PLNT*6080 Plant Disease Epidemiology and Management

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The following description is for the course offering in Fall 2016 and is subject to change. It is provided for information only. The course outline distributed to the class at the beginning of the semester describes the course content and delivery, and defines the methods and criteria to be used in establishing the final grades for the course.

This course will focus on the epidemiology and management of plant diseases caused by fungi, viruses, and bacteria.  Emphasis will be placed on infection cycles, host-pathogen interactions and factors leading to development of diseases of plants.


Teaching Assistant:

Credit Weight:


Course Level:

  • Graduate

Academic Department (or campus):

Department of Plant Agriculture



Semester Offering:

  • Fall

Class Schedule and Location:

There are no scheduled classes for this course.  The class will meet for 3 hours, one day a week, which is to be determined by consensus on the first day of class, or before.  Classes will be held once weekly for three hours and will be comprised of student presentations and group discussions of the scientific  literature as it relates to the concepts of the week.

Learning outcomes:

Upon sucessful completion of the course, students will:

  • Be able to find gaps in research and write a detailed proposal.
  • Have developed and honed problem-solving skills by working through case studies, and participating in class discussions
  • Know and understand epidemiological concepts of plant disease developement in a number of pathogen/host relationships in detail, through a thorough review of peer-reviewed literature
  • Be able to hone research and writing skills through review of the scientific literature and weekly written assignments to answer specific questions relating to plant diseases.
  • Be able to synthesize ideas, and develop and support a scientific argument in written and oral formats. 
  • Know and understand the international and historical significance of important plant pathogens.

Lecture Content:

Epidemiology and management of plant diseases caused by fungi, viruses, and bacteria.  Emphasis will be placed on infection cycles, host-pathogen interactions and factors leading to development of diseases of plants.  The emphasis is on independent learning, reading the scientific literature, assessing, consolidating and interpreting information, and presenting information in written and oral formats.  Class discussions are an important component of the learning process.

Labs & Seminars:

Course Assignments and Tests:

Assignment or test Contribution to Final Grade

Weekly written assignments


Oral presentation


Case study


Research proposal


Final examination:

There is no scheduled examination for this course.

Course Resources:

Required Texts:


Recommended Texts:

There are several plant pathology texts that can provide a general overview of the topics.  Students are expected to read the scientific literature, in addition to finding information in text books. 

Lab Manual:


Other Resources:

Plant pathology journals are available on line through the library.

Field Trips:


Additional Costs:


Course Policies:


All written assignments and all presentations are due by class time on the day of class.  Written assignments that exceed the 2 page limit will be marked down by 20%.  Any late assignments will receive a mark of 0.


Written assignments will be graded on clarity of the writing and of the arguments, good organization of the ideas and completeness and comprehensiveness of the information.  To achieve full marks, assignments must include all four pathogens and  compare and contrast the information.  Oral presentations will be assessed for organization, clarity, and completeness and comprehensiveness of the information, and are expected to cover the same information as in the written assignments.  Students are expected to demonstrate an understanding of the material and terms used and be able to answer questions effectively. 

Course Policy on Group Work: 

There is one group assignment, the case study.  All students in a group are expected to contribute fully to the group assignment, for both the written and oral portions.  All other assignments, including the final assignment, are to be individual work, conforming with the university policies of academic integrity.

Course Policy regarding use of electronic devices and recording of lectures:

 Electronic recording of classes is expressly forbidden without consent of the instructor.  When recordings are permitted they are solely for the use of the authorized student and may not be reproduced, or transmitted to others, without the express written consent of the instructor.

Other Course Information:

University Policies

Academic Consideration

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University of Guelph students have the responsibility of abiding by the University's policy on academic misconduct regardless of their location of study; faculty, staff and students have the responsibility of supporting an environment that discourages misconduct. Students need to remain aware that instructors have access to and the right to use electronic and other means of detection. Please note: Whether or not a student intended to commit academic misconduct is not relevant for a finding of guilt. Hurried or careless submission of assignments does not excuse students from responsibility for verifying the academic integrity of their work before submitting it. Students who are in any doubt as to whether an action on their part could be construed as an academic offence should consult with a faculty member or faculty advisor.

The Academic Misconduct Policy is detailed in the University Calenders:


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