Courses and Events Contact Information

Dr. Ulla Tuomainen
Phone +358 9 191 59642
Email vgsb-office (at)



Organizers: Prof. Jari Valkonen, Viikki Graduate Programme in Molecular Biosciences (VGSB), and Finnish Doctoral Programme in Plant Science

STUDENTS are credited with 1 study point (see requirements at the end).


Time:            October 31, 2013 at 12:15
Place:            Lecture hall B2 (Latokartanonkaari 7-9, Viikki)

Chair: Prof. Jari Valkonen

12:15  Dr Andrew Cuming, University of Leeds, UK: Why moss is a supermodel - forward and reverse genetic analysis of plant stress responses

12:50   Prof. Jaakko Hyvönen, University of Helsinki: On phylogeny and diversity of mosses

13:20   Coffee

13:40   Prof. Motomu Akita, Kinki University, Japan: Findings of plant disease resistance gene (R-gene) homologues in moss (Physcomitrella patens)

14:15   Dr Seppo Huhtinen, University of Turku: Big small stuff - how to get thrilled using fungi on mosses

November 1, 2013, at 12:00 MSc Mikko Lehtonen will defend the doctoral dissertation entitled "Physcomitrella patens as a Model for Studies on Plant-Pathogen Interactions" in the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Helsinki. The public examination will take place at the following address: Viikki, B-talo, Luentosali B3, Latokartanonkaari 7-9.



Students are credited with 1 ECTS


  • Read the appointed literature to have a proper basis for acquiring information from the lectures (see the reference list below).
  • Attend the lectures actively.
  • Write a 5-6 pages long (font size 12, Times New Roman, line spacing 1.5) essay which summarizes the main contents of lectures, analyzes and discusses the main points in each paper of the appointed literature (list below), and ends with overall conclusions on biotic interactions of mosses.
  • Instead of summarizing the contents of papers no. 6 and 7, you can attend the dissertation of Mikko Lehtonen (see above) and summarize the main discussions of him with the Opponent.


Return your report as an e-mail attachment to Jari Valkonen ( latest on November 20, 2013.



1. Davey, M., and Currah, R. (2006). Interactions between mosses (Bryophyta) and fungi. Can. J. Bot. 84, 1509–1519.

2. Ligrone, R., Duckett, J.G., and Renzaglia, K.S. (2012). Major transitions in the evolution of early land plants: a bryological perspective. Ann. Bot. 109, 851–871.

3. Prigge, M.J., and Bezanilla, M. (2010). Evolutionary crossroads in developmental biology: Physcomitrella patens. Development 137, 3535–3543.

4. Takken, F.L., and Goverse, A. (2012). How to build a pathogen detector: structural basis of NB-LRR function. Curr. Opinion Plant Biol. 15, 375–384.

5. Akita, M., Lehtonen, M.T., Koponen, H., Marttinen, E.M., and Valkonen, J.P.T. (2011). Infection of the Sunagoke moss panels with fungal pathogens hampers sustainable greening in urban environments. Sci. Total Environ. (STOTEN) 409, 3166-3173.

6. Lehtonen, M.T., Akita, M., Kalkkinen, N., Ahola, E., Rönnholm, G., Somervuo, P., Thelander, M., and Valkonen, J.P.T. (2009). Quickly released peroxidase of moss (Physcomitrella patens) in defense against fungal invaders.  New Phytol. 183, 432-443.

7. Lehtonen, M.T., Akita, M., Frank, W., Reski, R., and Valkonen, J.P.T. (2012). Involvement of a class III peroxidase and the mitochondrial protein TSPO in oxidative burst upon treatment of moss plants with a fungal elicitor. Mol. Plant-Microbe Interact. 25, 363-371.