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Programme: BScAgric Plant Pathology

02133433
Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences
Minimum duration of study: 4 years
Total credits: 572

Admission requirements

  • The following persons will be considered for admission: a candidate who is in possession of a certificate that is deemed by the University to be equivalent to the required Grade 12 certificate with university endorsement; a candidate who is a graduate from another tertiary institution or has been granted the status of a graduate of such an institution; and a candidate who is a graduate of another faculty at the University of Pretoria.

  • Life Orientation is excluded in the calculation of the Admission Point Score (APS).

  • Grade 11 results are used for the provisional admission of prospective students. Final admission is based on the Grade 12 results.

Minimum requirements 

Achievement level

Afrikaans or English

Mathematics

Physical Sciences

APS

NSC/IEB

HIGCSE

AS-Level

A-Level

NSC/IEB

HIGCSE

AS-Level

A-Level

NSC/IEB

HIGCSE

AS-Level

A-Level

5

3

C

C

5

3

C

C

5

3

C

C

30

Candidates who do not comply with the minimum admission requirements for BScAgric (Plant Pathology, may be considered for admission to the BSc – Extended programme for the Biological and Agricultural Sciences. The BSc – Extended programme takes one year longer to complete.

BSc - Extended programme for the Biological and Agricultural Sciences:

Minimum requirements 

Achievement level

Afrikaans or English

Mathematics

Physical Sciences

APS

NSC/IEB

HIGCSE

AS-Level

A-Level

NSC/IEB

HIGCSE

AS-Level

A-Level

NSC/IEB

HIGCSE

AS-Level

A-Level

4

3

D

D

4

3

D

D

4

3

D

D

24

Other programme-specific information

 

 

Electives are chosen as follows:

Third year – 12 credits

Compilation of curriculum
Students must register for elective modules in consultation with the head of department who must ensure that the modules do not clash on the set timetable.

The Dean may, in exceptional cases and on recommendation of the head of department, approve deviations from the prescribed curriculum.

Promotion to next study year

A student will be promoted to the following year of study if he or she passed 100 credits of the prescribed credits for a year of study, unless the Dean on the recommendation of the head of department decides otherwise. A student who does not comply with the requirements for promotion to the following year of study, retains the credit for the modules already passed and may be admitted by the Dean, on recommendation of the head of department, to modules of the following year of study to a maximum of 48 credits, provided that it will fit in with both the lecture and examination timetable.

Pass with distinction

The BScAgric degree is conferred with distinction if a student obtains a weighted average of at least 75% in the modules of the major subjects in the third and the fourth year of study, with a weighted average of at least 65% in the other modules of the third and the fourth year of study.

Minimum credits: 140

Minimum credits:

Fundamental =    12

Core             =   128

Additional information:

Students who do not qualify for AIM 102 must register for AIM 111 and AIM 121.

Fundamental modules

AIM 102 Academic information management 102 Credits: 6.00

Module content:

Find, evaluate, process, manage and present information resources for academic purposes using appropriate technology. Apply effective search strategies in different technological environments. Demonstrate the ethical and fair use of information resources. Integrate 21st-century communications into the management of academic information.

AIM 111 Academic information management 111 Credits: 4.00

Module content:

Find, evaluate, process, manage and present information resources for academic purposes using appropriate technology.

AIM 121 Academic information management 121 Credits: 4.00

Module content:

Apply effective search strategies in different technological environments. Demonstrate the ethical and fair use of information resources. Integrate 21st-century communications into the management of academic information.

LST 110 Language and study skills 110 Credits: 6.00

Module content:

The module aims to equip students with the ability to cope with the reading and writing demands of scientific disciplines. 

UPO 102 Academic orientation 102 Credits: 0.00

Core modules

BME 120 Biometry 120 Credits: 16.00

Module content:

Simple statistical analysis: Data collection and analysis: Samples, tabulation, graphical representation, describing location, spread and skewness. Introductory probability and distribution theory. Sampling distributions and the central limit theorem. Statistical inference: Basic principles, estimation and testing in the one- and two-sample cases (parametric and non-parametric). Introduction to experimental design. One- and twoway designs, randomised blocks. Multiple statistical analysis: Bivariate data sets: Curve fitting (linear and non-linear), growth curves. Statistical inference in the simple regression case. Categorical analysis: Testing goodness of fit and contingency tables. Multiple regression and correlation: Fitting and testing of models. Residual analysis. Computer literacy: Use of computer packages in data analysis and report writing.

