Plant Pathology

Person in charge: Giancarlo Polizzi

The Plant Pathology section studies plant diseases caused by biotic and abiotic agents. In addition to causing economic damage, some diseases pose a threat to biodiversity. Plant pathology is an interdisciplinary science. Microbiology, genetics, botany, molecular biology, bioinformatics, entomology, image analysis are skills involved in research and professional activity of the plant pathologist.

The Section includes eight professors (3 full professors, 3 associates, 1 researcher TI and 1 researcher RTDB) of the sector AGR / 12 (Plant pathology) specialized in Mycology, Bacteriology, Plant Virology.

The educational and research activities aim to train the figure of the Plant Pathologist, a professional and researcher able to identify the pathogenic agent (diagnosis), prevent and control its introduction and diffusion (prevention and control), reveal the molecular mechanisms of the disease (host-pathogen interaction), studying the geographical origin and the movements of pathogens (biogeography and epidemiology). The main objective of the plant pathologist is to contain the economic and environmental impact of diseases through the adoption of environmentally sustainable integrated defense strategies.

The researchers of the Section study and work closely with the farmers, combining field skills with research work according to a continuous two-way flow of information and applications.

The section collaborates with agricultural companies, nurserymen, industries and public entities. The laboratories of the Plant Pathology Section are accredited by the National Phytosanitary Service according to the Ministerial Decree April 14, 1997 (Decree No. 45565 of May 24, 2010) for the diagnosis of bacteria, phytoplasmas, fungi, viroids, viruses. The Bacteriology Lab. is an accredited laboratory for first-level analysis  of Xylella fastidiosa.