The proposed Postgraduate Course “Applied
and fundamental aspects of responses, signaling and developmental
process in the root-microbe systems” is the third in
the series of AB-RMS (Agro-Biotechnology focused on Root-Microbe
Symbiosis) courses. The course series started in Kaunas, Lithuania,
in 2005 with a broad review on root-microbe systems and continued
in Hamburg, Germany, in 2006 with focused insights on root-pathogen
interactions. At the third meeting we shall concentrate on
beneficial plant-microbe interactions which have a huge potential
to be used in sustainable agriculture of Northern Europe and
Baltic Region. Due to nutritional symbioses (made with nitrogen
fixing bacteria or mycorrhizal fungi) or the defensive symbioses
(made with various endophytic and some epiphytic microbes)
plants can adapt effectively to different abiotic and biotic
stresses. Signaling for induced resistance is therefore also
under the scope of the workshop and course. A sufficient reduction
in application of mineral fertilizers and pesticides may be
achieved through active use of microbial inoculants.
From the genetic viewpoint, both types of symbiosis
are based on deep functional integration of partners’ genes
which is controlled by their signaling interactions and results
in the development of novel adaptive valuable metabolic functions
and of cellular/tissue structures. These molecular processes
will be in the focus of the Postgraduate Course. At present it
becomes more and more evident that beneficial interactions with
different microbes comprise one of the basic properties of the
plant organisms which was acquired very early in the plant evolution.
This is why we decided to accompany the Postgraduate Course with
the workshop Evolution of Plant-Microbe Interactions the regularities
of which may be interesting to work up the programs for improving
the agriculturally important symbiotic systems.
We hope that such organization of the program of Postgraduate Course will enable us to go more deeply into the molecular and genetic background of plant-microbe interactions and to make more insights into genetic construction and to bioengineering of sustainable agricultural technologies.