Plant disease – Fighting for Survival (post-16)

In this worksheet and case study, for post-16 students, students develop their understanding of communicable plant disease and how plants respond to infection.

This activity is particularly directed at post-16 students studying A-level biology, but will be of use for all post-16 teaching on plant disease. It addresses the plant related learning outcomes in the OCR Biology A specification, section 4.1.1 ‘communicable diseases, disease prevention and the immune system’.

Students work through the sheet answering questions. Some relate directly to the communicable disease content but some make synoptic links to other areas of the AS and/or A Level specifications. Questions relating to content not yet covered may be omitted and revisited later as a revision exercise.

The ash dieback case study is a good starting point for students to read before starting the questions: it provides a fascinating insight into the impact of plant disease. There are questions at various points through the activity sheet that require students to refer to this case study.

A number of SAPS practical tasks and from other sources are signposted from the teachers’ sheet, which could be used to extend the topic.

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