This course is not offered again until winter quarter of 2021. I alternate in winter quarter with the following courses:

Winter 2018: ESRM 490 (Special Topics): Current Topics in Symbiosis (journal club format)
Winter 2019: ESRM490 (Special Topics): Symbiosis Seminar
Winter 2020: Current Topics in Phytoremediation (journal club format)
Winter 2021: Plant-Microbe Interactions Seminar (SEFS 522)

Please go to our class Canvas site for background reading and other course information.


Contact the course instructor: Sharon Doty


SEFS 522

Plant-Microbe Interactions

Seminar Class for graduate students and upper division undergraduates

Winter Quarter 2017

Course and Learning Objectives

The students will learn about the current research in plant-microbe interactions. Microbes are often essential for plant growth, providing fixed nitrogen, pathogen resistance, and increased tolerance to stress. Other microbes can cause plant diseases. The students will learn about this important field of research from those doing the research.

The educational goals of this course are to increase awareness of the variety of symbiotic relationships between plants and microbes. Another goal of the course is to encourage interaction between students in the Departments of Microbiology, Biology, and the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences who study plant-microbe interactions.

Grading and Credit

This course is graded (CR/NC) based on a short paper about a specific aspect of plant-microbe interactions (topic chosen by the student and approved by Dr. Doty). In addition, students will be expected to participate in the seminar discussions and attend at least 9 out of 10 of the seminars.

Weekly Topics: Wednesdays 10:30 - 11:20

Draft schedule (waiting to hear back from other potential speakers):

Jan 4: “N fixation in non-legumes:Implications for Agriculture & Bioenergy” - Prof. Doty
Jan 11: “Interactions between plant associated bacteria”- Dr. Brook Peterson
Jan 18: No class today (Doty away at a conference)
Jan 25:  TBD
Feb 1: “Agrobacterium”- Prof. Emeritus Gene Nester
Feb 8: TBD
Feb 15: “Phytophthora”- Dr. Marianne Elliot (WSU-Puyallup)
Feb 22: “Endophyte-assisted phytoremediation”- Robert Tournay
Mar 1: "Microbial Interactions inside the Olive Knot"- Dr. Daniel Passos da Silva
Mar 8: “Impacts of endophytes on the physiology of maize and rice”- Tony Rho



Seminars organized by Professor Sharon L. Doty

Doty's lab website: