INTERNATIONAL NEWSLETTER ON PLANT PATHOLOGY
ISPP Newsletter 47 (4) April 2017
News and announcements from all on any aspect of Plant Pathology are invited for the Newsletter. Contributions from the ISPP Executive,
Council and Subject Matter Committees, Associated Societies and Supporting Organisations are requested.
Editor: Daniel Hüberli (email)
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In this issue:
     
     
   
Deadline for nominations for the ISPP Executive changed to 20 April 2017
     
  The call for nominations of candidates for election to the 2018-2023 ISPP Executive Committee has been posted to all constituent societies of the ISPP. This election occurs once every 5 years, in accordance with the ISPP Rules of Procedure. Nominations are being sought for the positions of ISPP President, Vice-President, Secretary-General and Treasurer.

A Nomination Committee has been formed, consisting of highly respected plant pathologists representing different regions of the world, and chaired by Prof M Lodovica Gullino (ISPP Immediate Past President). The Committee will select two candidates for each position from the nominations received. The selected candidates will go forward to the full election, which will be a ballot of all ISPP Councilors.

Potential nominees must firstly agree to be nominated, and be aware of the time commitments and responsibilities involved with the respective positions. Short-listed nominees will be asked to provide a short written summary of their background and how they might serve in the position for which they have been nominated. Nominees should also be willing and aware of their responsibilities to ISPP and Associated Societies in fulfilling the duties of the positions These will include participation at the International Congresses of Plant Pathology, in 2018 (Boston, USA) and 2023 (Lyon, France), and being able to commit 70 to 150 h per year for ISPP Executive service. Nominators and potential nominees should view information on the ISPP (http://www.isppweb.org/about_objectives.asp  ), and consider the duties and responsibilities of the Executive as outlined in the ISPP statutes and rules of procedure:  http://www.isppweb.org/about_objectives_statutes.asp .

Nominations should be sent directly to Prof M Lodovica Gullino (marialodovica.gullino@unito.it), or through a representative of an Associated Society (see http://www.isppweb.org/about_associated_eng.asp). Names and full contact details (including e-mail addresses), along with evidence of each nominee's willingness to serve if elected, should be provided. Nominations should be received by 20 April 2017. 
 
     
   
  International Congress of Plant Pathology ICPP2018 program update  
     
  Planning for the scientific program and activities at the International Congress of Plant Pathology (ICPP2018) - Plant Health in the Global Economy during 29 July to 3August, 2018 are well advanced. The draft program is at: http://www.icpp2018.org/program/Pages/default.aspx.  
     
   
  ISPP Global Crop Loss Survey: An overview of results  
     
  Over a period of three months (November 2016 - January 2017), 1142 responses from 216 respondents in 67 countries were recorded during the Global Crop Loss Survey organized by the Crop Loss Subject Matter Committee of the ISPP. This appears to be the first Survey of this kind ever conducted.  

This short note is intended to provide an overview of contributions by crops and countries, to report some emerging features of the data, and to highlight the size of this collective effort through the list of contributors.

Contributions to the Survey
Five major global crops were considered in the Survey: Wheat, Rice, Maize, Potato, and Soybean. The total numbers of contributions by crops were: 368, 297, 151, 180, and 146 for these five crops, respectively. The overall Survey output is truly global as the map in Figure 1 shows. While four countries - the USA, India, Brazil, and Australia, in that order - provided substantial contributions, a good coverage of response for Eastern Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, and South America was achieved. The coverage of Africa appears the weakest (as is apparent on the map), but nevertheless corresponds to an encouraging total of 96 responses.
 
     
   
  Figure 1. Number of unique respondents1 per country2
1 Note that a respondent can represent one or more responses.
2 The boundaries, colours, denominations, and other information shown on this map do not imply any judgment on the part of the ISPP or the authors or the respondents concerning the legal status of any territory or the endorsement or acceptance of such boundaries.
 
