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Facoltā di Scienze Agrarie e Alimentari Universitā degli Studi di Milano
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Plant Pathology
Code: G270U-
Teacher:  Franco Faoro
Year: 
Term: 
CFU: 
CFU subdivision: Lectures: 7
Practices in classroom: 1
Basic aims:  Learn the main attributes of plant pathogens, their
epidemiology, modes of infection, symptoms, diagnosis
and control.
Acquired skills:  Ability to: i)identify the stressor type to which a plant is
subjected, ii) evaluate its impact on the crop iii) put in
place appropriate control measures and / or prevention
systems which, at the same time, can safeguard the
environment and the health.
Course contents:  Historical perspective on the evolution of knowledge
in plant pathology and socio-economic impact of
plant diseases.
Host-pathogen-environment interaction and
classification of diseases on the physio-pathological
criterion (epiphytic, trophic, necrotic, lithic, auxonic,
vascular and xylochereutic).
Biotic agents of disease: flowering plants, nematodes,
fungi, bacteria, phytoplasmas: general characteristics
of each group, description of the infection process,
development, reproduction and forms of survival.
The weapons of pathogens: enzymes and toxins.
The defense mechanisms of the plant: innate
immunity, systemic acquired resistance and its
induction.
Overview of the epidemiology of diseases.
Disease control: agronomical techniques and general
information on inorganic and organic pesticides.
The abiotic factors causing diseases: air pollutants,
heavy metals in soil and physiological disorders
(temperatures extreme drought, salinity, anoxia).
Symptomatology, epidemiology and control of the main
groups of diseases (powdery mildews, rusts, downy
mildews, cankers, rost, witherings, phytoplasmas,
viruses).
Program:  Historical perspective on the evolution of knowledge
in plant pathology and socio-economic impact of
plant diseases.

Basics
Host-pathogen-environment interaction and
classification of diseases on the physio-pathological
criterion (epiphytic, trophic, necrotic, lithic, auxonic,
vascular and xylochereutic).
Biotic agents of disease: flowering plants, nematodes,
fungi, bacteria, phytoplasmas: general characteristics
of each group, description of the infection process,
development, reproduction and forms of survival.
The weapons of pathogens: enzymes and toxins.
The defense mechanisms of the plant: innate
immunity, systemic acquired resistance and its
induction with synthetic and natural compounds.
Overview of the epidemiology of diseases.
Disease control: agronomical techniques and general
information on inorganic and organic pesticides.
The abiotic factors causing diseases: air pollutants,
heavy metals in soil and physiological disorders
(temperatures extreme drought, salinity, anoxia).

Description of specific diseases
Symptomatology, epidemiology and control of the main
groups of diseases (powdery mildews, rusts, downy
mildews, cankers, rost, witherings, phytoplasmas,
viruses).

Tutorials
Field visits and collection of samples for macro and
microscopic examinations aimed at the diagnosis;
microscopic examination of histological samples of
plant tissues infected with different pathogens;
infection of plants with systemic and localized viruses;
isolation of bacterial and fungal pathogens using a
moist chamber and cultivation plating
Prerequisites:  basic knowledge on botany, plant biochemistry and plant
physiology
Preparatory instructions:  one should have passed the examinations on botany,
plant biochemistry, agronomy
Learning materials:  G.Belli et al., Fondamenti di Patologia Vegetale II^
edizione, Piccin Editore, Padova 2011.
Other info:  The examination will take place through an oral interview
at the end of the course in order to check the candidate's
knowledge on the topics covered and the familiarity with
the terminology and nomenclature used in the description
of most diseases and pathogens. The dates of the oral
examinations are established and communicated prior to
the end of the course.
DOWNLOAD
Program of Plant Pathology (pdf version)
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