First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine
Course unit
MVO2045239, A.A. 2018/19

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2017/18

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
IF0362, Degree course structure A.Y. 2017/18, A.Y. 2018/19
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 13.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination BIOTECHNOLOGY IN PLANT PROTECTION
Department of reference Department of Comparative Biomedicine and Food Science
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge FRANCESCO FAVARON AGR/12
Other lecturers NICOLA MORI

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses BIO/10 Biochemistry 3.0
Core courses BIO/13 Applied Biology 10.0

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 2nd Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Practice 1.0 8 17.0 No turn
Laboratory 1.0 8 17.0 No turn
Lecture 11.0 88 187.0 No turn

Start of activities 01/10/2018
End of activities 18/01/2019
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2017 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
8 Commissione a.a. 2019/20 01/12/2019 30/11/2020 FAVARON FRANCESCO (Presidente)
MORI NICOLA (Membro Effettivo)
SELLA LUCA (Supplente)
7  Commissione a.a. 2018/19 01/12/2018 30/11/2019 FAVARON FRANCESCO (Presidente)
MORI NICOLA (Membro Effettivo)
SELLA LUCA (Supplente)
6  Commissione a.a. 2017/18 01/12/2017 30/11/2018 FAVARON FRANCESCO (Presidente)
MORI NICOLA (Membro Effettivo)
SELLA LUCA (Supplente)

Prerequisites: Biology, Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular biology, Genetic and Microbiology
Target skills and knowledge: Deepening of genetics and genomics and physiological and molecular mechanisms that regulate the adaptation of pathogens and parasites to the host plants and plasticity of plant responses to both biotic and environmental stresses. Acquisition of the ability to recognize the main causes of damage to crop productions and to predict the effects on the quality of products. Ability to select suitable biotechnological applications to contain the product damage by avoiding or reducing the use of chemicals.
Examination methods: Oral exam on main issues and presentation of a talk on an assigned topic
Assessment criteria: Demonstration of the acquisition of the basic concepts of the plant protection, of the skills to predict the effects of different types of stress on plant physiology and production, and of the ability to propose original biotechnological solutions to prevent or remedy the harmful consequences of biotic and abiotic stresses.
Course unit contents: The course is divided in biotechnology in crop disease and pest management and adaptation of plants to environmental stresses.

Biotechnology in crop disease management (6 CFU)
- Economic, environmental and social effects of plant diseases. The role of biotechnology.
- Outline of the biology of plant pathogens and diagnostic techniques for pathogen identification and disease recognition.
-Molecular mechanisms of virulence and pathogenicity and of plant resistance to diseases. Increase of resistance to diseases by using defence activators, by gene manipulation of the plant defense system and by gene transfer. Interaction with abiotic factors.
- Fungal plant pathogens producing mycotoxins before and after harvesting.
- Protection of plants and foods by biocontrol agents and chemicals: mode of action, development of resistance, residues, legislation.

Biotechnology in crop pest management (4 CFU)
-Protection of stored vegetable products and foodstuffs from pest: damage and ecology of pest infesting foodstuffs.
- Methods to assess the presence of pests. Pheromones and kairomones for pest monitoring. Molecolar techniques for the tassonomic identification of arthropods.
- Strategy for the control of arthropods infesting foodstuffs; biological and integrated pest management. Phytosanitary products; their general distribution, application, efficacy and selectivity. Use of biotechnologies for the control of arthropod pests.
- The harmfulness and control of the main arthropod species of plant products. Arthropods as vectors of humans diseases. Legislative reference for food production.

Plant responses to stress (3 CFU)
-The stress concept, phenotypic plasticity and individuality, the stress response, stress cross-talk, transgenics for stress tolerance improvement. The case of the heat-drought combination.
-The stress sensing, role of plasma-membrane and receptors, GTPases as molecular switch in the stress response, the case of the response to anoxia and the ROP rheostat.
The oxidative stress and the ROS homeostasis. ROS as signal molecules in the regulation of stress response and development. The cases of root hair development and PCD (Programmed Cell Death) .
-Other elements involved in the stress transduction. The calcium and protein kinase signalling pathways, role of MAPK in the plant stress response, regulation of gene transcription as stress response, main groups of transcription factors involved in such response, microRNAs and abiotic stress.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Traditional lessons are prevalent (84 hours). The laboratory activities (16 hours) relate to the application of morphological , chemical and molecular methods to identify the agents of damage and the effects of diseases and parasites on physiological responses of the plant and on the properties of the products. Additionally, some protocols will be compared to assess the efficacy of biocontrol agents and active substances.
At the end of the course, a visit (4 hours) to plants of storage and processing of crop products allows to verify in practice the implications of adverse factors on storage techniques and on product characteristics.
Additional notes about suggested reading: In addition to some textbooks (see below), the slides of the teachers will be available and literature (scientific articles on case studies and review) on specific topics of the course will be recommended.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Rees D., Insects of stored products. --: CSIRO, 2004. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Hagstrum D., Subramanyam B., Fundamentals of Stored-Product Entomology.. --: AACC, 2006. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Buchanan, Gruissem, Jones., Biochemistry & Molecular Biology of Plants. Rockville, Maryland, US: ASPP, 2016. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Trematerra P., Gentile P., Gli animali infestanti in molini e pastifici e la loro gestione.. --: Chiriotti Editori, 2007. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Matta A., Buonaurio R., Favaron F. , Scala A., Scala F., Fondamenti di Patologia vegetale. --: Patron, 2017.
  • De Cicco v., Bertolini P., Salerno M.G., Patologia postraccolta dei prodotti vegetali. --: Piccin, 2008. Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Laboratory
  • Case study
  • Interactive lecturing
  • Working in group
  • Problem solving
  • Use of online videos
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Zero Hunger Good Health and Well-Being Quality Education Clean Water and Sanitation Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure Responsible Consumption and Production Climate Action Life on Land