New Mexico State University


EPWS 310 - Plant Pathology

Syllabus - Fall 2018


Instructors : Rebecca Creamer; Office Skeen Hall N248; Phone 646-3068; Office Hrs 10:30-11:30 MWF

  Marwa Neyaz (TA); Office Skeen Hall N249; Office Hrs1-2 pm MW


Class Time and Location

Lectures: MWF 9:30-10:20, Skeen Hall W139

Laboratory: W 1:30-3:20, Skeen Hall W138

Work on collections after class hours is possible (call for access)


Description of Course

This course introduces you to the basic concepts of the description, cause, and control of plant disease. Representative plant diseases will be selected for the illustration of symptom development, epidemiology, physiological responses, prevention and control practices, and types of pathogenic agents. Emphasis will be placed on the influence of the environment, host genetics and physiology, cell-cell interactions, cellular responses and pathogen biology on disease occurrence, development, and epidemiology.


Textbook: Agrios G.N. 2005 Plant Pathology 5th edition, Academic Press: New York


Course Objectives

By the end of the course you should be able to do the following:


1. Identify the causes of plant diseases and explain the altered physiology associated with diseased plants.

2. Classify pathogens into orders and describe the biology of the pathogens.

3. Describe pathogen life cycles as they related to disease cycles.

Determine optimal disease management strategies based on pathogen and host biology

Predict the effect of environmental parameters and time on disease epidemiology.

Isolate and identify some plant pathogens and demonstrate that they cause disease.

Find accurate plant pathology related information and literature.

Critically analyze a plant pathology related problem.

Integrate information and knowledge from different sources.

Effectively communicate interpretations and findings.


Course Evaluation

Evaluation is based on the components listed below.


Three Lecture Exams

300 pts


Comprehensive Final Exam

100 pts



  40 pts


Plant disease topics

  20 pts


Disease case studies

  20 pts


Laboratory Exam

100 pts



100 pts


Laboratory Reports

  31 pts


Laboratory Journal

    9 pts



720 pts


Be present at all exams!!!!!!!



Late assignments

Lab reports, plant disease topics, or collections that are turned in after the specified date will result in a reduction of 10% of the total point value for each day it is late.


Missed Quizzes and Exams

Quizzes that are missed for any reason can not be re-taken or made up.  The lowest quiz grade will be dropped at the end of the semester.  Tests missed with certified medical excuses or prior instructor approval will be dealt with individually.


Academic Conduct

Please note that the following are considered academic misconduct by NMSU:


1.    Cheating or knowingly assisting another student in committing an act of cheating or other forms of academic dishonesty.  [This includes giving other students your collection organisms.]

2.    Plagiarism, including submitting examinations, themes, reports [including lab reports], drawings, laboratory notes, undocumented quotations, computer-processed materials [internet documents], or other material as one’s own work when such work has been prepared by another person or copied from another person.


Students may receive a zero grade (F) for plagiarized work, or for the entire course


Lecture Schedule





CHAPTER (Agrios)


August 15 – Sept 7

Introduction; History; Nature of disesase; Host Defense; Genetics; Physiology Control

1-7, 9


Sept 10




Sept 12 - Oct 1

Fungi I: Introduction; Diseases caused by Myxomycetes, Plasmodiophoromycetes, Oomycetes, Chytridiomycetes and Zygomycetes; Introduction to Ascomycetes

Chapter 11


Oct 3




Oct 5 - Oct 19

Fungi II: Diseases caused by Ascomycete and Basidiomycete

Chapter 11


Oct 22 – Oct 26


Chapter 14


Oct 29




Oct 31 - Nov 5


Chapter 12


Nov 7 - Nov 14

Parasitic Higher Plants; Nematodes

Chapters 10, 13, 15, 16


Nov 14 – Nov 28


Chapter 8


Nov 30

Molecular Plant Pathology



Nov 31

Summary / Evaluation



Dec 3, 8-10 am



Please note that if you have a disability that interferes with your academic progress, you may contact Services for Students with Disabilities at 646-6840 (voice) or 646-1918 (TTY) for an appointment. Services for Students with Disabilities is located in Garcia Annex, Room 102. Current appropriate documentation will be required to receive services.



Laboratory Sessions

Attendance at all laboratory sessions is REQUIRED. Evaluation of the laboratory portion of the class will be based on a final laboratory exam, three 2-4 page laboratory reports and a collection of 5 plant pathogens.


Laboratory Exam

100 pts


100 pts

Laboratory Reports**

  31 pts

Laboratory Journal

    9 pts



* Each collection shalll include pure cultures of at least one obligate plant pathogen specimen and four specimens of fungal or bacterial plant pathogens (isolated from diseased plants). Each specimin shall be identified to genus.


** Three lab reports will be collected during the semester. Reports should be prepared for any three experiments denoted with an asterisk (*) in the following syllabus. Lab reports are due ONE WEEK after the results are collected. You will receive a model report to guide you. Reports should be typed (spell check required).


Laboratory schedule for Plant Pathology 310, Fall-2018.


August 15

Microscope Technique

- How to use and calibrate a microscope




- Introduction to plant disease




- Differentiation between fungi and bacteria




- Culture transfer






August 22

Aseptic Technique

- Isolation from diseased plant materiald




- Koch's Postulate experiment






August 29

Fungi I

- Growth of fungi on different media




- A look at representative fungi




- Koch's Postulate experiment






September 5

Fungi II

- Fungal isolation -baiting




- Koch's Postulate experiment




- Measure fungal growth and sporulation






September 12

Fungi III

- Powdery mildew identification






September 19





Contol I

- Baiting – part 2

- Look at representative fungi

- Koch’s postulates experiments


- Seed treatment and control




- Even more representative fungi






September 26

Fungi III

- Inoculation of resistant and susceptible peppers




- Observe treated seeds




- Still more representative fungi to look at






October 3

Bacteria I

- Crown Gall experiment




- Gram staining of pathogenic bacteria




- Observe/record symptoms on pepper plants




- First lab report due!!






October 10

Bacteria II

- Chile leaf spot experiment




- Record crown gall symptoms






October 17

Viruses I

- ELISA detection of plant viruses




- Second lab report due!!






October 24

Viruses II

- Mechanical transmission of viruses




- Three Collection Specimens Due!!






October 31

Viruses III

- Polymerase Chain amplification of virus nucleic acid






November 7


- Dissection of root knot nematode galls




- Observation of different plant pathogenic nematodes




- Third lab report due!!






November 14

Lab Final Review







November 28

Lab Practical



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