of Society. Australasian
Plant Pathology Society Inc. (APPS)
address for Society.
of personnel preparing report. Greg
Johnson – President APPS (2007-2009), ISPP Councillors – John
Randles, Elaine Davison (Out-going), and Robin MacDiarmid
the list on the ISPP website correct? Yes/
Yes there is no need to list them here. If listing is not correct,
please list here President, Secretary, Treasurer, Business
Manager/Office and ISPP councillors (address, telephone and email
a Society member be making corrections to the ISPP entry for your
Williamson Email email@example.com
members in 2006; 452 members in 2007; 446 members in 2008.
Society Activities and publications. A brief background, and information about the
aims and achievements of the Australasian Plant Pathology Society,
and links to Society publications, are detailed on the Society
Website. The APPS publishes APPS
of the Month (an initiative of APPS West Australian Branch
members), and two journals (in association with CSIRO) Australasian Plant
Pathology (APP) 6 issues per year) and Australasian Plant
Disease Notes (APDN - on-line only).
has a part-time business manager, and provides member information,
discussion forums and paid job advertising through the Society
Society Conferences and Workshops. The APPS holds a biennial Conference with
associated workshops. Special interest group workshops (Soil-Borne
Diseases and Plant Virology) are held, usually in the alternate year
to the biennial conference.
hosted the ICPP2003 in tandem with the 14th Biennial APPS
conference in Christchurch, New Zealand, in February 2003.
Subsequent APPS Biennial Conferences have been held in Geelong,
Victoria (9/2005) and Adelaide, South Australia (9/2007). The 17th
Biennial Conference, and 40th Anniversary of the Society,
will be held in Newcastle, NSW in September 2009. In April 2011,
APPS will host the 4th Asian Conference for Plant
Pathology in Darwin, Northern Territory, in tandem with the 18th
Biennial APPS Conference. The APPS McAlpine Address and key papers
from biennial conferences, are published in Australasian Plant Pathology.
The 8th Australasian
plant virology workshop will be held in Rotorua, New Zealand Nov
This event is organized as a medium-sized meeting that offers the
opportunity to attend all oral presentations and discuss on poster
updates of recent research results.
plant pathology conferences in Australasia. In May, 2008, the 3rd issue of
Volume 37 of APP focussed on nematology, to coincide with the 5th
International Congress of Nematology in Brisbane, Australia.The International Union of Forest Research
Organisations (IUFRO) will hold its International
Forest Biosecurity conference in Rotorua, New Zealand, March
Plant Pathology in Australasia. APP has published several papers highlighting
priorities and issues for plant health management in Australasia.
Key challenges include redefining tertiary education in plant
pathology; Building collaborative links for research in the
Asia-Oceania region; Combining biotechnology with real problems in
plant pathology; identifying and supporting excellence in research
and development and the declining role of government institutions in
basis research in plant pathology and the inability of universities
and applied research groups to sustain long-term basic research. Top
ranked downloads from APP since 2000 are updated daily at http://www.publish.csiro.au/nid/41/aid/4616/date/5.htm.
opportunities for basic and applied R & D is fairly sound. The
development assistance agencies in Australia and New Zealand have
been good supporters of initiatives to reduce plant disease losses
and improve capabilities for compliance with plant health measures
under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Sanitary
and Phytosanitary Agreement (SPS) and plant health management in
Asia and the Pacific. Australian researchers also collaborate with
colleagues in other countries through a range of programs and
- Plant Pathology
in the Region Served by the Society 2003-2008
2003-2008 progress has been made in biosecurity preparedness for
Australian rural industries through a range of initiatives of Plant
Health Australia, a peak body for co-ordinating plant health
issues in Australia (APPS is an Associate Member). These have
included a review of human resources in plant health (the aging
cadre of personnel is a concern), a review of diagnostics, the
development of industry biosecurity plans and cost-sharing
agreements for managing exotic disease outbreaks. Currently PHA is
co-ordinating the development of a National Plant Health Strategy
and APPS is involved.
Australia, plant focused industries represented under some of the 15
rural research and development corporations, the Australian
Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and AusAID,
Research Centre Program, quarantine
authorities and the Australian
Research Council, along with direct government and institutional
funding are the main sources of support for R and D. Detailed
programs of current efforts are contained on some of their websites.
