CPSC 407: Diseases of Field Crops

Under the instruction of professor Santiago Mideros, this course combines lecture and laboratory practices to provide students with an overview of field crop diseases, life histories of causal organisms, and methods to control common crop diseases.

Students learn how to manage and recognize traits of crop diseases caused by bacteria, fungi, oomycetes, viruses, and nematodes. They also learn how genetic resistance impacts field crops. They will later apply the skills they learn to create a management plan of their own.

Students get to practice, hands on, the skills they will need in their future careers, not by looking at pictures in a book but by looking at samples and actual plant specimens. “This better prepares them for the future and re-teaches older students some of the foundational observation skills that they may have forgotten,” says Mideros.

Many use information from this class to pursue jobs as crop consultants, work for seed companies, or simply to take what they learned back to the family farm. Others go into graduate school to continue their research.

Mideros says, “My favorite part of teaching this course is when, about halfway through the course, the mystery of the microbiological differences between pathogens begins to clarify and we begin to develop our own management strategies based on our own diagnosis of the disease.”

A World With Abundant Food Professor Santiago Mideros