Plant Pathology Graduate Courses

The Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology offers a M.S. and Ph.D. degree in Plant Pathology.  The PLPM Ph.D. program requires a minimum of 96 hours while the M.S. program requires 32 hours. The current plant pathology curriculum reflects the need for balance between detailed fundamental knowledge of specific concepts with broad-based training.

See detailed course descriptions below:

Major Field Requirements

Course Number
Course Hours
Course Name
PLPA 601 3 Introduction to Plant Pathology
PLPA 613 3 Advanced Plant Pathology Laboratory
PLPA 616 2 Methods in Molecular Biology of Plant-Microbe Interactions
PLPA 681 1 Seminar in Plant Pathology
PLPA 334/634 3 Turfgrass Pathology
PLPA 604
1 Bacterial Pathogenesis
PLPA 605
1 Viral Pathogenesis
PLPA 606
1 Fungal Pathogenesis
PLPA 626 2 Diagnosis of Plant Disease
PLPA 623 3 Disease of Field Crops
PLPA 607
1 Pathogen Strategies
PLPA 608
1 Signaling and Resistance
PLPA 609
1 Plant Biochemical Defenses
PLPA 619 2 Plant-Associated Microorganisms
PLPA 690 1 Theory of Research
 PLPA 657 3 Bioinformatics

Plant Pathology & Microbiology (PLPM)

Click to expand for Graduate Course Descriptions

601. Fundamentals of Plant Pathology. Credit 3. Understanding of the underlying mechanisms in the disease process. Prerequisites: Graduate Classification.

604 Plant Bacterial Diseases. Credit 1. Bacterial diseases of fruit and vegetable crops, field crops and ornamental plants; structure and function of plant pathogenic bacteria, dissemination of the pathogen and methods of control. Prerequisite: Introduction to Plant Pathology (PLPA 301/601).

605. Molecular Plant Virology. Credit 1. Focus on biology and molecular genetics of plant viruses; historical information and recent developments discussed to illustrate how viruses establish an infection; control measures presented; uses as tools in biotechnology. Prerequisite: Introduction to Plant Pathology (PLPA 301/601).

606. Fungal Biology. Credit 1. Morphological and molecular systematic survey of kingdom Fungi with emphasis on modern concepts. Contemporary Cell Biology topics concerning fungal development. Prerequisite: Introduction to Plant Pathology (PLPA 301/601).

607. Pathogen Strategies. Credit 1. Molecular mechanisms that pathogens use to overcome innate immunity of the host plant; molecular events associated with the disease cycles of pathogens; pathogen-host-coevolution; pathogen virulence factors; pathogen countermeasures to plant defense mechanisms. Prerequisite: Introduction to Plant Pathology (PLPA 301/601).

608. Pathogen perception and signaling. Credit 1. Molecular and biochemical basis of pathogen recognition; pathogen signaling initiation and transduction in hosts. Prerequisite: Introduction to Plant Pathology (PLPA 301/601).

609. Defense Hormone Signals. Credit 1. Molecular and biochemical mechanisms of plant hormone-mediated defense responses to pathogen invasion; major classes of defense-related proteins, phytolexins and antibacterial secondary metabolites and signal transduction pathways. Prerequisite: Introduction to Plant Pathology (PLPA 301/601).

613. Advanced Plant Disease Management. Credit 3. On-Line course, providing strong foundation in principles and practices of management of plant diseases. Prerequisites: PLPA 301 or equivalent, permission from instructor.

616. Methods in Molecular Biology of Plant-Microbe Interactions. (2-0). Credit 2. Concepts and techniques used in molecular plant pathology to study the interactions between hosts and pathogens; focus on understanding the rationale for implementing certain procedures and the theoretical concepts underlying the methodology. Prerequisite: PLPA 611 or approval of instructor.

619. Plant-Associated Microorganisms. Credit 2.. Basic concepts and current topics in plant-microbe interactions including the diversity of plant-associated microorganisms; the plant as a microbial environment; endophytes; microbial roles in plant nutrition and fitness. Will discuss issues related to sustainable agriculture and uses of microorganisms for improving plant health. Students will discuss and critique recent literature. Prerequisites: Basic plant biology or plant ecology is recommended; microbiology is helpful, but not required

623. Diseases of Field Crops. (2-3). Credit 3. Fundamental and practical aspects of more important and representative diseases of field crops; plant disease problems peculiar to extensive cultivation methods. Prerequisites: PLPA 301 and 303*

626. Diagnosis of Plant Diseases. (1-3). Credit 2. Techniques employed in field diagnosis of plant diseases; histological and microbiological studies to verify initial diagnosis. Prerequisite: PLPA 625 or approval of instructor*

334/634. Turfgrass Pathology. Credit 3. Recognizing of important turfgrass problems and understanding of biological mechanisms in the disease process and principals of disease management strategies. Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification or approval of the instructor.

657. Biotechnology for Biofuels and Bioproducts. Credit 3. Biotechnology issues in developing bioenergy as a renewable energy source; emphasis on the three generations of bioenergy and enabling technologies; special topics include recent advances in bioenergy research, government policy, and industrial development. Prerequisite: Graduate classification.

681. Seminar. Credit 1 each semester. Reports and discussions of topics of current interest in plant pathology; review of literature on selected subjects.

690. Theory of Research. (1-0). Credit 1. Design and development of research theory, inquiry and methodology in various subfields of plant pathology and microbiology; includes examination of modern trends and advances, the analysis or research approaches, and the evaluation and interpretation of data using examples from current research literature. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Approval of instructor.


* Field trip required for which departmental fee may be assessed to cover costs.

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