Modern agro-ecosystem management must resolve the potentially conflicting objectives of short-term, intensive production and long-term sustainability whilst simultaneously reducing negative environmental impacts. This course aims at providing students with the key theoretical background elements needed to comprehend and assess the agro-ecosystem within an evolutionary framework.
Relevant evolutionary concepts will be used to shed light on processes such as: domestication and its impact on cultivated plants; adaptive potential to biotic or abiotic stresses; identification of candidate genes for adaptation; community dynamics influencing host/pathogen, plant/microbiome or arthropod-related interactions; the spread of invasive species. To achieve this goal, students will be introduced to the essential theoretical background from population genetics, molecular evolution and phylogeny, as well as community dynamics and interactions.
The course will combine lectures-seminars, tutorials, analyses of real-world case studies and project based learning. Students are required to: attend all classes, tutorials and discussion, develop self-learning, work on a project, and take a final examination.
Tutorials will aim at mastering F-statistics, sequence alignments, advance queries on EnsEMBL and NCBI databases, molecular phylogeny, taxonomic identification as well as understanding the fundaments of tests used to detect selection/adaptation or to characterize microbiomes.
Students are expected to develop their ability to read scientific article and question methodological choices, to apprehend agronomic question in a broader evolutionary framework, to propose biological interpretation based on molecular data analysis and to suggest further analysis to validate those hypotheses, to work with others: being able to emit/accept constructive criticism, being open-minded and inquisitive, being respectful of other point of view, being diligent and punctual.
|Disciplinary Content||Nb of hours|
|Evolution and Phylogenetics||9|
|Multidisciplinary project (data analysis)||20 (+24h personal work)|
Books and other reading materials
No books have been ordered for this course. All required readings are available as downloads from the Montpellier SupAgro teaching platform. There is no formal reading packet for this course.
We reserve the right to make modifications [additions, deletions, etc.] to the syllabus, assignments, requirements and expectations for this course; any such modifications will be clearly communicated and communicated in a timely way.