Plant Pathology
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Postgraduate Studies

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Programmes​​

HonsBSc (Plant Pathology)

Requirements for admission
A BSc degree with Microbiology or Genetics or Botany or Biotechnology as a major. An average final mark of 60% is required in the applicable modules. Supplementary study may be required.

Composition and content
The one-year honours programme in Plant Pathology leads to the qualification BScHons in Plant Pathology. The programme consists of further specialised study in Plant Pathology. Supplementary studies may sometimes be required. The modules and study tasks add greater depth of learning, building further on a bachelor's programme with Microbiology or Genetics or Botany or Biotechnology as major subject. The programme s research- and career-oriented and is based on modern technology and the most recently available research in Plant Pathology. It links up with research projects carried out in the Department. The programme consists of the following five modules:

Modules
Plant Pathology 771 Advanced plant disease dynamics
Components of plant diseases, such as the plant pathogens that cause them, the host factors that influence their development and the environmental conditions that favour them. Diseases of national and international importance and the damage they cause to food production in the world. The dynamics of pathogens associated with seed and nursery plants, as well as those causing soil-borne, foliar and fruit diseases before harvest, and decay and damage after harvest.

Plant Pathology 772 Advanced disease management
The importance of epidemiology in control and management of plant diseases through the integration of cultivation practices, physical, biological and chemical strategies (seed technology, minimum manipulation, plant quarantine, sanitation practices and resistance). The mode of action of fungicides and the management of fungicide resistance in fungal populations. Biological control. Development and production of biocontrol systems for soil-borne, plant and fruit pathogens.

Plant Pathology 773 Research methodology
Relevant and current experimental approaches and methods of analysis used in plant pathology. Experimental design and statistical analysis, molecular methods, phylogenetic analysis, paper reviews.
Subject to continuous assessment.

Plant Pathology 774 Project management and presentation
Course work will include lessons in project identification, planning and execution, writing of research proposals and reports, presentation of research findings, scientific collaboration and ethics in science. Exercises in project planning and execution will be conducted under supervision. A literature study and scientific findings will be presented as scientific manuscripts and as an oral presentation.
Subject to continuous assessment.

Plant Pathology 775 Advanced topics in plant pathology

Topical issues in plant pathology will be discussed in this module. These include aspects such as climate change, food security and genetic modification. Students are expected to prepare properly for these discussions by doing internet searches and reading research papers and books on the individual topics. The topic will be introduced by an expert, after which a class discussion will follow. Students will be expected to prepare a one-page document of their views on the topic and list the literature sources that they have accessed.
Subject to continuous assessment.


MSc (Plant Pathology)


Requirements for admission
BScAgric (Plant Pathology) - an average mark of 60% is required in the Plant Pathology final year modules.
BScHons (Plant Pathology)

Composition and content
The programme consists of only a research component.

Master's thesis
Research projects can be selected from one of the following themes: Fungal taxonomy (description and reclassification of known and new fungi by the application of various methods, such as molecular technology); applied molecular plant pathology, including the use of molecular-based techniques for the detection, diagnosis and characterisation of plant pathogenic populations of vines, deciduous fruit, citrus and agronomic crops; pre- and postharvest pathology in deciduous fruit, vines and citrus (status and behaviour of inocula on fruit surfaces, infection processes and plant resistance reactions); stem diseases in vines (ethiology, diagnosis, epidemiology and integrated management); use of fungicides (spray technology) and fungal resistance (sensitivity in wild populations and disruption after fungicide exposure, management of fungicide resistance in fruit orchards, vine yards and agronomic crops: integrated management (chemical, biological and alternative compounds) of diseases in deciduous fruit, vines, citrus and agronomic crops. New or existing disease epidemics of economic importance are also researched.


PhD (Plant Pathology)


Requirements for admission
MSc (Plant Pathology) or MScAgric (Plant Pathology)

Composition and content
A dissertation containing original research is required.

PhD's dissertation
Research projects can be selected from one of the following themes: Fungal taxonomy (description and reclassification of known and new fungi by the application of various methods, such as molecular technology); applied molecular plant pathology, including the use of molecular-based techniques for the detection, diagnosis and characterisation of plant pathogenic populations of vines, deciduous fruit, citrus and agronomic crops; pre- and postharvest pathology in deciduous fruit, vines and citrus (status and behaviour of inocula on fruit surfaces, infection processes and plant resistance reactions); stem diseases in vines (ethiology, diagnosis, epidemiology and integrated management); use of fungicides (spray technology) and fungal resistance (sensitivity in wild populations and disruption after fungicide exposure, management of fungicide resistance in fruit orchards, vine yards and agronomic crops: integrated management (chemical, biological and alternative compounds) of diseases in deciduous fruit, vines, citrus and agronomic crops. New or existing disease epidemics of economic importance are also researched.

For any enquiries concerning future postgraduate studies, please contact Lizeth Swart and send your full academic record to: LS3@sun.ac.za

Bursaries, application and fees

Postgraduate Bursaries call 2020

List of postgraduate alumni

Postgraduate students currently registered


Guidelines for writing a thesis/dissertation at the Department of Plant Pathology

Electronic submission of thesis/dissertation

New post-doc position available 2020-2023

The effect of long-term application of organic amendments on the microbiome of apple tree roots