This course explores current concepts and approaches to managing plant pathogens and diseases in crops and natural plant communities by measures that have minimal impact on the environment. Topics include naturally-occurring biological control such as suppressive soils and induced host resistance, use of microbial agents and their modes of action, transgenic disease resistance, use of organic soil amendments and mulches to promote microbial diversity and suppress pathogens, and effects of sanitation, crop sequences, tillage, flooding, soil solarization and other cultural practices on microbial communities, including pathogens and on disease epidemics.
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Academic Department (or campus):
Class Schedule and Location:
At the end of this course, students should be able to:
Explain how alternative practices such as cultural and biological control can reduce pesticide use while still reducing disease development.
Explain the strategies and mechanisms of biological control in depth
Expand upon the ecological concepts that affect pathogen and host interactions as well as interactions between pathogen and bio-control agent
Interpret and constructively discuss current scientific literature regarding host response to stressors, pest invasion and adaptation and integrated management of pests through biological and cultural control practices
Write a thorough literature review based on peer-reviewed literature on a specific topic
Develop a detailed research proposal based on gaps identified in the literature review and the weekly discussions
Lead a discussion group and clarify concepts related to alternative plant disease management to undergrad students
Deliver a clear, concise presentation to a group of people
Topics to be covered* in lectures include:
Plant pathology review and major concepts
Plant disease epidemiology
Introduction to IPM
Introduction to cultural disease management and plant disease management strategies
Biological control strategies
Modes and mechanisms of biological control
Suppressive soils and the role of organic amendments
Resident vs. introduced organisms
Role of the pathogen, antagonist and host in biological control
*Topics may change as the semester progresses
There are no labs scheduled for this class.
Friday classes will consist of a discussion of peer-reviewed literature on the lecture topic of the week. The discussions will be student-led based on papers chosen by the student (or the instructor if class enrollment exceeds 12 students).
Course Assignments and Tests:
|Assignment or Test
|Contribution to Final Mark
|Learning Outcomes Assessed
4, 7, 8
1, 2, 3
|Term Paper Presentation
There is no final exam for this course.
There are no required texts for this course.
Campbell, R. 1989. Biological Control of Microbial Plant Pathogens
Hajek, A. 2004. Natural Enemies: An Introduction to Biological Control.
CourseLink (Website) https://courselink.uoguelph.ca
Lectures presented in Power Point as well as any additional material can all be found on CourseLink
All work is expected on the date due. Late work will be accepted up to five days late with a 5% grade reduction per business day.
If any exams must be missed for professional development, religious or personal reasons, arrangements must be made with the instructor BEFORE the scheduled date of the exam. Any exams missed due to emergencies or illness may be made up only if appropriate documentation is provided.
All quizzes will be offered through CourseLink and will be available for a set period and will be timed. If separate arrangements need to be made, either due to conflicts or based on registration with SAS, please be sure to make arrangements with your instructor PRIOR to each quiz.
Quizzes missed without an appropriate reason cannot be made up and will be counted as the dropped quiz grade. If more than one quiz is missed due to documented illness, arrangements can be made to ensure the student is not penalized.
Course Policy on Group Work:
All work performed in class is done on an individual basis and should be the sole work of the student submitting the assignment.
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:
When you find yourself unable to meet an in-course requirement because of illness or compassionate reasons, please advise the course instructor in writing, with your name, id#, and e-mail contact. See the academic calendar for information on regulations and procedures for Academic Consideration:
- For Graduate Students: https://calendar.uoguelph.ca/graduate-calendar/
- For Undergraduate Students: https://calendar.uoguelph.ca/undergraduate-calendar/
- For Diploma Students: https://calendar.uoguelph.ca/associate-diploma/
The University of Guelph is committed to upholding the highest standards of academic integrity and it is the responsibility of all members of the University community, faculty, staff, and students to be aware of what constitutes academic misconduct and to do as much as possible to prevent academic offences from occurring.
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:
- For Graduate Students: https://calendar.uoguelph.ca/graduate-calendar/general-regulations/academic-misconduct/
- For Undergraduate Students: https://calendar.uoguelph.ca/undergraduate-calendar/undergraduate-degree-regulations-procedures/academic-misconduct/
- For Diploma Students: https://calendar.uoguelph.ca/associate-diploma/associate-diploma-regulations-procedures/academic-misconduct/
The University of Guelph is committed to creating a barrier-free environment. Providing services for students is a shared responsibility among students, faculty and administrators. This relationship is based on respect of individual rights, the dignity of the individual and the University community's shared commitment to an open and supportive learning environment. Students requiring service or accommodation, whether due to an identified, ongoing disability or a short-term disability should contact the Student Accessibility Services (SAS), formerly Centre for Students with Disabilities (CSD), as soon as possible.
Course Evaluation Information
Your ratings and comments are important. Course evaluation data are used to assess and enhance the quality of teaching and student learning at the University of Guelph. Student course ratings and comments are used as an important component in the Faculty Tenure & Promotion process, and as valuable feedback to help instructors improve their teaching effectiveness and to improve the delivery of the course.
Your responses will not affect your grade. Course evaluation data are distributed to individual instructors after final grades have been submitted to the Registrar, following the completion of each academic semester.
Please be honest, respectful, constructive and thorough. Instructors and review committees place great value on student course ratings and read all comments provided in course evaluations. It is helpful to provide comments on the strengths of the course, in addition to the areas for improvement. Please refrain from personal comments unless they relate to teaching and learning.