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Facoltā di Scienze Agrarie e Alimentari Universitā degli Studi di Milano
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Principles of plant protection – 2. Plant pathology
Code: G2602A
Teacher:  Fabio Quaglino
CFU subdivision: Lectures: 3
Practices in classroom: 0,5
Practices in laboratory:  0,5
Basic aims:  Acquisition of basic knowledge on the aetiological agents of plant
diseases in spontaneuous and cultivated crops, the diagnostic
techniques, the disease development and the criteria for disease
Acquired skills:  Knowledge of the main characteristics of the most important plant
pathogens and their interactions with the host. Knowledge of the
integrated strategies utilized for crop protection and of the
fundamental properties of fungicides.
Course contents:  The course is focused on the main concepts in plant pathology and
on the general criteria for plant protection: disease definition,
triangle of the disease and disease classification. Symptomatology
and disease incidence and severity assessment. Main
characteristics and control methods of the most important causal
agents of plant diseases: virus, viroids, bacteria and fungi. Host-
pathogen relationships and plant defense mechanisms. Plant
protection and chemicals used for disease control.
Program:  The course is intended to provide the main concepts underlying
the study of plant pathology and the general criteria for plant
protection against the plant disease agents.
The main subjects are:
The concept of disease, the disease triangle, host susceptibility,
virulence and specialisation of the pathogen, favourable
environmental conditions.
Disease classification: nutritional, auxonic, vascular, lytic, necrotic
and wood diseases.
Koch's postulates.
Disease symptoms: color alterations, anatomic modifications,
different kinds of alterations.
Assessment of damage incidence.
Non infectious diseases: low temperature and pollutant effects.
Aetiology of plant diseases: (i) Viruses and viroids: characteristics,
classification, infection, replication and transmission, diagnosis,
control methods; (ii) Bacteria and phytoplasmas: characteristics,
classification, infection and colonization of the host, diagnosis,
control methods; (iii) Fungi: characteristics, infection and
colonization of the host, diagnosis, mycotoxin production.
Host-pathogen relationships and plant defense mechanisms.
Principles of epidemiology.
Specific diseases caused by viruses, bacteria and fungi.
Plant protection: exclusion, eradication, resistance, therapy,
cultural practices, chemical and biological control.
Chemicals used in plant protection: general characteristics and
problems related to the pesticide residues.
Types of fungicides: copper, sulfur, dithiocarbamates,
phthalimides, benzimidazoles, sterol biosynthesis inhibitors,
phenylamides, phosphites, dicarboximides, phenylpirroles,
strobilurins, anilinopyrimidines.
Fungicide resistance.
Prerequisites:  Essential biology
Preparatory instructions:  None
Learning materials:  Slides used during classes.
Book: G. Belli, Elementi di Patologia Vegetale, Piccin
Other info:  Oral examination based on several questions about the topics
treated during the course
Program of Principles of plant protection – 2. Plant pathology (pdf version)
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