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Kansas State University

Plant Pathology

Scot Hulbert, Interim Head

Professors Bockus, Claflin, Gill, Hulbert, Jardine, Leslie, Valent, and White; Research Professor Friebe; Associate Professors Garrett, Nelson, Stack, Tang, and Trick; Assistant Professor Kennelly; Instructors O'Mara and Todd; Adjunct Professors Bowden, Burgess, Marasses, and Zeigler; Adjunct Associate Professor Leung; Adjunct Assistant Professors Appel and Fellers; Emeriti: Professors Browder, Eversmeyer, Johnson, Sauer, Schwenk, Stuteville, and Willis.


Plant pathology is the study of plant diseases and their causes, effects, nature, and control. Opportunities for graduates in plant pathology include basic and applied research, development, and teaching.

Plant pathology minor

Students interested in the study of plant diseases should consider the plant pathology minor. The minor requires a minimum of 15 semester hours.

Required courses (8 hours):

PLPTH 500Principles of Plant Pathology3
PLPTH 585Crop Diseases2
PLPTH 590Landscape Diseases2

Plus one additonal course in plant pathology, such as:

PLPTH 300Microbes, Plants, and the Human Perspective3
PLPTH 610Biotechnology3
PLPTH 730Plant Nematology2

At least 7 additional hours from the following:

AGRON 645Soil Microbiology4
BIOL 455General Microbiology4
BIOL 604Biology of the Fungi3
ENTOM 300Economic Entomology3
ENTOM 312General Entomology2
ENTOM 313General Entomology Lab1
Any other course in plant pathology

Plant pathology courses

University General Education coursePLPTH 300. Microbes, Plants, and the Human Perspective. (3) I. The relationship of the biological world (specifically microbes) to our personal and cultural perceptions of how the world works and what our place is in it. The course focuses on microbes as they interact with plants, the plant environment, and the human connection to plants as a resource. Topics include: events and historical context of germ theory, symbiosis as biological phenomenon and analogue for human social structure, popular perception of genetically-engineered plants and microbes. Three hours lec. a week. Pr.: BIOL 198 or 210.

PLPTH 500. Principles of Plant Pathology. (3) II. An introductory class in the nature of plant pathogens and the cause, effect, and control of plant diseases. Diseases of field and horticultural crops will be addressed. Two hours lec., one two-hour lab a week. Pr.: BIOL 198 or 210.

PLPTH 575. Special Topics in Plant Pathology. (1-3) I, II, S. Special topics in plant pathology not treated in other courses. Pr.: Consent of instructor.

PLPTH 585. Crop Diseases. (2) I. An overview of plant diseases associated with Kansas crops, with an emphasis on identification and management strategies. Two hours lec. and four hours lab a week. To meet first half of semester. Pr.: PLPTH 500.

PLPTH 590. Landscape Diseases. (2) II. An overview of plant diseases associated with Kansas greenhouse and nursery production systems as well as landscape settings, with an emphasis on identification and management strategies. One hour lec. and one lab a week. Pr.: PLPTH 500.

PLPTH 599. Undergraduate Research in Plant Pathology. (1-3) I, II, S. Research experience is offered in classical and molecular plant pathology and biotechnology. Pr.: Consent of instructor.

PLPTH 610. Biotechnology. (3) I, in odd years. The use of biotechnology and molecular genetic approaches in plant and animal sciences. Emphasis is on the use of molecular techniques for plant and animal improvement. Three hours lec. a week. Pr.: ASI 500. Cross-referenced as AGRON 610.

PLPTH 635. Introduction to Plant Resistance to Pests. (2) I, first half of semester, in even years. Basic concepts of the biology, ecology, genetics, and breeding for pest resistance in plants. Four hours lec. and discussion a week. Pr.: ENTOM 300; or ENTOM 312 and 313; or PLPTH 500; and one course in plant or animal genetics. Same as ENTOM 635.

PLPTH 676. Fusarium Laboratory Workshop. (1) S. A one-week laboratory/lecture course on the identification, systematics, physiology, mycotoxicology, genetics, and molecular biology of fungi in the genus Fusarium. Students should not be enrolled in any other class while attending this workshop. Pr.: BIOL 455 or 604, and consent of instructor. Credit/No Credit.

PLPTH 730. Plant Nematology. (2) II, in even years. An introduction to the morphology, taxonomy, and ecology of phytoparasitic and free-living nematodes found in plants, soil, and fresh water. Emphasis is on the identification and control of plant parasitic nematodes and on lab techniques used in their study. The course will meet for half of the semester. Two hours lec., one four-hour lab a week. Pr.: PLPTH 500.

PLPTH 750. Problems in Plant Pathology. (1-3) I, II, S. Work is offered in general plant pathology, plant virology, plant nematology, disease physiology, epidemiology, and disease diagnosis. Pr.: Consent of instructor.

PLPTH 755. Plant Resistance to Diseases. (2) I, in even years. To meet second half of semester for four hours per week. Survey of recent literature on conventional and novel strategies for obtaining durable resistance to plant diseases. Several well-characterized host/pathogen systems will be selected for indepth analysis. Four hours lec. a week. Pr.: ENTOM 635 or PLPTH 635. Same as ENTOM755.

PLPTH 768. Population Genetics. (3) II, in odd years. Theoretical basis for and applications of population genetic principals to populations of humans, domesticated plants and animals, and natural ecosystems. Three hours lec./ discussion per week. Pr.: ASI 500, BIOCH 521, MATH 220, and STAT 510 or STAT 703.