79459 - Integrated Plant Disease Management

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Zero hunger Responsible consumption and production Climate Action Life on land

Academic Year 2020/2021

Learning outcomes

The course emphasizes the importance and need of the integrated management of plant diseases within the integrated pest management approach, with the least possible disruption to the agro-ecosystemsand the least hazard to people, animals, and environment. The course will enable the students: to acquaint with the principles of an integrated approach to plant disease management; to become familiar with the basic principles involving fungal, bacterial, phytoplasma and viral based diseases in plants; to acquire knowledge of the environmental factors influencing plant diseases, to gain an understanding of the influence of plant pathogens in crop-ecology finalized in rationalise disease control; to know the most successful plant protection strategies by physical, genetic, cultural, chemical and biological means; to gain knowledge of the use of predictive models.

Course contents

The course is addressed to the study of the integrated plant disease management strategies that incorporate conventional and novel biological, cultural, chemical, genetic and other environmentally sound and economically profitable approaches.

Discussions of the principles of managing plant diseases in the context of developing stable agricultural systems. Basis of understanding, interpretation, selection, development and application of the most effective methods of Integrated Plant Disease Management, with the least disruption to the environment. A detailed understanding of the effects of pest pressure on crop productivity and the development of threshold levels for action will be provided.

The course will explain also the main elements involved in the integrated plant disease management such as exclusion, eradication, protection, resistance, therapy and avoidance. Evaluation of the benefits and risks of the treatments and selection of the best solutions with the less negative environmental impact that will cause the least harm to non-target organisms. Selected examples of management on relevant disease are also presented and discussed.


Handouts and slides of the lesson presentations and seminars will be provided to the students as informatics files.

Teaching methods

The course will be divided in two parts:

  1. different control methods of the main plant pathogens based on host-resistance, cultural practices and biological control. Description and discussion on case studies.
  2. Laboratory for the identification of the main pathogens and insight on the most advanced methods to control selected plant pathogens causing or responsible of economically relevant plant diseases if the conditions will allow it.

Assessment methods

Final oral exam. The students should produce a power point presentation on a subject chosen in agreement with the course content of about 15 minutes. Two questions on the main subjects of the course will follow. The final grade will be calculated by arithmetic mean among the three integrated courses.

Teaching tools

PC, slide projection and handouts, laboratory with microscope and isolation of microorganisms tools.

Office hours

See the website of Assunta Bertaccini