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    Positive and negative plant interactions with fungi, bacteria, viruses and animals, with an emphasis on how understanding plant interactions provides insights into plant biology from community structure to crop productivity.

    Gain insight into how plants determine whether microbes and insects are friend or foe. Sophisticated mechanisms govern plant interactions and ultimately decide whether a plant will thrive or fail. Learn how these interactions impact on plant biotechnology, genetics, ecology and crop productivity.

    About this paper

    Paper title Plant Interactions
    Subject Botany
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,173.30
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    Two of BTNY 201, BTNY 202, BTNY 203, ECOL 211, ECOL 212, GENE 222, GENE 223, GEOG 287, MARI 202, STAT 210, ZOOL 221, ZOOL 222, ZOOL 223
    Schedule C
    Teaching staff

    Course Co-ordinator: Associate Professor Paul Guy

    Paper Structure


    • Week 1: Horizontal Gene Transfer
    • Week 2: Fungal Endophytes of Grasses
    • Week 3-4: Viruses
    • Week 5-6: Mycorrhiza
    • Week 7: Lichens
    • Week 8-9: Pollinators/Insect Interactions
    • Week 10-11: Plant-bacteria interactions
    • Week 12: Case studies
    • Week 13: Course wrap up & revision


    • Week 2-6: Plant microbiome
    • Week 3-6: Koch's Postulates
    • Week 4: Techniques for detecting microbes
    • Week 7-8: Report writing
    • Week 9: Horopito wounding response
    • Week 10: Fuchsia pollination
    Teaching Arrangements
    Two 1-hour lectures per week
    One 4-hour laboratory per week

    Textbooks are not required for this paper.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who learn successfully in this paper will:

    • Be familiar with the theoretical context of plant interactions with a diverse range of organisms
    • Understand the importance of the plant microbiome and how this varies between the rhizosphere and phyllosphere and how this impacts on plant health and productivity
    • Understand the role of fungi, viruses and insects in plant physiology, ecology and pathology
    • Be familiar with methods used to investigate plant interactions
    • Demonstrate skills in scientific communication


    Semester 2

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Tuesday 12:00-12:50 29-35, 37-42
    Thursday 12:00-12:50 29-35, 37-42


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Friday 14:00-17:50 30-35, 37-42
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