New Curriculum Materials for GCSE and A-level
BSPP Outreach has developed materials in support of GCSE and A-level units on communicable diseases of plants. These simple and accessible descriptions of the pathogens (as single A4 sheets) have been reviewed by plant pathologists, and provide definitive information on the different disease in 2016.
The Society is a professional members organisation supporting plant pathologists working in both academia (Universities & Research Institutes) and more applied professionals (plant health officials, independent consultant agronomists, plant breeding companies, agrochemical companies etc.)
Plant Pathology may be defined as "the study of plants and their pathogens, the process of disease, and how plant health and disease are influenced by factors such as the weather, nonpathogenic microorganisms, and plant nutrition. It encompasses fundamental biology as well as applied agricultural sciences"
Knowledge of specific diseases (caused by bacteria, fungi and viruses) are cited by the following specifications (for teaching from September 2017). For those specifications which do not require knowledge of specific diseases any of the materials will help boost knowledge of the impact of communicable plant diseases and the methods used in their detection and control.
Edexcel (Combined Science)
Fungal disease: Chalara Ash Dieback
OCR: Biology A
OCR: Biology B, 21st century
For the OCR A level specification, Biology A - Module 4 - biodiversity, evolution and disease - the following diseases are specifically mentioned
Higher Biology: Sustainability and Interdepedence
Investigate resistance of potato varieties to Phytophthora infestans
Plant diseases can be caused by fungi, bacteria or viruses, which are often carried by invertebrates (BSPP suggests looking at Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus (BYDV) - transmitted by aphids)
Consider the potential socioeconomic impact of plant pathogens, such as blight (caused by Phytophthora infestans)