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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » Vegetable Crops Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #303588

Research Project: Resources for the Genetic Improvement of Potato

Location: Vegetable Crops Research

Title: Using effectors of Phytophthora infestans to teach pathogenesis: Our attempt to provide a more comprehensive education

item Halterman, Dennis
item Kartanos, Victoria - University Of Wisconsin
item Hayslett, Maya - University Of Wisconsin
item Rouse, Douglas - University Of Wisconsin

Submitted to: International Congress on Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/2014
Publication Date: 7/6/2014
Citation: Halterman, D.A., Kartanos, V., Hayslett, M., Rouse, D. 2014. Using effectors of Phytophthora infestans to teach pathogenesis: Our attempt to provide a more comprehensive education [abstract]. International Congress on Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions. Paper No. 754.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The topic of pathogenesis mechanisms (R/avirulence genes, effectors, and hypersensitive response) has proved challenging for students in our introductory plant pathology course. An apparent gap exists in the curriculum between this introductory course and higher level plant-microbe interaction courses. To address this, lectures were altered to provide a better introduction to pathogenesis and to reflect recent research. Also, a novel laboratory exercise was developed for students to use the terms and concepts. Students infiltrated leaves of transgenic tobacco, expressing the potato RB resistance gene, with Agrobacterium tumefaciens expressing the effectors IPI-O1 and IPI-O4 from Phytophthora infestans. They observed the interaction between the effectors and the R-gene product by examining the plants for hypersensitive cell death. To assess these new additions, a pre-quiz was administered prior to the laboratory activity and around the same time the companion lectures began. The same or similar questions were asked on a quiz after the lab and on the final exam. Of two questions that were given verbatim on the pre-quiz and the lab quiz, the score improved for both (p<0.05). When all exam questions on these topics were compared to the total pre-quiz scores, the average score on the final exam was 7.28% higher (p=0.05). We conclude that these changes to the lecture and the lab improved student understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in pathogenesis.