Biotic interactions in agroecosystems and plant protection

Subject description

Inter- and intraspecific relationships in agroecosystems. Interactions between plants, their pests (insects, mites, nematodes) or phytopathogenic organisms (fungi, bacteria, viruses, viroids, phytoplasmas) and beneficial organisms in agroecosystems. Host-plant selection by the pest. Influence of biotic stress on the yield loss. Infection processes in phytopathogenic organisms. Influence of pathogens on metabolic processes of the host plants. Plant defence reactions against pathogens. Constitutive and inducible resistance. Specificity of relationships between hosts and their parasites. Field and laboratory evaluation of pest organisms resistance. Non-target effect of pesticides and biological control agents. Intercrops, trap crops, cover crops, antagonistic plants, antifeedants, natural plant protection products: concepts and mechanisms. Practical use of biopesticides (fungi, bacteria, viruses). Laboratory rearing of harmful and beneficial insects and other animals and microorganisms. Laboratory and field evaluation of biopesticides and biological control agents (predatory insects, parasitioids, predatory mites, entomopathogenic nematodes) efficacy.

The subject is taught in programs

Objectives and competences

Fundamental objective of the course is deepening the knowledge in the fields of inter- and intraspecific relationships between living organisms in agroecosystems and the knowledge about the methods of their control, which are adapted to Slovenian climate and geographical conditions, with special emphasis on environmentally and human acceptable methods.

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, seminars, consultations, individual work.

Expected study results

Knowledge and understanding:


Intended learning outcome is to qualify the candidate to understand the relationships between living organisms (especially in relation plants – harmful organisms – beneficial organisms) in agroecosystems.

Basic sources and literature

Agrios, G. 2005. Selective chapters from book Plant pathology, 5th edition. Elsevier Academic Press: 922 str., ISBN 0-12-044565-4.

Dermastia, M. 2007. Pogled v rastline. Ljubljana, Nacionalni inštitut za biologijo: 237 str., ISBN 978-961-90363-7-2.

Gillings M. 2004. Plant Microbiology, BIOS Scientific Publ: 390 str.; ISBN-10: 1859962246.

Perry, R.N., Moens, M. 2006. Plant nematology. CABI Publishing, Wallingford: 447 str., ISBN 1845930568.

Peterson, R.K.D., Higley, L.G. 2000. Biotic stress and yield loss. CRC Press, Boca Raton, London, New York, Washington: 261 str., ISBN 0-8493-1145-4.

Pimentel, D. 2002. Encyclopedia od pest management. Taylor & Francis, Boca Raton, London, New York, Singapore: 929 str., ISBN 0-8247-0632-3.

Prell, H.H., Day, P.R. 2000. Plant fungal pathogen interaction – A classical and molecular view. Springer-Verlag, Berlin etc., 214 str. ISBN 3-540-66727-X.

van Lenteren, 2003. Quality control and production of biological control agents. CABI Publishing, Wallingford: 327 str., ISBN 0-85199-688-4.

revijalni članki s področja, tekoča periodika, druga učna gradiva…

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