Academic Year 2021/2022 - 3° Year
Teaching Staff: Alessandro Vitale
Credit Value: 6
Scientific field: AGR/12 - Plant pathology
Course Language: Italian
Taught classes: 28 hours
Exercise: 28 hours
Term / Semester:

Learning Objectives

The teaching course aims to ensure to the students the basic tools and knowledge for the diagnosis of the main biotic alterations (from phytopathogenic fungi), abiotic and contamination from toxigenic fungi and their metabolites (mycotoxins) affecting the quality and quantity of plants in post-harvest and in storage; the student will acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to perform assessments, inspections and controls on the phytosanitary status of plant products at any stage of conservation, processing and marketing

Course Structure

Theoretical lessons for a total of 4 ECTS. Practical activities (seminars on known case studies, classroom and laboratory exercises, educational visits, etc.) for a total of 2 ECTS. If the teaching is given in a mixed or remote way, the necessary modifications may be introduced with respect to what was previously stated, in order to respect the program envisaged and reported in the present Syllabus. The achievement of the objectives will be pursued through lectures, seminars, exercises and excursions. For the lessons we will make use of the help of multimedia presentations, slides, computer databases, summary and explanatory diagrams that will allow you to deepen the basic concepts and fundamental notions of teaching. Any visits and educational excursions will also take place on other days and times to be agreed with the students by phone (095-7147413).

As guarantee of equal opportunities and in compliance with current laws, interested students can ask for a personal interview in order to plan any compensatory and/or dispensatory measures, based on their specific needs and on teaching objectives of the discipline. It is also possible to ask the departmental contacts of CInAP (Center for Active and Participatory Integration - Services for Disabilities and/or DSAs), in the persons of professors Giovanna Tropea Garzia and Anna De Angelis.

Detailed Course Content

General part
- Economic, historical, social and geographical consequences of fungal post-harvest diseases and in preharvest

- Concept of disease, symptoms and signs of disease, virulence, susceptibility, physiological alterations. Quantification of the susceptibility of hosts (plants and foodstuffs) to fungal pathogens and estimation of the virulence of a fungal pathogen; quantification of fungal inoculum;
- The classification of phytopathogenic fungi (including toxigenic fungi): functional, evolutionary, nomenclature, fungal structures and identification;
- Fungal diseases: Characters of phytopathogenic fungi (including toxigenic fungi), structure and organization, nutrition, factors that influence the fungal development of post-harvest diseases, germination and dispersion of spores, reproduction of fungi: sexual and asexual spores. Biological cycle of fungal diseases and several forms of phytopathogenic fungal epidemics;
- Host-pathogen interaction: pathogen attack mechanisms and host defense mechanisms;
- Strategies, methods and means of control adopted against phytopathogenic fungal diseases of plants in pre- and post-harvest: physical means, chemical means, biological means, integrated management, pesticide residues.

Special part
- Fungal diseases: rot caused by genera; Botrytis, Gloeosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, Fusarium, Claviceps, Alternaria, Monilinia, Sclerotinia, Rhyzopus, Mucor, Colletotrichum; scab (Venturia spp.) from pome fruit warehouse.
- Main post-harvest abiotic diseases
- The main species of fungi producing mycotoxins and main mycotoxins contaminating food products of vegetable origin;
- Characteristics of mycotoxins, main groups and methods of mycotoxin determination, prevention and control mean against post-harvest vegetable mycotoxin contamination, legislative aspects;
Exercises: symptomatic diagnosis of phytopathological samples, isolation of fungi in culture, preparation and observation of fungal preparations under an optical microscope; traditional and molecular techniques for the identification of plant phytopathogenic fungi; in vivo pathogenicity tests of phytopathogenic fungi; indoor environmental monitoring techniques (air / surface matrices) for the isolation and identification of phytopathogenic microorganisms; quantification of the damage of a fungal disease.

Textbook Information

1. De Cicco V., Bertolini P., Salerno M.G. Patologia post-raccolta dei prodotti vegetali. Piccin Ed. 2008.

Teaching material and lectures supplied by the professor during the course

2. Vannacci G. Patologia vegetale. Edises Università, Napoli prima edizione 2021

Other texts:

3. Matta A. Fondamenti di Patologia Vegetale. Patron Editore, Bologna, seconda edizione 2017.

4. Belli G. Elementi di Patologia Vegetale. Editore Piccin, Padova, seconda edizione 2012.