Pre-Conference Course

Pre-conference Course on molecular techniques for the study of plant pathogens
1.     Description
The  main  goal  of  this  course  is  to  train young scientists in the basics of the study of Plant- Microbe interactions. It will address the infection process both from the plant and pathogen perspective. The course will provide an opportunity to learn the main theoretical aspects in this field, as well as to acquire some hands-on experience in some of the laboratory techniques commonly used in this area. The course is especially (but not exclusively) directed to Latin American young scientists.
The attendees who participate in both, the course and the Xanthomonas Genomics Conference, will have the unique experience of viewing the complete perspective of this field. From the fundamentals, which are the basis of the most relevant hypotheses and theories in this area, to the cutting edge discoveries recently made by the scientific community. They will have the opportunity to exchange ideas with speakers and participants in the XGC conference, with diverse expertises and international background.
This Pre-conference course will be developing thanks to the support of the Program for Biotechnology in Latin America and the Caribbean UNU-BIOLAC.
2.      Target audience:
Last year undergraduates, postgraduate students or researchers involved or interested in molecular phytopathology area. Lab experience and a minimal theoretical knowledge of molecular biology (PCR, cloning, electrophoresis, etc) are required.
3.     Methodology:
The course will take place on July 7th and 8th, 2015 in the Laboratory of Mycology and Phytopathology at Universidad de los Andes (LAMFU). The entire course will be in English.
4.     Invited professors
·         Dr. Jan Leach, Colorado State University, EEUU.
·         Dr. Mary Beth Mudgett, Stanford University, EEUU.
·         Dr. Boris Szurek, IRD, France
·         Dr. Adriana Bernal, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia.

5.     Schedule Pre-conference Course

  • Introduction: Molecular plant pathology and its importance in recent years
  • Plant strategy: First recognition of the pathogen (PAMP recognition)
  • Pathogen strategy: strategies to avoid the recognition and to take advantage from the plant
  • Pathogen strategy: TAL Effectors
  • Plant strategy: specific disease resistance
  • Practical training: Plant defense and how to visualize PAMP-triggered immunity and its suppression
  • Practical training: Plant defense and how to visualize the hypersensitive response.


  • Genomics in plant-pathogen interactions


  • Context discussion:  how climate change can impact plant disease and resistance?


6.    Fees
·        Course on molecular techniques for the study of plant pathogens:
Registration fee: 130 USD
(Includes all practical and theoretical activities, the coffee breaks and lunches described in the schedule of the pre-conference course) For registration please click here
·        Xanthomonas Genomics Conference 2015:
Additional registration fee. For further information please go to
7.     Grants available for Latin American scientists
Thanks to the support of the Universidad de los Andes and the Program for Biotechnology in Latin America and the Caribbean UNU-BIOLAC, there will be eight scholarships provided for course attendants. The scholarships will include the registration for the course and XGC2015, as well as food and lodging as is described below. The organizing committee of the Xanthomonas Genomics Conference calls for applications by Latin American citizens registered in a Latin American recognized institutions and who are working or are interested in the molecular aspects of plant pathology. The selection committee will give priority to those who have work to present in the Xanthomonas Genomics Conference 2015.
Our main goal is that this knowledge will be applied by regional researches, improving the methodologies used for the study of plant diseases that currently affect our region or that could become serious threats for food security and economic stability.
7.1 Who can apply?
Last year undergraduates, postgraduate students (Master or phD students) or researchers involved or interested in molecular phytopathology area who received his/her last degree less than 5 years ago.
7.2 What does the grant cover?
The scholarship covers:

  • Registration to the pre-conference course: Includes all practical and theoretical activities, and the coffee breaks described in the schedule of the pre-conference course.
  • Accommodation from July 6th to 8th (2 nights/3 days) and all the breakfasts, lunches and dinners.
  • Registration for the Xanthomonas Genomics Conference 2015: includes all the scientific sessions and poster area and all the items that registration fee for this conference includes (

Important Note: Tickets to Bogotá or from Bogotá are not covered.
7.3 How Can I apply?

If you are eligible, please click here to send us the following information (in only one PDF document).

    • Recommendation and endorsement letter signed by laboratory PI or by the scientific research institution head which presents the candidate.
    • Motivational letter where you expose the importance of your participation on your work and on your institution (max. 950 words)
    • Your Curriculum vitae
    • Copy of your passport.
    • Copy of your ID (as a student, a researcher or a professor)
    • Letter that certifies who is going to cover the tickets cost for the candidate if he/she were elected (The Conference will not assume any cost of transport to Bogotá or from Bogotá).
    • Note: if you are interested in submitting and abstract please include it in your application.

7.4 What is the limit date to apply?
May 3th, 2015. (Bogotá time)
7.5 How will I know if I was selected?
We will contact you by e-mail. From the date we contact you, you will have two weeks to answer confirming your acceptance of the grant and 3 weeks to send us the exact dates of your trip and a copy of support of the tickets to come to Bogotá to attend both Pre-conference course and for the XGC2015 Conference. If this is not met, your place will be given to another applicant.