Plant Biology (776) Expanded Course Description. 11:776:105 Stories of Plant Disease

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1 Plant Biology (776) Expanded Course Description 11:776:105 Stories of Plant Disease (3.0 cr) Prerequisites and registration restrictions: None Instructor and Contact information: Instructor: Dr. Ann B. Gould Office Location: 370 Foran Hall, 59 Dudley Rd., New Brunswick, NJ Office Hours: By arrangement Phone: Format: Two 80 min in person lectures General course description/synopsis: The history of man is the record of a hungry creature in search of food. Wherever food was plentiful, thither man has travelled to make his home. Page 22 Hendrik Willem van Loon, The Story of Mankind Stories of Plant Diseases is an introductory class where the impact of plant diseases on human history and culture is examined. Stories of plant disease epidemics, past and present, are used to illustrate the vulnerability of plants we use for food, fiber, oil, and green space, and the human and environmental costs of plant disease. Current, complex topics such as pesticide use, genetic engineering, climate change, dependency on subsistence agriculture, bioterrorism, and global spread of plant pathogens are examined, encouraging students to apply critical thinking. Concepts woven throughout the course include the study of organisms that cause diseases in plants, how these organisms cause disease and how plants defend themselves, and how diseases spread, are prevented, and managed. The course is open to students interested in science, gardening, agriculture, the environment, food, or sustainability. Students completing the course will have a better understanding of the connection between plant diseases and our food supply and the role agriculture plays in our everyday lives.

2 Course Learning Goals: 1. Recognize the major groups of pathogens that affect plants 2. Understand mechanisms that govern the plant plant pathogen relationship 3. Discuss methods used to manage plant diseases 4. Demonstrate an understanding of terms and concepts in plant pathology 5. Understand the socioeconomic, cultural, and political impacts of plant diseases Assessment Measures: Grades (%) based on: in class exams (mid term, 25%, and final, 35%); on line quizzes and homework (20%); attendance (mandatory) and class participation (5%); writing assignments (two, 2+ page treatments of current, controversial topics with references) (15%). A 10 point grading scale will be used. Quizzes are administered online. Examinations and quizzes are composed of true false, multiple choice, fill in the blank, matching, compare and contrast, short answer, and essay. Student achievement of learning objectives 1, 2, 3, and 4 will be measured by specific questions on quizzes and exams, and participation in class discussions. Learning objective 3 will also be measured by short, written homework assignments assigned throughout the semester. Learning objective 5 will be measured by participation in class discussions, in writing assignments 1 and 2, and a comprehensive essay question on the final exam. Course Syllabus and Other information: ASSIGNMENTS and RESPONSIBILITIES Grades will be determined based on examinations (two in class exams and one final), weekly quizzes (on line), homework (on line), attendance, and two short writing assignments. Course points: 550 Exam I: 25% (100 pts) Exam II: 25% (100 pts) Final exam (semi comprehensive): 30% (125 pts) On line quizzes 5% (150 pts weighted to 5% of grade) Homework and attendance: 5% (25 pts) Writing assignments (two, 2+ page treatments of current, controversial topics with references): 10% (50 pts) Scale: % = A; = B; = C; = D Quizzes are administered online. Examinations and quizzes are composed of true false, multiple choice, fill in the blank, matching, compare and contrast, short answer, and essay.

3 CLASS WEBSITE The ecollege platform will be used to support class activities. Lectures, supporting documentation, and assignments will be posted, and grades will be posted online so that students can monitor their progress in the class. Course materials (lecture materials, handouts, assignments, and grades) will be posted on the class ecollege website (https://ecollege.rutgers.edu/index2.jsp). Log in using your student NETID and follow the directions. Contact the helpdesk if you have difficulty LECTURE NOTES HOMEWORK Outlines for most lectures will be made available on the ecollege class website (look under Lecture Notes under Document Sharing ) 24 hours prior to lecture. Students are encouraged to bring these lecture notes to class. Unit lectures in their entirety will be made available for student viewing after they are presented in class. Completion of one or more homework assignments will be required for several units. Reading and homework assignments, including due dates, will be posted with each unit on the class website. Completed assignments may be handed in during class or submitted electronically via e mail or the unit dropbox. WRITING ASSIGNMENTS FINAL EXAM ATTENDANCE Two writing efforts are required from each student. Due dates are: February 25 th and April 14 th, These two assignments combined comprise 10% of the final grade. Writing assignments will be evaluated on construction of argument, textual support, and accuracy of information, grammatical quality, and clarity. Proper citation of source materials is required; plagiarism will not be tolerated. The Turnitin tool will be used to help evaluate student learning. The final exam is semi comprehensive. About 80% of the exam will cover (in detail) material presented in the final one third of the class; the remaining, more comprehensive questions will be broader in scope. The exam is scheduled for Thursday, May 5 th from 8 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Put this date on your calendar immediately. Attendance is mandatory; as a courtesy, students unable to attend should forward an e mail to the instructor before or shortly after the missed class.