BOT 161 Plant biology 161 Credits: 8.00

Module content:

Basic plant structure and function; introductory plant taxonomy and plant systematics; principles of plant molecular biology and biotechnology; adaptation of plants to stress; medicinal compounds from plants; basic principles of plant ecology and their application in natural resource management.

CMY 117 General chemistry 117 Credits: 16.00

Module content:

General introduction to inorganic, analytical and physical chemistry. Atomic structure and periodicity. Molecular structure and chemical bonding using the VSEOR model. Nomenclature of inorganic ions and compounds. Classification of reactions: precipitation, acid-base, redox reactions and gas-forming reactions. Mole concept and stoichiometric calculations concerning chemical formulas and chemical reactions. Principles of reactivity: energy and chemical reactions. Physical behaviour gases, liquids, solids and solutions and the role of intermolecular forces. Rate of reactions: Introduction to chemical kinetics.

CMY 127 General chemistry 127 Credits: 16.00

Module content:

Theory: General physical-analytical chemistry: Chemical equilibrium, acids and bases, buffers, solubility equilibrium, entropy and free energy, electrochemistry. Organic chemistry: Structure (bonding), nomenclature, isomerism, introductory stereochemistry, introduction to chemical reactions and chemical properties of organic compounds and biological compounds, i.e. carbohydrates and aminoacids. Practical: Molecular structure (model building), synthesis and properties of simple organic compounds.

GTS 161 Introductory genetics 161 Credits: 8.00

Module content:

Chromosomes and cell division. Principles of Mendelian inheritance: locus and alleles, dominance interactions and epistasis. Probability studies. Sex determination and sex linked traits. Pedigree analysis. Extranuclear inheritance. Genetic linkage and chromosome mapping. Chromosome variation.

MBY 161 Introduction to microbiology 161 Credits: 8.00

Module content:

The module will introduce the student to the field of Microbiology. Basic Microbiological aspects that will be covered include introduction into the diversity of the microbial world (bacteria, archaea, eukaryotic microorganisms and viruses), basic principles of cell structure and function, microbial nutrition and microbial growth and growth control. Applications in Microbiology will be illustrated by specific examples i.e. bioremediation, animal-microbial symbiosis, plant-microbial symbiosis and the use of microorganisms in industrial microbiology. Wastewater treatment, microbial diseases and food will be introduced using specific examples.

MLB 111 Molecular and cell biology 111 Credits: 16.00

Module content:

Introductory study of the ultra structure, function and composition of representative cells and cell components. General principles of cell metabolism, molecular genetics, cell growth, cell division and differentiation.

PHY 131 Physics for biology students 131 Credits: 16.00

Module content:

Units, vectors, one dimensional kinematics, dynamics, work, equilibrium, sound, liquids, heat, thermodynamic processes, electric potential and capacitance, direct current and alternating current, optics, modern physics, radio activity.

WTW 134 Mathematics 134 Credits: 16.00

Module content:

*Students will not be credited for more than one of the following modules for their degree: WTW 134, WTW 165, WTW 114, WTW 158. WTW 134 does not lead to admission to Mathematics at 200 level and is intended for students who require Mathematics at 100 level only. WTW 134 is offered as WTW 165 in the second semester only to students who have applied in the first semester of the current year for the approximately 65 MBChB, or the 5-6 BChD places becoming available in the second semester and who were therefore enrolled for MGW 112 in the first semester of the current year. 
Functions, derivatives, interpretation of the derivative, rules of differentiation, applications of differentiation, integration, interpretation of the definite integral, applications of integration. Matrices, solutions of systems of equations. All topics are studied in the context of applications.

ZEN 161 Animal diversity 161 Credits: 8.00

Module content:

Animal classification, phylogeny, organization and terminology. Evolution of the various animal phyla, morphological characteristics and life cycles of parasitic and non-parasitic animals. Structure and function of reproductive, respiratory, excretory, circulatory and digestive systems.

