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Facoltà di Scienze Agrarie e Alimentari Università degli Studi di Milano
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Applied Entomology
Code: G590T-
Teacher:  Matteo Montagna
Year: 
Term: 
CFU: 
CFU subdivision: Lectures: 5
Practices in classroom: 1
Basic aims:  The aim of the course is to provide an advanced knowledge on the innovative strategies addressed to protect crops and forests, as the integrated pest management, and molecular tools addressed to investigate the multi level systems.
Acquired skills:  Students will acquire specific skills on: innovative strategies addressed to protect crops, as the integrated pest management; population dinamics of insects pests; symbiotic control and the sterile insect technique; molecular tools addressed to investigate insect-symbiont interactions.
Course contents:  1. Presentation of the course and introduction.
2. Elements of population ecology.
3. Multitrophic interactions
4. Pest control
5. Allochthonous insect species.
6. Measuring and conserving biodiversity (genetic, specific, ecosystem), with particular reference to the agro-ecosystem
7. Insects as bioindicators, introduction.
Program:  1. Presentation of the course and introduction.
Elements of general entomology.
Entomology applied to fields of inquiry other than agriculture: medical and veterinary, forensic, urban, commodity and forestry entomology.
2. Elements of population ecology.
Population dynamics.
Models of growth of a population of insects.
Estimating population size.
Population fluctuations.
r and K Strategies in r and K-selective development environments.
Life tables, demographic patterns.
3. Multitrophic interactions
Tritrophic and semiochemical relations.
Plant-insect interaction.
Plant defence strategies
4. Pest control
Concept of damage and its assessment, tolerance threshold.
Main methods of control: integrated protection (IPM), key-pest, habitat management.
Concept of agro-ecosystem: vineyard agro-ecosystem.
The main phytophages of agricultural crops and methods of control.
Active molecules for pest control, the pesticides bank and plant health legislation.
Transgenic plants.
Symbiosis and symbiotic resistance.
Biocontrol, symbiotic control, and paratransgenesis.
5. Allochthonous insect species.
Historical and recently introduced allochthonous species.
Impact of allochthonous species on ecosystems.
Possible management strategies for allochthonous species.
Case studies: successes and failures.
6. Measuring and conserving biodiversity (genetic, specific, ecosystem), with particular reference to the agro-ecosystem
Biodiversity: sub-alpha, alpha, beta, gamma.
Planning sampling: objectives and techniques.
How to measure biodiversity.
Molecular taxonomy: DNA barcoding and metabarcoding.
7. Insects as bioindicators, introduction
Soil invertebrates: biological soil quality index SQI, ratio of mites to springtails.
Aquatic invertebrates and extended biotic index EBI.
Prerequisites:  Knowledge of general entomology
Preparatory instructions:  Not requested
Learning materials:  1. Gli Insetti e il loro controllo, 2014. F. Pennacchio - Liguori Editore, Napoli.
2. Lineamenti di Entomologia, 2006. P. Gullan, P. Cranston – Zanichelli, Bologna.
3. Manuale di Zoologia Agraria, 2000. Baccetti B. et al. – Antonio Delfino.
4. Lineamenti di entomologia, 1990. R. G. Davies – Zanichelli, Bologna.
5. Integrated Pest Management, 2009. Volume 1: Innovation-Development Process. Peshinet al. – Springer.

Additional scientific articles and material will be provided during the course.
Other info:  oral: technical presentation on a specific topic provided by the students; 1/2 question related to the provided presentation plus 2/3 general question on the topics dealed during the course
DOWNLOAD
Program of Applied Entomology (pdf version)
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