4 Lecture Chapter/Unit 1 1 Diseases of breakfast foods: what are plant diseases, and how do they impact our everyday life? 2 1 Hungry humans. Our relationship to our food: a history and the current picture 3 1 Society before germ theory: the Irish Potato famine and the debate over the origins of disease 4 1 Food availability, purchasing power, and dependence on subsistence agriculture: the Bengal famine 5 2 The most important plant pathogens: the fungi Concepts introduced Course introduction, definition of terms, disease donut, diseases of breakfast foods to illustrate concepts Hunter gatherer to farmer: food shaping culture History of plant pathology, the disease triangle, the origin of germ theory, politics and economics of food supply; fungi as pathogens Story: late blight of potato Continues themes from above. Stories: brown spot of rice and black sigatoka disease of banana Basics: Introduces the major groups of fungi and oomycetes. How to use the disease triangle and disease cycle as management tools Story: apple scab 6 2 Fungi as pathogens Story: mushroom root rot 7 2 Fungal diseases from farm to table 8 3 When farming tips the balance: impact of monoculture on disease in food crops Exam I 9 3 Diseases on the move! Regulatory aspects of plant disease Stories: late blight of potato (the rest of the story), downy mildew of grape Story: coffee rust (why the British drink tea) Invasive (introduced) pathogens. Quarantines and other regulatory aspects. Bioterrorism (movement with intent to harm) Story: South American leaf blight of rubber 10 4 To grow a healthy plant: soil, water, and air Plant growth, impact of the environment on plant health, nutrient cycling [Writing Assignment #1 due]

5 11 4 Plants are fortresses! Plant defense mechanisms and ways pathogens cope 12 4 How does the environment affect plants and plant disease? What roles do humans play? 13 5 Single celled pathogens: bacteria Constitutive and induced defense mechanisms. Induced resistance and its role in plant disease management Drought and flooding. Air pollution and acid rain. Abiotic diseases Characteristics, reproduction, survival, and management Stories: fire blight, citrus canker 14 5 Single celled pathogens: mollicutes 15 6 People improving plants: the nature of genes and boom and bust 16 6 What Mary Dell Chilton learned: Agrobacterium and modern day plant biotechnology Story: citrus greening Introduction to genetic building blocks, Mendelian genetics, production of proteins, mutation and evolutionary change; gene for gene concept Plant breeding, genetic engineering, cross protection, transgenic plants Story: crown gall Exam II 17 7 Roles people play in plant disease epidemics (Diseases on the move! Part II) 18 7 What can we do to manage diseases? Ancient, traditional, and modern methods of disease control 19 8 Chemicals to manage disease: risks, resistance, and safety Hot, current day epidemics (the change in disease in populations over time) caused by fungi and bacteria Case study: southern corn leaf blight epidemic Pesticide basics, principals of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), organic vs. traditional pesticides; management choices. Story: benomyl and Botrytis bight 20 9 The underworld of plants: pathogens that attack roots Common soilborne diseases; microbial competence in the rhizosphere and in soil, biological control Story: Fusarium wilt of banana

6 21 9 The world of worms [Writing Assignment #2 due] Poison, gangrene, madness, and the Salem witch trials: fungi in food The rise and fall of the Roman Empire: cereal rusts from antiquity Diseases of trees, the largest plants. Drought, starvation, and wood decay Characteristics, taxonomy, management, and case studies Story: soybean cyst nematode Post harvest diseases; mycotoxins; aflatoxin Story: ergot of cereals and grasses History, biology, management of cereal rust epidemics. Stories: stem rust of wheat, soybean rust (a newer threat) Physiological drought, disruption of xylem and phloem, and wood decay. Stories: Dutch elm disease, mistletoe The smallest pathogens: viruses Tulipomania! Characteristics, transmission, and detection of virus diseases Stories: Tulip Breaking Virus, Tobacco mosaic virus Food for a hungry planet: How to feed our people, and the impact of climate change on plant health and disease World population and food demands; reduced arable land; water quality and soil fertility Stories: Fusarium head blight of wheat and modeling climate change, Black pod of cacao

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