Minimum credits: 147

Minimum credits:

Core             =  135

 

Core modules

BCM 251 Introduction to proteins and enzymes 251 Credits: 12.00

Module content:

Structural and ionic properties of amino acids. Peptides, the peptide bond, primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary structure of proteins. Interactions that stabilise protein structure, denaturation and renaturation of proteins. Introduction to methods for the purification of proteins, amino acid composition, and sequence determinations. Introduction to enzyme kinetics and enzyme inhibition. Allosteric enzymes, regulation of enzyme activity, active centres and mechanisms of enzyme catalysis. Examples of industrial applications of enzymes. Practical training in laboratory techniques and Good Laboratory Practice. Techniques for the quantitative and qualitative analysis of biological molecules. Processing and presentation of scientific data.

BOT 261 Plant physiology and biotechnology 261 Credits: 12.00

Module content:

Nitrogen metabolism in plants; nitrogen fixation in Agriculture; plant secondary metabolism and natural products; photosynthesis and carbohydrate metabolism in plants; applications in solar energy; plant growth regulation and the Green Revolution; plant responses to the environment; developing drought tolerant and disease resistant plants.

GKD 250 Introductory soil science 250 Credits: 12.00

Module content:

Origin and development of soil, weathering and soil formation processes. Profile differentiation and morphology. Physical characteristics: texture, structure, soil water, atmosphere and temperature. Chemical characteristics: clay minerals, ion exchange, pH, buffer action, soil acidification and salinisation of soil. Soil fertility and fertilisation. Soil classification. Practical work: Laboratory evaluation of simple soil characteristics. Field practicals on soil formation in the Pretoria area.

GTS 251 Molecular genetics 251 Credits: 12.00

Module content:

Chemical nature of DNA. Replication transcription, RNA processing and translation. Control of gene expression in prokaryotes and eukaryotes.  Recombinant DNA technology and its applications in gene analysis and manipulation.

GTS 261 Genetic diversity and evolution 261 Credits: 12.00

Module content:

Chromosome structure and transposable elements. Mutation and DNA repair. Genomics and proteomics. Organelle genomes. Introduction to genetic analysis of populations: allele and genotypic frequencies, Hardy Weinberg Law, its extensions and implications for different mating systems. Introduction to quantitative and evolutionary genetics.

LEK 210 Introduction to agricultural economics 210 Credits: 12.00

Module content:

Introduction to financial management in agriculture: Farm management and agricultural finance, farm management information; analysis and interpretation of farm financial statements; risk and farm planning. Budgets: partial, break-even, enterprise, total, cash flow and capital budgets. Time value of money. Introduction to production and resource use: the agricultural production function, total physical product curve, marginal physical product curve, average physical product curve, stages of production. Assessing short-term business costs; Economics of short-term decisions. Economics of input substitution: Least-cost use of inputs for a given output, short-term least-cost input use, effects of input price changes. Least-cost input use for a given budget. Economics of product substitution. Product combinations for maximum profit. Economics of crop and animal production.

LEK 220 Agricultural economics 220 Credits: 12.00

Module content:

The agribusiness system; the unique characteristics of agricultural products; marketing functions and costs; market structure; historical evolution of agricultural marketing in South Africa. Marketing environment and price analysis in agriculture: Introduction to supply and demand analysis.
Marketing plan and strategies for agricultural commodities; market analysis; product management; distribution channels for agricultural commodities, the agricultural supply chain, the agricultural futures market.

MBY 251 Bacteriology 251 Credits: 12.00

Module content:

Growth, replication and survival of bacteria, Energy sources, harvesting from light versus oxidation, regulation of catabolic pathways, chemotaxis. Nitrogen metabolism, iron-scavenging. Alternative electron acceptors: denitrification, sulphate reduction, methanogenesis.  Bacterial evolution, systematic and genomics. Biodiversity; bacteria occurring in the natural environment (soil, water and air), associated with humans, animals, plants, and those of importance in foods and in the water industry.

