Learn the main attributes of plant pathogens, their epidemiology, modes of infection, symptoms, diagnosis and control.
Expected learning outcomes
Ability to: i)identify the stressor type to which a plant is subjected, ii) evaluate its impact on the crop iii) put in place appropriate control measures and / or prevention systems which, at the same time, can safeguard the environment and the health.
Lesson period: First semester
(In case of multiple editions, please check the period, as it may vary)
Historical perspective on the evolution of knowledge in plant pathology and socio-economic impact of plant diseases. Host-pathogen-environment interaction and classification of diseases based on the physio-pathological criterion (epiphytic, trophic, necrotic, lithic, auxonic, vascular and xylochereutic diseases). Biotic agents of disease: nematodes, flowering plants, fungi, bacteria, phytoplasmas, viruses and viroids. General characteristics of each group, description of the infection process, development, reproduction and forms of survival. The weapons of pathogens: enzymes and toxins. The defense mechanisms of the plant: innate immunity, systemic acquired resistance and its induction with synthetic and natural compounds. Overview on the epidemiology of diseases. Disease control: agronomical practices and general information on inorganic and organic pesticides. The abiotic factors causing diseases: air pollutants, heavy metals in soil and physiological disorders (extreme temperatures, drought, salinity, anoxia). Description of specific diseases and case studies. Symptomatology, epidemiology and control of the main groups of diseases (powdery mildews, rusts, smuts, downy mildews, cankers, rots, witherings, phytoplasmas, viruses). Tutorials: microscopic examination of histological samples of plant pathogens; visit of the plant pathogen collections in experimental greenhouse.
Prerequisites for admission
Fundamentals of botany, plant biochemistrey and physiology, microbiology and agronomy-
Lectures, out on the field and in an experimental greenhouse.
G.Belli e altri, Fondamenti di Patologia Vegetale II^ edizione, Piccin Editore, Padova 2011. IT platform Ariel.