Foundation degrees

Course Information

Plant Disease Management

Module summary

Module code: BOTA1002
Level: 7
Credits: 15
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Natural Resources Institute
Module Coordinator(s): Sophie Bouvaine



This course enables students to:

• Develop an understanding of the ‘pathosystem’ and how it is affected by environment and in turn how this affects disease incidence and severity;
• Understand the basic principles of plant disease diagnosis by molecular techniques including ELISA, real time PCR and next generation sequencing, and their application to disease control
• Understand the principles of plant-pathogen interactions and how this knowledge is applied to develop new strategies to protect crops
• Evaluate different methods of disease control and the decision-making process for selection of appropriate methods in order to select disease management options appropriate to the pathogen and agroecosystem;
• Gain the technical know-how to design sustainable disease control strategies.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

1 Reflect critically on the biology and aetiology of different plant pathogens and how this relates to control measures
2 Critically select a disease control measure suitable for the pathosystem and appropriate to the production system concerned
3 An understanding of the theory and practical experience of using molecular diagnostic tools for plant disease diagnosis and management
4 Combine appropriate control technologies into the design of an integrated control strategy

Indicative content

• Introduction to the terminology of plant disease and principles of disease control
• Life cycles of different plant pathogens and aetiology of the diseases they cause
• Plant disease epidemiology in relation to disease management
• The choice of molecular tests available for plant disease diagnosis
• Control methods for plant diseases
• Decision-making in the design of control strategies
• New methods for developing disease resistant crops

Teaching and learning activity

The course will be taught through a series of lectures on the aetiology of plant diseases and the control methods available and these will be linked to written assignments to develop the ability to design control measures appropriate to a particular disease and the farming system concerned. Lectures will account for 60% of the time with the rest of the time allocated to seminars and written assignments.


Method of summative assessment: Presentation
Outcomes assessed:1,2,4
Grading Mode (e.g. pass/ fail; %): %
Weighting % :40%
Passmark: 50%
Outline Details:Each student is asked to present an up-to-date scientific overview of a plant disease of global importance of their choice. Students are given 4-6 weeks to prepare a 15 min presentation and 5 min Q&A.

Method of summative assessment: Examination
Outcomes assessed:1,2,3,4
Grading Mode (e.g. pass/ fail; %): %
Weighting % :60%
Passmark: 50%
Outline Details: 2 hour examination – Eight questions will be given to the students of which they are expected to answer four.

Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning: Students are provided with feedback on their selected presentation topic via a written outline draft of their presentations content .
Outcome(s) assessed by summative assessment: 1, 2, 4