In addition, Plant Health Australia plays a key role in providing a
forum for rural industry bodies with a focus on plant health R &
D and biosecurity.
review of plant pathology and entomology capabilities in Australasia
has been undertaken as an outcome of the Australasian Plant
Pathology Curriculum workshop held in Brisbane in 2006. (Report by
Howie, B, 2006: http://www.tpp.uq.edu.au/Portals/17/Resources/publications/APPC%20Final%20Report.pdf
Australian Quarantine and Inspection Services (AQIS) are celebrating
their centenary in 2008. Australian plant quarantine and biosecurity
are being integrated under the Australian Biosecurity System for
Primary Production and the Environment (AusBIOSEC)
– a framework of common principles and guidelines to enable
biosecurity arrangements to be applied consistently across
Australia. During 2008, APPS made a submission to an Australian
Government review of Quarantine and Biosecurity.
the Australian Biological Resources Study, two volumes of the Fungi
of Australia of particular interest to plant pathologists
were published during 2003-2008 – Septoria
((Ed) M. Priest ABRS, 2006) and The
Smut Fungi (RG Shivas, D.Beasley and K.Vánky, ABRS, 2008)
with a development focus that have arisen from Australian
collaborations in plant pathology research in 2004-2008 have
and management of Phytophthora in South East Asia (D Guest and A
Drenth, ACIAR, 2004), Guidelines
for surveillance of plant pests in Asia and the Pacific (T Mc
Maugh, ACIAR, 2005), Management
of plant pathogen collections R Shivas and D Beasley, DAFF,
2005) and A
diagnostic manual for plant diseases in Vietnam (Burgess et
al., ACIAR, 2008).
the Australian Government’s Co-operative Research Centres Program,
a CRC for Plant
Biosecurity has been established with funding 2005-2012. Other
CRCs with a strong emphasis in plant pathology operating in
2003-2008 include the CRC
for Australian Weed Management (2001-2008) and the CRC
for Tropical Plant Protection (2001-2006) and industry centred
CRCs (viticulture (1999-2007), cotton (2005-), sugar (2003-) and
- New Zealand.
- Plant pathology expertise in New Zealand
resides in the following institutions: HortResearch (fruit
diseases); Crop & Food (vegetable and arable diseases);
AgResearch (pasture diseases); Landcare Research (pathogen taxonomy;
biological control of weeds); SCION (tree diseases); the University
of Auckland (plant virus pathogens); Lincoln University (diseases of
economic crops); Bio-Protection Research Centre (Lincoln University,
biocontrol of plant diseases); Otago University (virus plant
pathogens); and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF,
- · A HortResearch led programme “Reducing the dependence
on disease control chemicals in horticulture” (2003-2008 and
currently under negotiation to 2012) represents the co-ordinated
national effort by New Zealand to address the low residue
requirements of consumers while maintaining disease control and
uses, amongst other methods, ecological controls, biological
controls, and risk predictions.
- · Better Border Biosecurity, “a large cooperative
science programme researching ways to reduce the rate at which new
unwanted organisms are becoming established in NZ” gained 12 year
government funding in 2005 (http://www.b3nz.org/public/index.php).
- · The National Centre for Advanced Bio-Protection
Technologies, established in 2003 as part of the New Zealand
Government's Centres of Research Excellence initiative. Hosted at
Lincoln University with three other partner institutes (Massey
University, Crop & Food Research and AgResearch) the Centre
conducts research on the development of new tools and technologies
to meet the biosecurity and bioprotection needs of New Zealand's
plant based primary industries (www.bioprotection.org.nz).
- · In 2005 research on the systematics fungal and
bacterial of relevance to plant pathology gained long-term funding
from the New Zealand Government as part of the ‘Defining New
Zealand’s Land Biota’ programme (see the Fungi
of NZ Homepage). This covers research on systematics of
fungi and plant-associated bacteria, and also support for the ‘New
Zealand Fungal Herbarium’ (PDD),
the ‘International Collection of Micro-organisms from Plants’ (ICMP),
and the NZFungi
database. The two collections provide the critical
vouchering resource for plant pathogen records for New Zealand. The
database provides a record of all fungal names used in New Zealand
context, links to the specimens and literature that support the use
of that name in New Zealand, as well as descriptions, images and
keys for some species. Additionally, the programme supports the
publication of the Fungi
of New Zealand series initiated in 2002. Volumes relevant
to plant pathologists include ‘Introduction to Fungi of New
Zealand’ (2004) (Ed Eric McKenzie) and ‘Fungi on trees and
shrubs in New Zealand’ (2005) by Peter Gadgil.
- · The first plant virus programme to be funded by the New
Zealand government for over a decade was established in 2007 to
develop “Technologies for the detection of new plant viruses”
that may enter the island country at its borders. This programme is
a co-ordinated effort between HortResearch, the University of
Auckland and MAF Biosecurity.
A new route for
indexing and assessment of pathogens on imported crop plant using
herbaceous indexing and RT-PCR was opened in 2007, by
establishing an International Standards Organisation accredited
diagnostic laboratory and Level 3 plant quarantine facility, operated
by HortResearch's Plant Health Service in Palmerston North.
- · In November 2004 MAF Biosecurity was formed. MAF
Biosecurity New Zealand is the lead agency in
adopting a whole of government approach to biosecurity." (http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/about-us/about-us) including
a plant health and environment laboratory (http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/about-us/structure/phel).
