Academic Year 2022/2023 - Teacher: VITTORIA CATARA

Expected Learning Outcomes


Train the students to design and conduct research and activities with innovative tools on: plant interaction- plant pathogens, interactions in the plant microbiome, biotechnological interventions for integrated plant protection and selection of micro-organisms for biocontrol of plant pathogens; and developing and applying molecular investigation protocols for detection, identification and characterisation of beneficial pathogens and micro-organisms.  In detail, the learning outcomes include:

Knowledge and understanding abilities: Specific knowledge and understanding skills on Molecular Plant Pathology as defined above.

Applying knowledge and understanding abilities: Ability to identify research and techniques useful in the study of the phenomena of interaction of plant pathogens with the plant and the microbiome, the development of diagnostic techniques and kits, the selection of microorganisms with beneficial activities

Making judgements: The set of knowledge and skills acquired through lectures and integrative activities will help to provide the tools to make the appropriate technical choices on the basis of specific requests. During the course of the laboratory activity, the ability to critically analyse the results of the trials will also be verified.

Communication skills: The student will be encouraged to study, individually or in groups, some topics to deepen their knowledge independently and to communicate on the topics covered during the course or laboratory activity.

Learning skills: Ability to learn the scientific concepts of molecular applications for the solution of plant pathology problems and the basis for stimulating autonomy also in relation to subsequent cycles of study.

Course Structure

The course is organised as frontal lecture (42 hrs) and other activities (28 hrs) including laboratory or external activities and seminars. 

Should teaching be carried out in mixed mode or remotely, it may be necessary to introduce changes with respect to previous statements, in line with the programme planned and outlined in the syllabus.

As a 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.

Required Prerequisites

Useful unnecessary basic knowledge of Plant Biology and Microbiology

Attendance of Lessons

Highly recommended also for the high number of hours of supplementary activities

Detailed Course Content

The course contents reflect those of the courses of phytopathological biotechnology or molecular plant pathology that affect the molecular interactions host/ pathogen and with the microbiome; pathogenicity and virulence genes; genetics of interactions with the plant; defense technologies based on interference with parasites and the induction of plant defenses; biology of antagonist microorganisms and biopesticides; development of biomolecules or genes for biotechnological applications; strategies for the development and application of molecular techniques for the diagnosis and characterization of plant-associated microorganisms. In 2022 a textbook was published that is useful for learning and for taking lessons.

Textbook Information

1.     1. Patologia vegetale molecolare. M. Reverberi - M. Ruocco - L. Covarelli - L. Sella  2022, 690 pp. Piccin ISBN 978-88-299-3141-5

 TThe text has been published recently and will be used for many of the topics. The degree of study will be defined by the teacher during the lessons. For those who require additional background information, the following texts can also be consulted at the departmental libraries. Available texts or review in English are available on the topics for Erasmus students.

 Matta A., Buonaurio R., Favaron F., Scala A., Scala F. 2017. Fondamenti di patologia vegetale (2a edizione), 490 pp. Patron editore ISBN 9788855533829 

-        Belli G. (2012) Elementi di Patologia Vegetale. Piccin Nuova Libraria, Padova. 2nda edizione 454 pp.

Course Planning

 SubjectsText References
1Introductory lessons on plant pathology and biotic pathogens (Fungi, Bacteria, Phytoplasms, Viruses, Viroids). PDF lecture slides (Studium)
2Mechanisms of attack of plant pathogens (Fungi, Bacteria, Phytoplasms, Viruses, Viroids).Text 1 1. PDF lecture slides (Studium)
3Genetics of interactions with the plant: mechanisms of resistance; the innate immunity of plants.Text 1 1. PDF lecture slides (Studium)
4Biotechnology in the defense of plants based on interference with pests and the induction of natural defenses of plants. Case studies: gene silencing, Quorum quencing, cross protection, recovery, SAR, ISR.Text 1 1. PDF lecture slides (Studium)
5Antagonistic microorganisms: main species of bacteria and fungi; mechanisms of action; genes and metabolites for biotechnology applications; biopesticidesText 1 1. PDF lecture slides (Studium)
6NGS techniques and plant pathology. Case studies: Genomics and postgenomics in the study of plant pathogens; Microbiome and plant health.Text 1 1. PDF lecture slides (Studium)
7Strategies for the development of molecular diagnostic methods. Innovative and molecular techniques for the monitoring and characterization of plant pathogens and antagonistic microorganisms.Text 1 1. PDF lecture slides (Studium)
8Other activities: Laboratory or classroom exercises on the topics of the disciplineProtocols and video 
9Other activities: seminarsPublications 

Learning Assessment

Learning Assessment Procedures

Oral exam. For the first question the student has the opportunity to present an in-depth study or a case study on the topics of the course with or without the aid of visual media (e.g. power point presentation of maximum 15 minutes). The verification of learning can also be carried out electronically, if the conditions require it. In addition to the relevance of the answers to the questions raised, the quality of the content and the ability to link with other topics covered by the programme and to give examples will be evaluated.

The voting follows the following scheme:

 Not suitable - Knowledge and understanding of the topic: Important shortcomings. Significant inaccuracies. Ability to analyze and synthesize: Irrelevant. Frequent generalizations. Inability to synthesize. Use of references: Completely inappropriate.

18-20 - Knowledge and understanding of the topic: At the threshold level. Obvious imperfections. Analysis and synthesis skills: Just enough skills. Use of references: As appropriate.

21-23 - Knowledge and understanding of the topic: Routine knowledge. Ability to analyze and synthesize: It is capable of correct analysis and synthesis. Argue logically and consistently. Using references: Use standard references.

24-26 - Subject knowledge and understanding: Good knowledge. Analysis and synthesis skills: Has good analysis and synthesis skills. The arguments are expressed consistently. Using references: Use standard references.

27-29 - Knowledge and understanding of the topic: Knowledge more than good. Ability to analyze and synthesize: He has considerable abilities of analysis and synthesis. Use of references: Has explored the topics.

30-30L - Knowledge and understanding of the topic: Excellent knowledge. Ability to analyze and synthesize: He has considerable abilities of analysis and synthesis. Use of references: Important insights.