Unit 1 - Entomology.
INTRODUCTION - The agricultural zoology
PART I - General characteristics of animal pests - Insects: general characteristics; systematic; morphology; anatomy; development and behavior; relationships with humans and other organisms. - Mites: general characteristics; systematic; morphology; anatomy; development and behavior; relationships with humans and other organisms. - Nematodes: general characteristics; systematic; basic notions on morphology, anatomy, development and behavior, relationships with humans and other organisms.
PEST MANAGEMENT - Introductory concepts: generality; economic damage; pest monitoring: traps, sampling; side effects. - Pest management: PM strategies, integrated production; control techniques (biological, mechanical, agronomic, physical, chemical). - Pesticides: general information about active ingredients and products, generalities on methods of applications. The vineyard agroecosystem.
PESTS - KEY PESTS: Scaphoideus titanus, Lobesia botrana, Eupoecilia ambiguella, phylloxera. - SECONDARY SPECIES: Empoasca vitis, Jacobiasca lybica, Zygina rhamni, Hyalesthes obsoletus, mealybugs and scale insects (Planococcus spp., Pulvinaria spp., ecc.), Argyrotaenia ljungiana, Popillia japonica, Panonychus ulmi, Eotetranychus carpini, Tetranychus urticae. - MINOR PESTS: thrips, Halymorpha halys, leafhoppers and planthoppers (Metcalfa pruinosa, Stictocephala bisonia), Lepidoptera (Noctuidae, Theresimima ampelophaga, Hyphantria cunea, Peribatodes rhomboidaria, Sparganothis pilleriana), Coleoptera (Altica ampelophaga, Anomala spp., Vesperus spp., Otiorhynchus spp.), Diptera (Janetiella oenophila, Drosophila spp.), eriophyid mites, nematodes.
Unit 2 - Pathology.
INTRODUCTION. General principles and history of plant pathology.
BASIC CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS. Definition and aims of plant pathology. Disease concept, diseases caused by abiotic and biotic stresses, classification of diseases (causal agent, localization, symptoms and physio-pathological criteria), plant defences, disease cycle (dormancy/survival of the pathogen, production and dissemination of inoculum, contact with host tissues, infection and development of symptoms). Incidence and gravity of grapevine diseases. Diagnosis: from field observations to laboratory procedures (morphological, molecular and serological) for the identification of the causal agent of the disease; Koch's postulates. Characteristics of plant pathogens (main characteristics, infection process, vectors and epidemiology): viruses, bacteria and fungi. Diseases caused by viruses, bacteria and fungi. Plant protection: means (agronomical, chemical and biological) and criteria at the basis of the disease management within the frame of the current legislation (registration, labelling and use of plant protection products).
VINEYARD PROTECTION. The main grapevine diseases caused by viruses, bacteria and fungi: symptoms, pathogens' characteristics, disease cycle, disease management. Viral diseases: fanleaf, leafroll disease and rugose wood. Bacterial diseases: phytoplasma diseases (flavescence dorée and bois noir), crown gall, bacterial blight of grapevine, Pierce disease. Fungal diseases: downy mildew, powdery mildew, grey mould, sour rot, secondary bunch rots, black rot, and Esca disease. Classification and characteristics of fungicides used to control downy and powdery mildews and grey mould. Use of disease forecasting models with particular reference to EPI model for downy mildew.
Prerequisites for admission
Unit 1 - Entomology. The knowledge of plant and animal biology and a basic comprehension of ecology is desirable.
Unit 2 - Pathology. Knowledge on plant biology and microbiology
Unit 1 - Entomology. The course is set both in lectures, which account for a total of four ECTS, and in classroom (0.5 ECTS), laboratory (0.25 ECTS) and field (0.25 ECTS) exercises. The topics listed in the course syllabus will be addressed In the lectures. The exercises in the classroom and in the laboratory are aimed at providing a practical knowledge of the structure of the organisms studied during the lectures, by means of dissections of specimens, recognition of taxonomic groups of interest, examination of photographic material and prepared specimens, and knowledge of equipment commonly used in the vineyard. The field exercise consists of an excursion in a vineyard and concerns the recognition and monitoring of parasites as well as related symptoms. The topics covered in the exercises are not evaluated during the final exam. Attendance at the course, although not compulsory, is recommended.
Unit 2 - Pathology. The course is based on lectures (5 CFU, 40 hours), practical activities in classroom and greenhouse (0.25 CFU, 4 hours), seminars (0.25 CFU, 4 hours), and vineyard visit (0.5 CFU, 8 hours). During the lectures, the teacher will illustrate the concepts reported in the Syllabus. During practical activities in classroom and greenhouse, the students will have the possibility of deepening their knowledge on grapevine downy mildew management by using the disease-forecasting model EPI and assessing resistance of grapevine to the downy mildew agent, Plasmopara viticola. During the seminars, the students will deepen their knowledge on the registration and use of plant protection products and disease management in vineyard with experts in these sectors. During the visit to an experimental vineyard, the students will have the possibility to observe and study the symptoms of the diseases in open field. The topics covered during practical activities and seminars will be evaluated during the final exam. Attendance at the course, although not compulsory, is recommended.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Unit 1 Entomology: the final exam is an interview and the evaluation is expressed in thirtieths. During the course there will be no intermediate tests. The final exam consists of an interview on the topics included in the program. Its aim is to verify the acquisition of learning objectives and expected learning outcomes based on the correctness of the language and the understanding of the contents. Two questions will be asked, the first on one of the following topics: general characteristics of insects, mites and nematodes, pest management strategies, pesticides. The subject of the second question will be the morphology, life cycle, harmfulness and management of grapevine pests.
Unit 2 Pathology: during the oral exam, two questions will be posed to the student in spoken form and the evaluation is expressed in thirtieths. The first question will concern the first part of the program (basic concepts and definitions), the second one will concern the second part of the program (vineyard protection). The student will have to answer the questions in such a way as to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the subject and fulfilment of the learning outcomes to pass the exam.
The final evaluation is expressed in thirtieths. It will result from the weighted average of the evaluations obtained in each unit.