Determination of plant pests and diseases

Subject description

Methods of detecting harmful organisms. Diagnostic methods for determining species affiliation of phytopathogenic organisms: traditional techniques (symptomatic, morphological anatomic, selective media); biochemical techniques (substrate metabolism, profiles of fatty acids, protein analysis, analysis of nucleonic acids) techniques, molecular detection. Practical demonstration of isolation and determination of phytopathogenic fungae and viruses (various techniques) from individual plant parts and substrates. Koch’s postulates in phytopathology – confirming the causative agents of illness. Methods of sampling and storing harmful organisms (with a stress on insects and nematodes) and microbes prior to determination (maceration, dehydration, concentration, RNA/DNA extraction etc.) and after (preparing preparation). Using morphological identification keys of selected groups of harmful insects and phytoparasitic nematodes: descriptive, descriptive-pictorial, pictorial morphological keys. Body parts of harmful organisms (heads, chests, abdomen etc.) important for morphological identification. Genetic identification keys of harmful organisms. Correct choice of individual diagnostic techniques: advantages and weaknesses. Importance of detection and determination in preventing the spread of quarantine pests.

The subject is taught in programs

Objectives and competences

The basic educational aim is to deepen knowledge for independent work in the field of detection and morphological and molecular determination of selected groups of harmful insects, nematodes, phytogenetic fungi, viruses, bacteria and phytoplasmas.

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, seminars, consultations, individual work.

Expected study results

The intended learning outcome is to train the candidate in the detection and determination of a selected group or groups of harmful organisms, with the intention of using this knowledge in research or applied work.

Basic sources and literature

Arnett, R.H. 1999. American insects: a handbook of the insects of America north of Mexico. The Sandhill Crane Press, Gainesville: 850 str., ISBN 1-877743-19-4.

Fox, R.T.V. 1993. Principles of diagnostic techniques in plant pathology.  CAB International, Wallingford, 213 str., ISBN 0-85198-740-0.

Mound, L., Kibby, G. 1998. Thysanoptera: an identification guide. 2nd Edition. CAB International, Wallingford: 70 str., ISBN 0 85198 634 X.

Paterson, R.R.M., Bridge, P.D. 1994. Biochemical techniques for filamentous fungi. CAB International, Wallingford, 125 str., ISBN 0-85198-899-7.

Urek, G., Hržič, A. 1998. Ogorčice – nevidni zajedavci rastlin: fitonematologija. Ljubljana, samozaložba: 240 str., ISBN 961-6302-04-3.


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