Plant Health and Disease (PPAT3003)


This unit explores the impacts of microbes on plant productivity, food security and the management of natural environments. The lecture component discusses how microbes interact with plants at the ecosystem, whole plant, cellular and molecular levels, conditioning nutrient availability and acquisition, growth, yield, quality and environmental responses. The biology and epidemiology of plant-associated microbes, infection processes, colonisation strategies, plant responses and breeding for disease resistance will be discussed. The practical component introduces techniques used in handling, measuring and identifying plant-associated fungi and bacteria, diagnosis of plant disease and investigations of plant-microbe interactions, and develops skills in enquiry and problem solving through experimental design, execution and interpretation of data. Students learn to work in a research team, plan effective work schedules, work safely in a research laboratory with a range of scientific equipment, keep appropriate records, and use statistical analysis and simulations in research. The unit is core to the BScAgr degree and is available as an elective to BEnvSys and BSc students.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


26 one-hour lectures and 12 three-hour practical classes


Take-home quizzes (20%), Project report (10%), Practical exam (20%), end of semester exam (50%)


Schumann GL & Darcy CJ 2010. Essential Plant Pathology (2nd ed.). APS Press, St Paul, Minn., USA

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


6 credit points of Microbiology units

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.