Last week I completed another course: Plant Pathology, one of the optional courses that can be taken within the Plant Biology MSc. This course is taught by the department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology at SLU, has 15 credits and demands 100% time dedication for 10 weeks.
The course aimed to give a general view on different plant pathogens relevant for agriculture including its taxonomy, biology and ecology. Furthermore, it dealt with topics such as epidemiology, integrated pest management (IPM) and biological control.
The topics were assessed with lectures, and theoretical exercises in which scientific articles were read and discussed. I found particularly interesting a series of articles published by Molecular Plant Pathology in which plant pathogens are ranked according to their economical or scientific importance (you might like to read The Top 10 Pathogens in Plants).
Besides this, we went on different field excursions to learn how diseases look in planta and collected samples to perform diagnosis in the lab. This last aspect I found very interesting and important for a future career, because as a biologist myself my knowledge of plant diseases important for agricultural crops is not very broad. Hence, I enjoyed very much going out in the fields, see symptoms and signs to later look into the microscope and give a possible diagnosis.
Additionally, the course had laboratory work sessions, a case study and a poster presentation session. Overall, I found the course interesting and important to complement my education. Actually, my interest on this topic is so strong that I am considering to pursue a career as a plant pathologist. But one step at a time.
Do not hesitate to ask or comment below,