CSB349 – Eukaryotic Gene Expression
The content of this course covers genome organization and the regulation of gene expression building on material covered in BIO 130H1 and 230H1. An understanding of genetics is essential to read primary papers in molecular biology; students must take BIO 260H1 or HMB 265H1 prior to CSB 349H1. In addition, students in CSB 349H1 are expected to have a background in organic chemistry (to the level of CHM 247H1) and biochemistry (BCH 210H1).
Students will attend lectures and tutorials. The lectures will provide a framework of background information, while the tutorials will emphasize reading and analyzing primary literature. A big part of the tutorial will be a team-based project.
The emphasis in this course is on self-directed learning and critical thinking; the process of science will be stressed more than the content of the discipline. All students should be able to use the library resources by the end of the course. In addition, students will need to become proficient at interpreting data from original papers, writing analyses of data and designing simple experiments.
CSB353 – Plant-Microorganism Interactions and Plant Immunity
Contrary to the common notion, plants possess dynamic and sophisticated immune systems to fight to pathogenic microorganisms. CSB353H1 is a lecture course, which discusses the ways plants have co-evolved with microbes in an on-going arms race, resulting in sophisticated strategies to protect themselves. This course presents an overview of these strategies with examples of bacteria, fungi, oomycetes and viruses that have evolved intimate associations with plants. The main focus will be the discussion of their interaction at the molecular level and components of the plant immune system and signal transduction. Finally, biotechnological approaches utilizing scientific knowledge to protect plants will be introduced.
CSB452 – Molecular Interactions Between Plants, Microorganisms and Parasitic Plants
This course explores the strategies that plants have evolved to defend themselves against microbes and parasitic plants. The course consists of two sections; 1. Plant-pathogenic microbe interactions and 2. Plant-plant parasite interactions. The first section focuses on an in-depth discussion about on-going research of plant immunity against pathogenic microbes. The second section introduces plant-parasitic plant relationships with an emphasis on signaling pathways that underlie these interactions and discusses how basic knowledge of the lifestyle of parasitic plants could contribute to agricultural solutions in the developing world.
CSB491 – Team-Based Research: Research in Cell and Molecular Biology
This is an advanced laboratory course and assumes a strong background in molecular genetics and some prior laboratory experience. Students will develop the laboratory and team-work skills needed to succeed in the workplace, particularly the multi-disciplinary environment that integrates modern biological approaches.
The course will focus on molecular plant biology from DNA to RNA to protein. Since CSB491H1 is a team-based research course students will have to conduct their experiments semi-independently. This course consists of 2 parts. In the first half students will learn a variety of techniques. Based on this knowledge students will develop a research project which they will conduct in the second half of the course. Some of the techniques covered in the course will include genotyping of mutants and transgenic plants, gene expression analysis by RT and Q-RT-PCR, protein expression by Western Blotting, and fluorescent microscopy. Furthermore, students will learn to apply basic genetic principles for mutant characterization. The goal of the course is to gain an understanding how to plan and conduct a research project as a team.