MBY 261 Mycology 261 Credits: 12.00

Module content:

Organisation and molecular architecture of fungal thalli, chemistry of the fungal cell. Chemical and physiological requirements for growth and nutrient acquisition. Mating and meiosis; spore development; spore dormancy, dispersal and germination. Fungi as saprobes in soil, air, plant, aquatic and marine ecosystems; role of fungi as decomposers and in the deterioration of materials; fungi as predators and parasites; mycoses, mycetisms and mycotoxicoses; fungi as symbionts of plants, insects and animals. Applications of fungi in biotechnology.

PLG 251 Introduction to crop protection 251 Credits: 12.00

Module content:

Development and importance of crop protection. Basic principles in crop protection i.e. epidemic development of disease and insect pest populations, ecology of plant diseases and abiotic factors that affect plant health i.e. environmental pollution and pesticides, nutrient deficiencies and extreme environmental conditions. Ecological aspects of plant diseases, pest outbreaks and weed invasion. Important agricultural pests and weeds. Life cycles of typical disease causing organisms. Basic principles of integrated pest and disease management.

PLG 262 Principles of plant pathology 262 Credits: 12.00

Module content:

Fundamental principles of plant pathology. The concept of disease in plants. Causes of plant diseases. Stages in development of plant diseases. Disease cycles. Diagnosis of plant diseases.

PPK 251 Sustainable crop production and agroclimatology 251 Credits: 15.00

Module content:

Influence of climate on cropping systems in South Africa. The surface energy balance. Hydrological cycles and the soil water balance. Sustainable crop production. Simple radiation and water limited models. Potential yield, target yield and maximum economic yield. Crop nutrition and fertiliser management. Principles of soil cultivation and conservation. Climate change and crop production – mitigation and adaptation.

Minimum credits: 140

Minimum credits:

Core             =  150

 

Core modules

BOT 356 Plant ecophysiology 356 Credits: 18.00

Module content:

The emphasis is on the efficiency of the mechanisms whereby C3-, C4 and CAM-plants bind CO2 and how it impacted upon by environmental factors. The mechanisms and factors which determine the respiratory conversion of carbon skeletons and how production is affected thereby will be discussed. Insight into the ecological distribution and manipulation of plants for increased production is gained by discussing the internal mechanisms whereby carbon allocation, hormone production, growth, flowering and fruitset are influenced by external factors. To understand the functioning of plants in diverse environments, the relevant structural properties of plants, and the impact of soil composition, water flow in the soil-plant air continuum and long distance transport of assimilates will be discussed.  Various important techniques will be used in the practicals to investigate aspects such as water-use efficiency, photosynthesis and respiration of plants.

BTC 361 Plant genetics and crop biotechnology 361 Credits: 18.00

Module content:

Plant genetics and genomics: gene control in plants, epigenetics, co-suppression, forward and reverse genetics, structural and functional genomics. Plant development: signal perception, cell death, control of cell division. Plant-environment interactions. Crop genetic modification: food security, GMO regulation, plant transformation, whole-chromosome transformation, synthetic biology, homologous recombination. Crop molecular markers: marker types, genotyping, QTL mapping, marker-assisted breeding. Future of crop biotechnology: applications of genomics, biopharming, genetical genomics, systems biology

HSC 351 Principles and practices 351 Credits: 14.00

Module content:

The organised nursery industry in South Africa. Principles: seed production; seed germination; rooting of cuttings; budding and grafting; propagation using specialised organs; micro propagation (tissue culturing). Practices: Greenhouse construction, lighting in the nursery; cooling and heating; soil-based and soil-less growing media; container types; irrigation and fertilisation; growth manipulation; pest and disease management. Management, economic and marketing aspects of a typical nursery operation. Students will get hands-on experience and will visit nurseries.

MBY 351 Virology 351 Credits: 18.00

Module content:

Introduction to the viruses as a unique kingdom inclusive of their different hosts, especially bacteria, animals and plants; RNA and DNA viruses; viroids, tumour viruses and oncogenes, mechanisms of replication, transcription and protein synthesis; effect on hosts; viral immunology; evolution of viruses.

