93830 - Sustainable Plant Protection

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Marina Collina

  • Credits 6

  • SSD AGR/12

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Agricultural Sciences and Technologies (cod. 9235)


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

Responsible consumption and production Life on land

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student will have the knowledge to defend plants from infectious diseases following the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and the Organic production. Main goals of the course will be the knowledge of the most important technical means available for disease control (cultural, physical, genetic and by synthetic and microbiological products). Furthermore the course will train the student on pesticide hazards and risks such as identification and control procedures, risks for stakeholders (farmers, consumers, vulnerable groups and residents), risks for non-target organisms and environment; correct interpretation of label and safety data sheet of the product, use of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), information on handling and storage of pesticides and treatment of their packaging and remnants.

The framework for sustainable defence will be complemented by equally important content concerning phytosanitary surveillance. In the globalised world, many diseases caused by bacteria, virus, phytoplasmas and fungi arrived in our country. These pathogens become phytosanitary emergences when theirs epidemics cause heavy productive losses. The high costs that often are collective damages, put in evidence the strategic role of preventative and control measures, which involved firstly the National Plant Protection Service together to others institutions interested to disease management. The course has the main goal to train the student on general and specific aspects regarding the managing of these emergences by indirect and direct means.

Course contents


The student must know the bases of plant pathology as well the biology and epidemiology of the most important pathogens spread in central and northern Italy.

Contents (50 hours)

  1. Integrated pest management and organic production strategies for disease control will be taken on in the course. Characterization of the cultural (crop rotation, soil management, chose varietal and rootstocks, irrigation, fertilization, biofumigation), physical (solarization and use of vapour) and genetic (passive and active) means together to the knowledge of technology innovations regarding the integrated and organic approaches especially those with low pesticide input to decrease environmental impact (10 hours).

  2. National and European legislation about pesticides (authorization procedures and theirs revocations and modifications, sources of information) (4 hours)

  3. Hazards and risks of pesticides (10 hours):

    - correct interpretation of label and safety data sheet information;

    - correct usage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and exposition control measures of user during manipulation, mixing and applications of Plant Protection Products (PPP);

    - risks and measures for operators, consumers, vulnerable groups (pregnant and nursing women, unborn, infant and children, workers and residents subject to pesticide exposure over long term;

    - symptoms of poisoning and first aid related to PPP;

    - risks and measures to protect human health, non-target organisms and environment from the potential acute and chronic effects of PPP;

    - risks for usage of counterfeit pesticides;

    - regulation for safety management regarding sales, transport and storage of pesticides and treatment of their packaging and remnants

    - regulation for safeguard of the protected areas and recommendations for a correct use of pesticides in these areas;

    - correct kept of the register of treatments.

  4. Pathogens representing new phytosanitary emergences especially under control means point of view. The increase of the commercial exchanges and the free circulation of the goods have also increased the risks linked to spread of plant damaging organisms. To limit these risks, circulation of plants and vegetal products is submitted to international prophylaxis measures established from the International Convention for plant protection and in specific European Directives. Italian Regions must apply on own territory international rules on phytosanitary topic reported in the Regulation (EU) 2016/2031 which will be the main legislative content for the phytosanitary surveillance. The teacher will organize seminars held from experts of Regional Plant protection Services . The course will consider also “common diseases” which cause important productive losses despite reliable control disease programmes.

Practical activity (10 hours)

Visits to research centres/exhibitions.


Fundamental will be notes and slides from the lessons available on the web site (“Materiale Didattico”).

For further information the following books are recommended:

- Belli G., 2012, Elementi di Patologia vegetale, Piccin

- Matta A., Buonaurio R., Favaron F., Scala A., Scala F., 2017 – Fondamenti di Patologia Vegetale. Piccin

- edited by: Butturini A. e Galassi T., 2014 - Difesa fitosanitaria in produzione integrata. Edagricole

Teaching methods

One teacher will be involved: Dr Marina Collina. The course consists of lectures and visits to specialized facilities. Experts from Regional Plant Protection Services will also provide input on phytosanitary surveillance. The frequency of the lessons is considered particularly useful for passing the exam.

Assessment methods

The verification of learning will be organised by written examination with 30 questions (10 open and 20 with multiple choice response). The time available will be of 90 minutes. Registration in “Almaesami” is mandatory; the opening of the enrolment list will be 7-10 days before the examination date and it will be closed two days before the examination date. If you decide not to take the exam on the date booked, you must cancel your name before the closing date of the list.

The lessons and the teaching material are in Italian as well as the written exercise. The Erasmus student can answer to the questions in English

Teaching tools

PC and projector for class lectures, learning journey, teaching material

Office hours

See the website of Marina Collina