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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.

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

In this activity, brown rot is used as an example of a plant disease common in Britain. Fruit infected with brown rot is readily available from mid-summer onwards and safe to use in a school laboratory if the advice given under ‘Safety Notes’ is followed.

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