PLS 623

Time: 11:00 - 11:50 a.m., MWF
Place: Room A6, ASCN Bldg.

AIMS: This course aims to provide a training ground for the development of presentation and critical reading skills. Students will present key scientific papers selected by the instructors from the Hormone Signaling research field. Learning to critically read, evaluate and present a research paper is an essential skill for a successful career in science. In addition, students will become familiar with the research seminar format and will obtain detailed insight into the strategies and technologies used to successfully complete Plant Physiology research projects.

FORMAT: The course will start with a short introduction on targeted proteolysis, a gene expression control mechanism that is especially important for plant signal transduction pathways. This introduction will follow a classical format with lectures provided by the instructor and ending with an exam. Subsequently, the course will proceed with student presentations according to a journal club format. There will be one presentation per session.

Students will be expected to prepare a Power Point presentation of approximately 25 minutes that should be structured as follows:
1. Introduction (approx. 5 min.): Provide essential background information to allow the audience to understand and appreciate the research. Why is this important? What is the hypothesis that is being tested?
2. Results (approx 15 min.): Present the essential data (tables and figures) and the methodology used. Provide a critical analysis of the results. Do the data support the conclusions? Are there alternative explanations?
3. Implications and Future Directions (approx 5 min.): Evaluate the novelty of the conclusions and to what extent they have changed the respective research area. Describe some of the logical next research steps.
The time remaining will be used to provide feedback about the presentation, for group discussion and for a quiz that will include 10 true or false questions about the paper that was discussed.

GRADING: Grades will be based on the quality of the presentations, and on the exam and quizzes.

Topic: Plant Hormone Signaling - Dr. J. Smalle (
Module I: Introduction to targeted protein degradation
Jan 15
Download Lecture 1. ppt
Jan 17 Download Lecture 2.ppt
Jan 22 Exam (10% of grade)
Module II: Auxin - Student presentations
Jan 24 Auxin
Jan 27 Auxin
Jan 29 Auxin
Jan 31 Auxin
Feb 3 Auxin
Feb 5 Auxin
Feb 7 Auxin
Feb 10 Auxin
Module III: Ethylene - Student presentations
Feb 12 Ethylene
Feb 14 Ethylene
Feb 17 Ethylene
Feb 19 Ethylene
Feb 21 Ethylene
Feb 24 Ethylene
Feb 26 Ethylene
Feb 28 Ethylene
Module IV: Cytokinin - Student presentations
March 3 Cytokinin
March 5 Cytokinin
March 7 Cytokinin
March 10 Cytokinin
March 12 Cytokinin
March 14 Cytokinin
March 24 Cytokinin
March 26 Cytokinin
Module V: Gibberellin - Student presentations
March 28 Gibberellin
March 31 Gibberellin
April 2 Gibberellin
April 4 Gibberellin
April 7 Gibberellin
April 9 Gibberellin
April 11 Gibberellin
April 14 Gibberellin
Module V: Abscicic acid - Student presentations
April 16 ABA
April 18 ABA
April 21 ABA
April 23 ABA
April 25 ABA
April 28 ABA
April 30 ABA
May 2 ABA
Presentations and quizzes: 90% of grade