NPLB14005U Diagnosis of Diseases of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants

Volume 2014/2015


The course will introduce the student to commonly occurring plant diseases in agriculture, horticulture and orchards. Hand-on experience with classical and web based methods used in identifying causal organisms and diagnosing the diseases will be given. Also a theoretical introduction to molecular diagnosis is offered and field-kits are demonstrated. Assessment of crop damage in the field and how to take samples for further studies will be discussed.

The students learn:
- how to diagnose – step by step - plant diseases using simple practical methods (including web-based tools).
- how to identify pathogenic fungi, bacteria and virus from their pathogen morphology, host and host symptoms
- how to describe, characterise and assess damage in the field and how to take a sample for further study.


Learning Outcome

The course is concerned with plant health problems in agriculture and horticulture (greenhouses, orchards and field crops) with special reference to North European conditions.
The main aim of the course is to give the students opportunity to obtain hands-on experience in diagnosis of plant diseases.
After completing the course the student should be able to:
- Describe plant pathogen morphology
- Describe symptoms caused by plant pathogens
- Classify plant pathogens based on morphology
- Describe, characterise and assess damage in the field
- Take diseased plant samples for further study.
- Be familiar with theory behind molecular techniques for identification of microorganisms
- Use common tools for identifying plant pathogens.
- Apply principles for diagnosis of plant diseases based on pathogen morphology and disease symptoms
- Communicate diagnostic results
- Work with diagnostic methods
- Cooperate with fellow students when conducting the diagnosis and report the results.

Handbooks and manuals will be available

Competences equivalent to a introductory course in plant pathology/plant diseases
The course consists of short theoretical introductions to specific topics and problem-based studies including field collections, identification of pathogens and diagnosis of plant diseases using keys, manuals and microscopes. Most of the work is carried out in groups of two students supervised by the teachers. Short e-learning modules are used during the course. An excursion is included.
Before start the students should anticipate one week preparation time.
The course takes place at Campus-Tåstrup, as it is dependent on plant material from the field. A free shuttle bus runs between Campus Frederiksberg and Campus-Tåstrup.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • E-Learning
  • 15
  • Excursions
  • 8
  • Lectures
  • 5
  • Practical exercises
  • 60
  • Preparation
  • 35
  • Theory exercises
  • 15
  • Total
  • 138
Type of assessment
Continuous assessment
Written assignment
Continuous evaluation of individually prepared diagnosis reports (weight: 80%) plus a minor report (weight: 20%)
Exam registration requirements
Be present at least 75% of the time
All aids allowed
Marking scale
passed/not passed
Censorship form
No external censorship
Oral examination
Criteria for exam assesment

See Learning outcome