Plant diseases

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
AGR/11 AGR/12
Learning objectives
The course aims to - provide knowledge on the insects, how they develop, the damage they can cause to crops in the mountain environment and forests, - learn the techniques of environmental management in a perspective of sustainable development - provide the fundamental knowledge on the different pathogenic agents, how they attack the plants and the kind of alterations and damages that can induce in the hosts. It also deal with the fundamental principles necessary to set up the modern methods of prevention and pest control especially on diseases connected with natural environments and cultures typical of mountain habitats.
Expected learning outcomes
The expected outcomes are: - to know the dynamics and issues related to the arthropods present in a forest environment or correlated to crops in mountain habitats, - to recognize the different agents that can damage cultivated and spontaneous plants, to weigh their dangerousness and to propose preventive measures and criteria of pest control that can be adopted by different kind of agriculture managements preserving natural environments and human health and biodiversity.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
More specific information on the delivery modes of training activities for academic year 2121/22 will be provided over the coming months, based on the evolution of the public health situation
Course syllabus
Acquisition of knowledge referring insects and the main forest entomological problems
GENERAL PART -Introduction to the study of insects.-Systematic position of insects. Differences between Insects and other Arthropods. General characteristics of insects. Morphology of the head. Parts of the head and appendages (antennae and mouthparts). -Morphology of the thorax. Segments of the thorax. Appendices: wings; legs.-Morphology of the abdomen. Abdominal segments.- Integument and its structure. Exoskeleton. Endoskeleton.-Muscle and locomotion system.-Digestive System. Constitution and structure of the digestive tract. Physiology of digestion. Diets.-Respiratory system. Constitution and structure of tracheal system. Physiology of respiration.-Circulatory system. Constitution and structure of circulatory system. Hemolymph. Physiology of circulation.-Nervous system. - Sense organs. - Excretory system. - Secretory system. Glands of external and internal secretion- Pheromones. Reproductive system. Reproduction. Post-embryonic development. Mute. Metamorphosis. CROP PROTECTION - INTEGRATED DEFENSE- Population dynamics. Concept of agro-ecosystem.-Biodiversity. Mechanical management. Biological control. Biotechnical management. Insecticides and their mechanisms of action. Integrated pest management. Morphological and biological characteristics of the main Orders of insects and Families which include species of agricultural and forestry interest. The characteristics and management of the main species of harmful insects in the forest and some agricultural crops such as vines, apple trees, small fruits will be illustrated.

The course teaches the students what causes plant diseases, how they develop and spread. It covers the biology, epidemiology, ecological and economic importance, diagnosis and management of the most commonly occurring diseases giving students concepts of diseases connected with natural environments and cultures typical of mountain habitats. Emphasis is placed on the fundamental concepts associated with plant pathology. Lectures regard the following subjects:
The concept of disease in plants, classification of plant diseases, importance of plant diseases in crop production. (0.25 CFU).
Characteristics of plant pathogenic fungi, bacteria, viruses and phytoplasmas. Parasitism and the different stages in the development of diseases. Plant disease epidemiology: the element of an epidemic; structure, development and patterns of epidemics; - Plant diseases caused by viruses and phytoplasmas: grapevine yellows and Flavescence doree - Plant diseases caused by bacteria: crown gall; bacterial cankers (Erwinia spp.); fireblight of rosaceous hosts. - Root diseases caused by fungi: Phytophthora foot, crown and trunk rots; Root and butt rot caused by Armillaria spp. and Heterobasidion annosum. - Vascular wilts, stem rot, stem and twig cankers: Dutch elm disease, various twigs cankers, wood rot and decays caused by basidiomycetes. - Foliar diseases: powdery mildews, downy mildews: general aspects and grapevine diseases - Gray mold - Rusts: stem rust of wheat and other cereals; rusts of forest trees. - (2.25 CFU).
Principles of plant disease control: control methods that exclude, eradicate or reduce the pathogen inoculum; direct protection of plants from pathogens by chemical and biological control. Lectures concern important diseases affecting important plant species characteristic of mountain agriculture and Woods (1 CFU).
Environmental factors that cause plant diseases: temperature, soil moisture, soil structure, light, air and soil pollutants, and wounds (0.5 CFU).
Prerequisites for admission
It is recommended to have knowledge of the systematic anatomy and physiology of plants; knowledge of agronomic techniques and management of the main herbaceous and arboreal species, with reference to mountain agriculture.
Teaching methods
The teachers will use: lectures and classroom exercises es to improve knowledge of some topics of the discipline.
Teaching Resources
The scheduled topics can be developed using the following teaching materials.
For the entomological arguments:
A. Battisti et al, Lineamenti di zoologia forestale Padova University Press
Aldo Pollini, Manuale di entomologia applicata Edagricole Bologna
Colazza et al., Lineamenti di entomologia in agricoltura biologica, UniPA Press
B. Baccetti et al. Manuale di zoologia agraria Antonio Delfino editore

For the plant pathological arguments:
1) Notes from lessons;
2) Belli G. - Patologia Vegetale, Piccin, Padova, 2012;
3) Vannacci G. - Patologia vegetale, Edises Università, 2021;
4) Capretti P. Ragazzi A., Elementi di patologia forestale, Pàtron Editore, Bologna, 2009;
5) Matta A., Buonaurio R, Favaron F., Scala A., Scala F.- Fondamenti di Patologia Vegetale, Patron Editore, Bologna, 2017;
6) Agrios G.N. Plant pathology Academic Press;
7) Moriondo F. - Introduzione alla Patologia Forestale UTET.
8) Iconographic sources
9) Material available on the course ARIEL website.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists of an oral test and can be carried out on different dates for each of the two modules.
For each individual module the interview on the topics in the program will be based on 2-3 questions, aimed at ascertaining the achievement of the teaching objectives. During the examination, descriptions or comments of images or diagrams related to the individual topics in the program may be requested. The exam will be passed reporting the sufficiency in both modules and the mark for each module contributes 50% to the formation of the final grade of the integrated exam.
During the year, various exam sessions are proposed during the periods set by the didactic regulation. The dates of the exam sessions are regularly and officially published, in the times and in the manner prescribed by the regulations, on the SIFA web pages.
As a rule, monthly appeals are scheduled at the Edolo headquarters. In the event that students enrolled in the appeal are less than 5, the appeal will take place at the headquarters of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, via Celoria 2, Milan and notice of this will be given in time.
Students enrolled in an exam session and who no longer wish to support it are required to unsubscribe and possibly promptly notify the teacher in the case of registration already closed.
DSA students - In order to take advantage of the facilities provided, must communicate their situation to the Unimi Disabled Office Furthermore, it is suggested to discuss with the lecturer during the frequency or during the preparation of the exam in order to have useful suggestions; in any case it is mandatory to communicate that the intention is to use the compensatory / dispensatory tools with adequate advance (at least 10 days) to the teacher to agree on the examination procedures, which remain the responsibility of the same.
Entomologia agraria e forestale
AGR/11 - GENERAL AND APPLIED ENTOMOLOGY - University credits: 0
AGR/12 - PLANT PATHOLOGY - University credits: 0
Practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 24 hours
Professor: Savoldelli Sara
Patologia agraria e forestale
AGR/11 - GENERAL AND APPLIED ENTOMOLOGY - University credits: 0
AGR/12 - PLANT PATHOLOGY - University credits: 0
Practicals: 8 hours
Lessons: 28 hours
Professor: Saracchi Marco
Educational website(s)
it is received by appointment
Via Celoria 2, Building 21030