The course is focused on plant viruses and virus-like diseases and on modern solving measures for their containment. Moreover, the course will offer knowledge on the application of biotechnology in the field of pest management in order to obtain protocols to be used for the containment of pathogens. The information and the achievements from the course will serve for the professional and management activities on the field of the plant protection.
Expected learning outcomes
The student will achieve information useful for the making decision and diagnostic processes. In addition the student will be able to propose appropriate measures for the control of diseases and to understand the implications of the use of biotechnology in plant protection.
Lesson period: First semester
(In case of multiple editions, please check the period, as it may vary)
Introduction: economic losses due to plant viruses and their distribution in the world. Definition of a Virus. Structure and physicochemical proprieties of virus particles. (proprieties of viral nucleic acid, viral protein). Virus taxonomy: criteria used for classifying viruses. Some important families and genera of plant viruses. Viroids a Satellite RNAs: proprieties. Virus and host interactions : Virus replication, virus movement through the host plant. Host responses to virus infection: Effects on plant metabolism and symptoms appear. Virus transmission by insects, mites, nematodes, fungi. Mechanical transmission. Transmission by vegetative propagation, grafting, dodder, seed and pollen. Control of plant virus: control or avoidance of vector, removal of source of infection, propagation and maintenance of virus free stocks, use of resistant plant (conventional resistance transgenic plant- pathogen derived resistance). Diseases: Fanleaf, Grapevine Leaf roll, Rugose wood, Fleck. Plum Pox, Prunus Necrotic Ring Spot, Prunus Dwarf, Cucumber Mosaic, Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl , Tomato Spottet Wilt, Potato Leafroll, Potato Spindle Tuber (Viroid), Beet Necrotic Yellow Vein, Barley Yellow Dwarf, Barley Yellow Mosaic, Wheat Streak Mosaic, Soil Borne Wheat Mosaic, Maize Dwarf Mosaic Maize rough Dwarf, Chrysantemum (Stunt). Practical aspects: symptom recognition, biological assay (mechanical inoculation).
Prerequisites for admission
Knowledge of genetics and biochemistry (DNA, RNA, proteins) and entomology.
Lessons and exercises conducted both in classroom and in the laboratory/greenhouse. Technical visit.
MATTHEWS Plant Virology Academic Press 4th Edition. GIUNCHEDI Malattie da virus, viroidi e fitoplasmi degli alberi da frutto Edizioni Agricole de Il Sole 24 ore Bologna. CONTI et al. I principali virus delle piante ortive Bayer. GIUNCHEDI Elementi di Virologia Vegetale Piccinin. BELLI Elementi di patologia vegetale. Piccinin . Scientific papers available in Ariel , https://www.eppo.int, http://www.dpvweb.net
Assessement methods and criteria
The final exam is carried out as an oral test with the aim of evaluating the general knowledge on viruses and on specific diseases caused by viruses. During the examination, the results of the practical lessons will be discussed.