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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Postgraduate Courses (School of GeoSciences)

Postgraduate Course: Fundamentals of Plant Health (PGGE11203)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course will provide an understanding of the biotic and abiotic causes of poor plants health together with knowledge of the practices and approaches used to enhance the health and wellbeing of plants in a range of managed ecosystems.

The course will include a series of lectures and associated lab classes providing a foundation in plant health interactions within the context of managed ecosystems and selective change.

You will explore the diversity of organisms with which plants interact and their impact positive and negative on plant health. Strategies for enhancing plant health will be covered, including:
- plant breeding;
- pest, weed and disease management;
- the maintenance of a healthy environment.
Course description Week 1: Introduction to biotic and abiotic factors in plant health and ecology of plant health
Week 2: Diagnostics and means to identify pests and pathogens
Week 3: When and why do pathogens, pests or weeds become problematic?
Week 4: Key plant health problems origins and biology
Week 5: Epidemiology transmission and spread of plant health problems: concepts and methods
Week 6: Genetic control
Week 7: Chemical control
Week 8: Cultural and biological control
Week 9: Integration of management practices and plant health management strategies
Week 10: Planning for change in an unpredictable world
Week 11: Revision and exam technique
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  20
Course Start Semester 1
Course Start Date 16/09/2019
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessment details
Coursework assessment (3000 words) will consist of a critique of a factor detrimental to plant health (50% of total class mark). It can cover biotic and abiotic factors impacting on the health of a selected plant group or crop type with details of:
- the nature of the interactions;
- means of recognition or diagnosis;
- an evaluation of the causes and management or remediation of any damage to the health of the plant(s).
The submission deadline for the critique is Monday 11th November 2019.
Students will give a 10 minute summary of their critique to the rest of the class in week 8. This presentation does not contribute to the unit final mark but will be scored by lecturers and feedback given to the students.
The final exam (2h) will take place in December (50% of total class mark).
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)Theory exam2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Have an understanding the diversity of plant biotic interactions and their consequence for the health status of plants,
  2. Recognise key features of the environment which contribute to, or detract from ,good plant health
  3. Recognise key biotic agents causing plant health problems
  4. Evaluate approaches to plant health management in relation to a dynamic ecosystem
Reading List
Agrios G.N. (2005) Plant Pathology 5th Edition. ISBN 9780120445653
Jurgen K. (2002) Comparative Epidemiology of Plant Diseases. ISBN 354043688X
Ahmad P. and Rasool S. (2014) Emerging Technologies and Management of Crop Stress Tolerance. ISBN 978-0-12-800876-8
Alford D.V. (2000) Pest and Disease Management Handbook. ISBN 0632055030
Lucas J.A. (1998) Plant Pathology and Plant Pathogens 3rd Edition. ISBN 0632030461

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will acquire and develop the following transferable skills:
Knowledge-based to develop a knowledge and understanding of plant biotic and abiotic interactions and their impact on plant health.
Integrative using an understanding of the ecological and management drivers to evaluate the effectiveness and sustainability of plant health management strategies.
Critical evaluation of the strengths or weaknesses of particular approaches to plant health management
KeywordsPests,pathogens,weeds,plant disease control,crop protection
Course organiserDr Neil Havis
Course secretaryMrs Elspeth Martin
Tel: 0131 535 4198
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