Credits: 3

Terms Offered: Spring, even numbered years

Instructor: Anton Baudoin

Prerequisites: PPWS 4104; i.e., one course in general plant pathology, or equivalent exposure (may be taken concurrently).


Methods of plant disease management, and theories and effectiveness of their application. Discussion based on epidemiological principles. Methods include: cultural practices, resistance, chemical, and biological control. PPWS 5214 supplements this course.

This course is recommended for plant pathology majors, but is also suitable for graduate students in other curricula (e.g., HORT, CSES, ENT, Weed Science, etc.) who wish to take a single graduate course that covers the practical aspects of plant disease management. Taking PPWS 5214 as well will allow students to supplement this by studying specific diseases of crops of their choice (diagnosis, disease cycles, specific controls). Undergraduate students may take this course, if they meet the requirements of the graduate school: seniors with a 3.0 or better GPA, with permission of the course instructor and Department Head, or dual students or students in a five-year bachelor/master's degree program; see Graduate Catalog for details.

Lecture Topics

  • Overview of plant pathology: prerequisites for disease management decisions
  • Epidemiological concepts: polycyclic and monocyclic diseases. Implications of epidemiological concepts for disease management and disease forecasting
  • Crop loss evaluation; economic thresholds; economics of disease control; societal constraints
  • Cultural practices and their role in disease suppression:
    • Sanitation
    • Tillage and cultivation
    • Crop rotation
    • Management of temperature and moisture
    • Management of fertility and pH
    • organic soil amendments and mulches.
    • Modification of the biological environment
  • Biological control, principles and overview
  • Biological control case studies
  • The threat of introduced plant diseases. Regulatory mechanisms to prevent introduction and spread of plant pathogens
  • Production of disease-free plants
  • Plant resistance
    • Types and characteristics
    • Breeding approaches and considerations
    • Considerations for use, management to enhance durability
  • Physical control techniques: steam, soil solarization, fire
  • Disease control chemicals:
    • History; use patterns; types of activity
    • Major groups of disease control chemicals:
      • Fungicides
      • Nematicides
      • Bactericides
      • Viricides
      • General Biocides
    • Development and registration of chemicals, effect of legislation on availability;
    • Chemicals: formulation and application methods
    • Mode of action of disease control chemicals
    • Management of pesticide resistance

Additional Topics

A term paper, or series of short papers, is required (30% of grade). In recent years, students have been writing a web-text for this course. Each student selects a topic in this context and prepares a draft chapter that will be peer-reviewed and critiqued by fellow students. Students will revise the paper based on the reviewers' critique.

Other Information

Link to Baudoin's course materials