- · A Biosecurity Science Strategy for New Zealand (http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/science-strategy)
was approved for implementation in Ocotber 2007. The
vision of this strategy aligns with "The Biosecurity
Strategy for New Zealand" (August 2003, http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/bio-strategy)
and is that "Biosecurity science is effectively contributing to
keeping New Zealanders, the plants and animals we value and our
unique natural environment, safe and secure from damaging pests and
- · Five Biosecurity Summits have been held in New Zealand
since 2003 (http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/biosec/camp-events/events/summit/archive)
with the sixth to be held 4th
- 5th November 2008, Christchurch Convention Centre,
New Guinea (PNG) and the Pacific Island Nations.
pathology R & D in the Pacific Island Nations is co-ordinated
through the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) Plant
Health Program. Australian and New Zealand Development
assistance agencies, the European Union and other country donors are
supporting a range of collaborative activities and capacity building
in crop protection in collaboration with SPC, national and
international agencies and non-government organisations.
has a land area larger than the Philippines and Vietnam, yet has a
much lower but rapidly increasing population. PNG is a centre of
diversity for banana, sugarcane, taro and winged bean with
considerable potential to document and utilise germplasm for
improving PNG agriculture. The other 21 Pacific Island nation
members of SPC face challenges of remoteness, low populations and
small agricultural bases, with opportunities in improving
subsistence crops, agri-tourism and cash crops.
Pacific is fortunate in generally having low
pathogen status as compared with other regions. PNG has
suffered an incursion of citrus huanglongbing across their
land border and are at
risk from Fusarium oxysporum
f. sp. cubense tropical
race 4 and banana
bacterial wilt. Recently,
The PNG Cocoa and Cocount Institute reported an unknown coconut
disease attacking large areas of coconut in the Bogia area, rapidly
killing trees under 2 months. Also betel nut palms have been
reported to be attached by an unknown disease in the Markham area.
to PNG, the other Pacific Island Nations have smaller agricultural
bases, with production focussed in subsistence systems and cash
crops and R & D undertaken by local Agricultural agencies with
support and engagement from the SPC and Australia, New Zealand and
other country agencies.
is on integrated management of diseases that affect garden (sweet
potato, taro, yam, vegetables and fruit) and cash crops (cocoa,
coconut, coffee, oil-palm, kava), emerging industries (vanilla, tree
nuts) and forestry (forest health surveillance). Interest in rice
cultivation is also increasing. There is also a stong focus on
biological control of weeds (Mikania
micrantha in PNG, Fiji)
Papua New Guinea National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI http://www.nari.org.pg/res/res.html),
Department of Agriculture and Livestock, the Cocoa and Coconut
Institute, the Coffee
Industry Corporation, the PNG
Oil Palm Research Association, New Britain Oil Palm Ltd and Ramu
Sugar undertake applied R & D in PNG. NARI publishes a range of
extension material http://www.nari.org.pg/info/order/order.html.
National R & D
priorities are articulated in strategic planning documents (NARI
plan covers 2006-2010). The PNG National Agricultural Information
provides library and information services to the Institutes.
Second PNG crop
protection conference was held in Kokopo, East New Britain in
issues in PNG plant pathology research in 2003-2008 have included
control of new strains of late blight in potato in the highlands,
integrated crop protection of sweet potato and cocoa, strategies for
the economic development of Bougainville, assessment of banana
cultivars for black sigatoka resistance and Fusarium wilt,
of Ganoderma in oil palm.
the Pacific islands R & D has included integrated crop
protection across a range of industries, improved disease control in
the tonga squash industry, evaluation of the impact of Dasheen
mosaic virus on and
other viruses on taro yield (Fiji and Samoa), improved management of
soil borne diseases of ginger, integrated pest management (Solomons)
forest pest detection.
rust (Puccinia psidii)
which is a quarantine threat to Australian Myrtaceae (Eucalyptus
spp. etc) has spread into the Pacific and has been reported from
Hawaii in 2005.
- ACIAR tends to be the donor focusing on issues of a
technical nature in plant pathology. The European Union, AusAID and
NZAID, through their support to the Secretariat of the Pacific
Community, fund regional plant
pathology activities. The French Government is also active
particularly in providing collaborative support through CIRAD to
francophone countries in the Pacific.
- Capacity for plant pathology in the region still
tends to be stretched. Several
PNG and Pacific Island personnel are currently studying for higher
degrees in plant pathology in Australia and New Zealand.
Not every Pacific Island country and territory has a plant
pathologist, and most
tend to be in the Melanesian countries (PNG, Solomon Islands,
Fiji and Vanuatu) with the majority based in PNG. Most Plant
Protection staff in the Pacific island countries take on more
general responsibilities and are over-worked. A number of “basic
plant pathology” courses have been run by the Secretariat of the
Pacific Community and CABI Bioscience to enable general agricultural
staff from Ministries of Agriculture to have some basic skills in plant pathology.
- In the Solomon Islands, the Secretary to the Prime
Minister’s Department was formerly a plant pathologist!
- Greg Johnson, President APPS
- John Randles, Elaine Davison, Robin Macdiarmid,
Jacqui Wrght - May,