The Frontiers and Techniques in Plant Science course provides an intensive overview of topics in plant genetics, physiology, biochemistry, development, and evolution and hands-on experiences in molecular, analytical, computational and high throughput approaches to understanding plant biology. It emphasizes recent results from model organisms including Arabidopsis, maize and tomato as well as a variety of other plants and provides an introduction to current methods used in basic and applied plant biology, both theoretically and practically.
The seminar series will include plant morphology and anatomy, development, evolution, light and circadian biology, hormones, small RNAs and epigenetic inheritance, biotic and abiotic interactions, plant biochemistry, crop domestication, and applications addressing current agronomic problems. Speakers will provide expert overviews of their fields, followed by in-depth discussions of their own work. The laboratory sessions will provide exposure to cutting edge experimental and computational techniques currently used in plant research. These include approaches for studying plant development, transient gene expression, applications of fluorescent proteins, genome editing, and chromatin immunoprecipitation. Students will also gain hands-on experience on computational tools and environments for genome assembly, transcriptomics, construction of gene regulatory networks, identification of quantitative trait loci, mapping by sequencing, and mathematical modeling of development and hormone action. The course also includes several short workshops on important themes in plant research. Throughout the course, students interact individually and informally with the speakers to further enrich the learning experience.