Plants get sick, but can recover! Who is taking care of sick plants is the Plant Doctor or Plant Pathologist. Plant Pathology is the science that studies plant diseases, microorganisms and environmental factors causing them. Besides, it deals with plant disease diagnosis and epidemiology. When a plant is diseased, the Plant Pathologist operates with a therapy, which is called protection or control.
Plant Pathology represents for plants what medicine is for humans and vet medicine for animals.Plant Pathology is a fascinating and multidisciplinary topic that employs and combines the knowledge from botany, mycology, bacteriology, virology, physiology, genetics, biology, biochemistry, agronomy, meteorology, etc. In globalized markets, together with goods, also pathogens travels without limits. So, new epidemics are caused by outbreaks of pathogens already established or by sudden epidemics caused by exotic pathogens. Some examples, also divulgated by television and newspapers, include the Apulian olive quick decline caused by Xylella fastidiosa
or the bacterial spot of kiwifruit caused by Pseudomonas syringae
in different Italian regions.Without the intervention of the Plant Doctor, diseases can provoke production losses, increase of costs and lower food quality. Diseases can also produce mycotoxins, which contaminate food, whose consumption can result dangerous. Some diseases can eliminate plant species and damage the landscape and the environment. Plant Pathology significantly contributes improve the food quality and safety, to reduce the yield losses and to increase the worldwide availability of food, and to protect the environment.
The Plant Doctor: a profession in the service of Agriculture, Food, Health, and the Environment!