Plant Pathology

Objectives and competences

The aim of this course is to gain knowledge of plant pathogens and pests, as this knowledge is indispensable for the successful protection of the vine. Identification of individual pathogens and pests in the field is a prerequisite for their successful determination in the laboratory. When considering each pathogen or pest will be particularly vulnerable cases per vine. Knowledge of the pathology will kombiniralo with knowledge of physiology of plants, since only in this way can we understand the course of the disease and the factors affecting them, as well as the mechanisms of resistance and various biotechnological approaches to the cultivation of the vine. The close relationship of lectures and exercises enables students to learn practical plant diseases and pests with as many examples on the vine, as well as the verification of knowledge.


Knowledge of plant biology, physiology and microbiology.


Pathogens (basic morphology, sistematic)
- viruses, viroids
- phytoplasmas
- bacteria
- fungi
- parasitic plants
- diseases not coused by pathogens

Pests (basic morphology, sistematic)
- nematode
- insects
- mites
- millipedes
- vertebrate
Diagnostic methods
- morphological description
- disease symptoms
- indicator plants
- serological tests (ELISA, immuno fluorscence, fast tests)
- light microscopy
- electron microscopy
- molecular methods (PCR, RT-PCR, Real time PCR, microchip)
- preservation of permanent preparation (liophylisation, microbial bank)

Begining and development of disease
- Disease symptoms
- The mechanisms disease induction
- host – pathogen relationsih
- The entry of the pathogen into the plant, expansion of the plant and between plants, propagation
- response of plants to pathogens
- The influence of external factors
- plant defence, induced defense

- Fundamentals of pests ethology with emphasis on insects and mites
- Attitude host plant - pest
- Specialization of pests
- Mechanism of finding the host
- Population dynamics of pests (environmental impact, competing, predation, parasitism)
- Methods of monitoring;

Protection of plants against pests and diseases (general)
- Methods of Plant Protection (general)
- Bringing healthy plants (link with biotechnology, or morphology and physiology)
- Education resistant varieties
- Mechanical methods
- Biological Protection
- Chemical Protection

Plant protection products:
- distribution
- mode of action
- the impact on the environment and human and animal health
- registration and sale of pesticides
- safe use of pesticides

Legislation in the field of plant health
Slovenian and European regulations on plant protection (regulated pest quarantine and phytosanitary control the movement of the pest)


Practical exercises in the laboratory:
Learning about insects, fungi and nematodes under light microscopy observation of viruses and bacteria under electron microscope demonstration of serological ELISA and PCR testing of infecting plants and observation of disease symptoms.

Field work: Getting to know the diseases and pests in the field, especially in the vineyard

Intended learning outcomes

Practical and theoretical knowledge and understanding of plant diseases and pests with as many examples on the vine.



  • Schumann G.L., D’Arcy C. J. 2010. Essential Plant Pathology. 2nd edition. APS Press, 369 str. Catalogue
  • Pedigo L. P., Rice M.E., Krell R.K. 2021. Entomology & pest management. 7th ed. Waveland Press, Inc., 584 str. Catalogue E-version
  • Prosojnice, Miteam Učilnica


  • EPPO global database. E-version
  • EFSA plant pest survey cards. E-version
  • Spletna stran Uprave Republike Slovenije za varno hrano, veterinarstvo in varstvo rastlin. E-version
  • Integrirano varstvo rastlin. E-version
  • dodatno študijsko gradivo iz specializirane literature


Students have to prepare a seminar of selected topic from the course and present it. The presentation of seminar is obligatory for attending the exa,.

Lecturer's references

Prof. dr. Nataša Mehle is an assistant professor for the field of Phytomedicine, employed at National institute ob biology and partial also at University of Nova Gorica.