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ARS MAIN Discipline Plant Pathology Syllabus

Syllabus corner
Unit 1: History and Principles of Plant Pathology
Milestones in phytopathology with particular reference to India. Major epidemics and their social impacts. Historical developments of chemicals, legislative, cultural and biological protection measures including classification of plant diseases. Physiologic specialization, Koch’s postulates. Growth, reproduction, survival and dispersal of plant pathogens. Factors influencing infection, colonization and development of symptoms.
Unit 2: Laboratory and Analytical Techniques
Preparation and sterilization of common media. Methods of isolation of pathogens and their identification. Preservation of microorganisms in pure culture. Methods of inoculation. Measurement of plant disease. Molecular detection of pathogens in seeds and other planting materials: Nucleic acid probes, Southern, Northern and Western hybridization, ELISA, ISEM and PCR. Laboratory equipment and their use: autoclave, hot air oven, laminar flow, spectrophotometer, electrophoresis, light and electron microscopy, incubator, ultracentrifuge, ELISA Reader.
Unit 3: Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology
Altered metabolism of plants under biotic and abiotic stresses. Molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis: recognition phenomenon, penetration, invasion, primary disease determinant. Enzymes and toxins in relation to plant disease. Mechanisms of resistance. Phytoalexins. PR proteins. Antiviral proteins. SAR. HR and active oxygen radicals. Tissue culture. Somoclonal variation and somatic hybridization. Elementary genetic engineering. Management of pathogens through satellite, antisense - RNA. Ribozymes, coat protein, hypovirulence cross protection/useful genes and promoter technology biosafety and bioethics.
Unit 4: Mycology
Classification of fungi. Economic mycology, edible fungi and entomogenous fungi. Mycorrhizalassociations. Cell organelles, their morphology, functions and chemical composition.
Unit 5: Plant Bacteriology
Identification and classification of bacteria. morphology, ultrastructure and chemical composition of prokaryotic cell in relation to function. Growth curve, nutrition and auxotrophic mutants. Resting cells in prokaryotic, elementary bacterial genetics and variability: transformation, conjugation, transduction. Biology of extra chromosomal elements: plasmid borne genes and their expression: avr, her, vie and pat genes. Bacteriophages: lytic and lysogenic cycles. Prokaryotic inhibitors and their mode of action. Economic uses of prokaryotes. Morphology, biochemical characteristics, reproduction and life cycle of phytoplasma and other fastidious prokaryotes.
Unit 6: Plant Virology
Nature, composition and architecture of viruses and viroids. Properties of viruses. Variability in viruses. Satellite viruses and satellite RNA. Assay of plant viruses including biological, physical, chemical, serological and molecular methods. Conventional and biotechnological techniques used in detection and diagnosis. Behaviour of viruses in plants including infection, replication and movement. Histopathological changes induced by viruses in plants, inclusion bodies. Transmission of viruses: virus - vector relationships. Nomenclature and classification of viruses.
Unit 7: Plant Disease Epidemiology
Concepts in epidemiology. Development of disease in plant population. Monocyclic and polycyclic pathogens. Role of environment and meteorological factors in the development of plant disease epidemics. Survey, surveillance (including through remote sensing), and prediction and forecasting of diseases. Epidemic analysis and prediction models. Crop loss assessment: critical and multiple point models.
Unit 8: Phanerogamic parasites and Non-parasitic Diseases
Diseases caused by Phanerogamic parasites and their management. Diseases due to unfavourable soil environment, drought and flooding stress etc. Nutritional deficiencies. Primary /secondary air pollutants and acid rain.
Unit 9: Fungal Diseases of Crop Plants
Fungal diseases of cereals, millets, oilseeds, pulses, fruits, vegetables, plantation, fiber, spices and ornamental crops with special reference to etiology, disease cycle, perpatuation, epidemiology and management. Post harvest diseases in transit and storage; aflatoxins and their integrated management.

Unit 10: Bacterial and Viral Diseases of Crop Plants
Crop diseases of cereals, pulses, oilseeds, vegetables, fruits, plantation and fiber crops caused by bacteria, viruses, viroids, phytoplasmas and other fastidious prokaryotes. Mode of transmission and pathogen vector relationships. Epidemiology and management.
Unit 11: Management of Plant diseases
General principles of plant quarantine. Exotic pathogens and pathogens introduced into India. Sanitary and phytosanitary issues under WTO, TRIPS and PRA. Genetic basis of disease resistance and pathogenicity: gene for gene hyphothesis; parasite mediated frequency –dependent selection concept of QTL mapping; breeding for disease resistance. Production of disease free seeds and planting materials. Seed certification. Chemical nature and classification of fungicides and antibiotics: their bioassy and compatibility with other agricultural chemicals; resistance to fungicides/ antibiotics; effect on environment. Spraying and dusting equipments, their care and maintenances. Important cultural practices and their role in disease management, solarization, integrated disease management. Microorganisms antagonistic to plant pathogens in soil, rhizosphere and phyllosphere and their use in the control of plant diseases; soil fungistasis. Plant growth promoting Rhizobacteria.

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