Plant Disease (PPAT3003)


This unit introduces plant disease and the pathogens that limit agricultural and horticultural production. The unit is core to the BScAgr and BHortSc degrees and is available as an elective to BLWS and BSc students. It builds on the material introduced in MICR2024. The lecture component of the unit discusses the aetiology of plant disease and symptom development; diagnosis of plant disease; the biology, epidemiology and management of fungi and other microbes that cause plant disease; breeding for disease resistance; plant-parasite relationships; and disease resistance in plants. The practical component introduces techniques used in handling and identifying fungi and in studying plant disease, and develops skills in experimental design, execution and interpretation of experimental data. At the completion of this unit, students will be able to exercise problem-solving skills (developed through practical experiments and lecture discussions), think critically, and organise knowledge (from consideration of the lecture material and preparation of practical reports), expand from theoretical principles to practical explanations (through observing and reporting on practical work), use certain computer software for analysing data and reporting on laboratory projects. Students learn to work in a research team, plan effective work schedules (to meet deadlines for submission of assessable work), use statistical analysis in research, keep appropriate records of laboratory research, work safely in a research laboratory and operate a range of scientific equipment. Students will gain research and inquiry skills through research based group projects, information literacy and communication skills through assessment tasks and personal and intellectual autonomy through working in groups.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


(2x 1hr lec, 3h prac)/wk


1x 2hr end of semester exam (60%), 1x prac exam (25%), six take-home quizzes (15%).


Schumann GL & Darcy CJ 2006. Essential Plant Pathology. APS Press, St Paul, Minn., USA.

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Prerequisites and assumed knowledge

MICR2024 or MICR2021 or MICR2921 or MICR2022 or MICR2922

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.