15

Location: University of Neuchâtel, Unimail, Chemistry building (G, "Institut de chimie"), room B1

Credit points: 2.0 (Scientific)

Evaluation: Active participation including presentation of a scientific paper (journal club)

Information: Please contact the  NCCR education officer Dr. Christiane Bobillier

Travel expenses: NCCR Ph.D. participants are eligible for reimbursement of incurred travel expenses by train (half-fare card, and 2nd class). Please send the original tickets (no copies, except for the general abonnement) at the end of the terms with this form (document)  to Dr. Christiane Bobillier. No reimbursement for bus, taxi or car travel expenses will be paid.


This course is opened to all Ph.D. student, however priority is given to NCCR Plants and their Environment Graduate School participants and NCCR Plant Survival Ph.D. students. Postdocs and diploma students are welcome depending on availability.
Maximum number of participants: 26.
Registration through the web only: closed
Deadline: February 6, 2006