Dr Brian Murphy reports on a highly successful endophyte workshop, hosted at University College Dublin, for ESRs who will be working in the field.
The sun shone on an untypically dry Irish spring as UCD hosted a 2-week long workshop titled 'The Recovery, Isolation and Culture of Fungal Endophytes: Principles and Practices' from 7th - 18th March 2016 for CEREALPATH Early Stage Researchers (ESRs). Anna Kaja Hoeyer (ESR8) from Trinity College Dublin, Meike Anna Christine Latz (ESR6) from the University of Copenhagen and Edward Camilo Rojas Tayo (ESR7) from the University of Copenhagen attended the workshop along with another invited endophyte PhD researcher, Anindita Lahiri from Trinity College Dublin.
The workshop covered many aspects of endophyte research and was based around a series of lectures and practical sessions. The focus of the workshop in the first week was on areas of endophyte research that the participants would find particularly useful in their own projects and included laboratory techniques, field sampling, isolation and sub-culture, endophyte identification and applications. For the second week, the participants were able to take part in and conduct experiments related to the ongoing endophyte research work at UCD. These experiments will provide important insights into endophyte inoculum persistence, colonisation patterns in plant tissue and antagonism to fungal pathogens.
While the workshop timetable was very full, there was plenty of time for social activities, including the Irish national holiday of St. Patrick's day on March 17th. The resident research community at the hosting laboratory of Professor Fiona Doohan made the workshop participants very welcome and ensured that their visit was enjoyable and rewarding.