Advanced plant pathology

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course will provide to the students accurate and advanced knowledge in plant pathology. Main topics will focus on recent advances obtained through the utilization of current molecular biology techniques applied in integrated multidisciplinary experimental approaches.
Expected learning outcomes
The course will provide recent knowledge tools for the identification, the prevention and the management of diseases associated with the main plant pathogens.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
- Teaching methods: the lessons will be held on the Microsoft Teams platform and can be followed both synchronously, based on the timetable of the first semester, and asynchronously (recorded and available to students on the same platform).
- Program and reference material: the program and reference material will not change.
- Assessment methods and criteria: the exam will take place in oral form using the Microsoft Teams platform or, where the regulations allow, in person.
Course syllabus
- Novel diagnostic tools in plant pathology: PCR- and sequencing-based techniques (real-time PCR; digital PCR; single nucleotide polymorphisms); next generation sequencing (NGS)-based techniques; remote sensing.
- Study of genetic diversity and fitness of the plant pathogens: analyses of conserved and hyper-variable genes; molecular markers associated with biological features of the pathogens; selective pressure, adaptation and virulence of plant pathogens.
- Molecular epidemiology: utilization of molecular markers to trace the spread pathways of the plant pathogens (identification of plant hosts and insect vectors).
- "Omics" approach to identify and study the effectors and virulence factors of plant pathogens: analysis of plant pathogens genomes; identification and function of plant pathogen effectors and virulence factors.
- Selection/production of crop varieties resistant against plant pathogens: screening of varieties with different susceptibility versus the pathogens; transcriptome analysis of the host/pathogen complex; identification of genes involved in host/pathogen interactions; genome editing for the production of resistant varieties.
- Sustainable strategies for managing the plant pathogens: preventive techniques; integrated multidisciplinary approach; design/utilization of molecules/living organisms for plant pathogen control.
Prerequisites for admission
Knowledge in botany, biochemestry, plant physiology and pathology
Teaching methods
Lessons and practices (reports and discussion on specific topics)
Teaching Resources
- Slides available on ARIEL.
- Plant Pathology (5th Edition), George Agrios, (ISBN: 9780120445653; eBook ISBN: 9780080473789), Academic Press
- Annual Review of Phytopathology (
Assessment methods and Criteria
The students will be evaluated through an oral exam divided in two parts: (i) presentation of a specific topic (case study) planned with each student; (ii) evaluation of the knowledge of the topics illustrated duting the lessons and the experimental activities.
AGR/12 - PLANT PATHOLOGY - University credits: 6
Laboratories: 16 hours
Lessons: 40 hours
Professor: Quaglino Fabio
On appointment by email (in case of health restrictions on Microsoft Teams)
Second flor - Building 7, via Celoria 2, Milan