Plant disease practicals – identifying the cause of brown rot


In this practical activity, students explore how the technique of re-infection (using infected material to infect healthy plant tissue) can help to identify the cause of a plant disease.

Ideas about communicable diseases in plants are included in the updated programmes of study for Key Stage 4 science published in December 2014. These ideas will be included in GCSE Science courses from 2016 (for first assessment in summer 2018).

The activity will help students to demonstrate the following learning outcome at KS4:

  • describe ways to identify a plant disease in the lab and in the field.

It also enables students to practice the following KS4 practical techniques:

  • use of appropriate apparatus and techniques for the observation and measurement of biological changes and/or processes.


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