Pathology of natural plant systems

Code -
Credits 6

Learning outcomes

Chapter one. Introduction.
Plant pathology: the science; the concept of disease in plants; types of plant diseases; history of plant pathology. How pathogens challenge plants: parasitism and disease development. The Plant Pathobiome Paradigm. The One Health approach. The eustress concept. The disease triangle. Koch’s postulates.
Chapter two. Plant pathogens.
Fungi, oomycetes, bacteria and viruses. Lifestyles in plant-pathogen interaction. The disease cycle. Monocyclic and polycyclic pathogens. Epidemiology (disease in plant populations). Vectors of pathogens.

Chapter three. How plants defend themselves against pathogens.
Preexisting and induced structural defenses; preexisting and induced biochemical defenses. Systemic acquired resistance and induced systemic resistance. Transmission of the alarm signal to defense providers.
Chapter four. Disease management in natural systems.
Cultural practices. Biological control. Host resistance and evolutionary plant pathology.
Chapter five. Selected life cycles of relevant pathogens in the ecosystem.
Chestnut blight. Dutch Elm Disease. Armillaria mellea s.l. Heterobasidion annosum. Ash dieback. Phytophthora dieback. Forest decline due to abiotic stress factors. Ecosystem distress syndrome. The Manion theory.
Study case: vegetation spectroscopy: a tool to detect and monitor plant health and wellbeing.
Basic concepts: vegetation optical properties, optical sensors, leaf-ecosystem scaling. Applications in plant pathology to early detect and monitor plant diseases and stress conditions: collection of hyperspectral data at leaf and canopy level, application and development of vegetation spectral indices; multivariate approaches to estimate plant morphological, physiological and biochemical leaf traits and classify spectral signatures. Practical overview