Spring 2019 - BISC 430 D100

Microbe-Plant Interactions (3)

Class Number: 6196

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo, We, Fr 12:30 PM – 1:20 PM
    SECB 1010, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 17, 2019
    3:30 PM – 6:30 PM
    AQ 3150, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    MBB 231 and at least one of BISC 303, 326, 337 with a grade of C- or better.



Interactions between major groups of microbes (including fungi, bacteria, viruses, phytoplasmas and viroids) with higher plants, including the chemical signals which trigger the onset of recognition events that result in a parasitic or mutualistic relationship, and the mechanisms of plant defense. Students who have completed BISC 475 under the title 'Microbe-Plant Interactions' may not complete BISC 430 for further credit.


Course Description:

This course will provide students with a better understanding of the nature and mechanisms of the interactions between major groups of microbes, including fungi, bacteria, viruses, phytoplasmas and viroids, with higher plants. The biology and ecology of these organisms, and the physiological and molecular bases for specific host-pathogen interactions with plants, will be reviewed. The chemical signals which trigger the onset of recognition events that result in a pathogenic or mutualistic relationship, and the mechanisms of host defense, will be discussed.

Outline of Topics:

Introduction to plant tissues/cell types
Overview of microbes associated with plants
Types of microbe-plant associations
Evolution of microbe-plant relationships
Pathogenic associations (plant diseases )
Recognition and virulence factors
Development of disease
Microbial pathogenicity factorsHost genetic factors and disease
Defense responses in plants
Antimicrobial compounds in plants
Strategies to overcome disease
Genetic transformation of plants
Molecular methods for microbe identification
Mutualistic interactions


  • Midterm Exam 30%
  • Class Project 30%
  • Final Exam 40%



None. Course hand-outs will be provided, textbook references given, and Powerpoint presentations made available

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html