MBY 364 Genetic manipulation of microbes 364 Credits: 18.00

Module content:

Isolation of clonable DNA (genomic libraries, cDNA synthesis) cloning vectors (plasmids, bacteriophages, cosmids) plasmid incompatibility and control of copy number. Ligation of DNA fragments, modification of DNA end and different ligation strategies. Direct and indirect methods for the identification of recombinant organisms. Characterization (polymerase chain reaction, nucleic acid sequencing) and mutagenisis of cloned DNA fragments. Gene expression in Gram negative (E.coli) Gram positive (B.subtilis) and yeast cells (S.cerevisea). Use of Agrobacterium and baculoviruses for gene expression in plant and insect cells respectively. Applications in protein engineering, diagnostics and synthesis of useful products.

MBY 365 Microbe interactions 365 Credits: 18.00

Module content:

Interactions between microbes and their abiotic environment; microbial interaction with other strains of the same and other species; microbial interactions across kingdoms; pathogenic interactions between microbes and plant or animal hosts; mutualistic interactions between microbes and their hosts; introduction to systems biology.

PLG 351 General plant pathology 351 Credits: 18.00

Module content:

Principles and examples of plant diseases and their socio-economic importance. Current trends in plant pathology such as biosecurity, sanitory and phytosanitary issues of trade. Risk assesment and international food safety standards. The use of global information systems to assess disease spread and impact of global warming. Supply chain analysis, postharvest technology and food trade aspects.

PLG 363 Plant disease control 363 Credits: 18.00

Module content:

Principles of plant disease control. Non-chemical control including biological control, disease resistance, regulatory measures, cultivation practices, physical methods. Modern chemo-therapy: characteristics, mode of action and application of fungicides, bactericides and nematicides. Principles of integrated disease management.

Minimum credits: 145

Minimum credits:

Core             =  164

 

Core modules

OKW 413 Weed science 413 Credits: 15.00

Module content:

Identification of important weeds of crops, gardens and recreational areas.
Identification of alien invasive and indigenous encroaching species. Impacts of weeds on desirable vegetation. Interference between crop and weed species through allelopathy and competition phenomena. Role of weeds in plant-biodiversity and crop production potential. Weeds in annual and perennial crop situations. Weed biology and ecology. Mechanical, cultural, biological and chemical weed management practices. Integrated weed management. Herbicide formulations and application techniques. Modes of action of herbicides, and their behaviour and fate in the environment.

PGW 400 Seminar 400 Credits: 15.00

Module content:

Basic principles of the scientific process. Literature accessing and article assessment. Manuscript preparation and presentation of seminars. Basic instruction on the use of visual aids, etc. for effective oral presentations.

PGW 421 Experimental design and analysis 421 Credits: 15.00

Module content:

Basic experimental designs. Measurement and control over experimental error. Factorial experiments and interactions. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and data interpretation.

PLG 462 Research project 462 Credits: 28.00

Module content:

A practical research project of limited extent under the supervision of one of the lecturers in plant pathology within the department. Any topic in plant pathology can be selected.

PLG 463 Plant disease epidemiology 463 Credits: 18.00

Module content:

Understanding of how plant disease epidemics occur in nature and how they can be monitored and analysed. In-depth knowledge how of plant diseases cause crop losses, how these losses are quantified, and how losses are predicted. Examples of how epidemiology is used to set the strategy of plant disease control. Use of some statistical procedures for quantifying and comparing epidemics. Impact of climate change on plant disease development. In-depth discussions on plant-pathogen interactions and plant defence mechanisms. 

PLG 483 Advanced plant disease control 483 Credits: 18.00

Module content:

Advanced aspects of chemical and biological control of plant diseases as well as disease resistance.

PLG 490 Current concepts in plant pathology 490 Credits: 18.00

Module content:

This module will address the most recent concepts in plant pathology.

ZEN 365 Applied entomology 365 Credits: 18.00

Module content:

*It is strongly recommended that students first complete ZEN 355: Insect diversity 355
Impact of insects on economies, human health and well-being. Protection of corps from insect herbivores through monitoring, forecasting and application of the principles of integrated pest management; epidemiology and modern developments in the control of insect vectors of human and animal diseases; insects as a tool in forensic investigations; ecological and economic significance of insect pollinators and current threats to their survival and health. Lecturers will be complemented by practical experiences that provide students with skills in the design, conduct, analysis, interpretation and reporting of applied entomological research.