     
  Further details on the distribution of responses are provided in Table 1. Contributions by country, expressed as numbers of responses, varied with crops, although there is a consistent group of countries with a high frequency of contributions across all five crops. The ten countries which generated the highest overall number of responses are listed at the end of Table 1. When weighted against their agricultural productions, the levels of contributions by country are quite different. Irrespective of the ranking criterion, a good mix of responses from developed, emerging, and developing countries was received. Similarly, there is a good coverage across ecoregions of the world.  
     
 

Table 1. Responses per country1,2 and responses per million tons of production per country3

 
 

Wheat

Country

Responses

Country

Responses/Production

United States

38

Bangladesh

12.9

Russian Federation

36

Sweden

6.4

Australia

27

Uruguay

5.8

China

23

Tunisia

4.7

India

19

Mexico

3.7

Rice

Country

Responses

Country

Responses/Production

India

58

Philippines

2.6

Philippines

46

Colombia

2.0

Vietnam

18

Taiwan

1.8

United States

13

United States

1.4

China

13

Tanzania

1.3

Maize

Country

Responses

Country

Responses/Production

United States

38

Greece

2.4

India

15

Ghana

2.2

Canada

12

Nigeria

1.2

Brazil

12

Canada

1.0

Nigeria

11

Pakistan

0.9

Potato

Country

Responses

Country

Responses/Production

Russian Federation

38

Brazil

5.2

Brazil

19

Australia

4.1

India

16

South Africa

2.7

Greece

7

Spain

2.2

South Africa

6

Italy

2.1

Soybean

Country

Responses

Country

Responses/Production

United States

47

Canada

1.4

Brazil

30

United States

0.5

Argentina

14

Brazil

0.4

Canada

7

India

0.3

Japan

6

Argentina

0.3

All five crops

Country

Responses

Country

Responses/Production

United States

141

Bangladesh

13.0

India

112

Brazil

8.8

Brazil

82

Uruguay

6.5

Russian Federation

74

Sweden

6.4

Philippines

46

South Africa

6.0

China

44

Greece

5.8

Canada

38

Mexico

5.7

Australia

32

Australia

5.1

Greece

21

Tunisia

4.7

Mexico

20

Italy

4.2

 
1 Top five countries shown for each crop, and top ten countries for all crops combined.
2 The names in this table do not imply any judgment on the part of the ISPP or the authors or the respondents concerning the legal status of any territory or the endorsement or acceptance of such boundaries.
3 Responses per production only consider countries with at least 1 million tons of production for that crop based on FAOSTAT averages 2010-2014.
     
  Which are the most important diseases and pests?
The five most cited diseases and pests on the five different crops are listed in Table 2. The five lists account for the varying levels of consideration among experts, with respect to diseases and pests in each crop. Depending on the crop, some diseases appear to dominate to varying degrees; Leaf and panicle blast dominate reports in Rice, and reports for Potato are very strongly dominated by late blight. In contrast, responses for Maize are more evenly distributed among various diseases and pests. Table 2 only reflects the volume of information collected on each disease or pest, not their importance in terms of crop losses.
 
     
Table 2 Number of responses recorded for the most cited diseases and pests per crop
 

Wheat

Rice

Maize

Potatoes

Soybean

Disease or pest

Resp1

Disease or pest

Resp1

Disease or pest

Resp1

Disease or pest

Resp1

Disease or pest

Resp1

 

Tritici blotch

 

 

60

 

Blast

 

52

 

F&G 3 ear rots

 

18

 

Late blight

 

63

 

Soybean rust

 

30

Stripe rust

 

 

44

Bacterial blight

36

Northern leaf blight

16

Early blight

27

White mold

15

FHB 2 - Scab

 

 

41

Rice tungro

23

F&G 3 stalk rots

15

Common scab

15

Downy mildew

15

Leaf rust

 

 

33

Brown spot

22

Southern rusts

13

Verticillium wilt

11

Cyst nematode

10

Tan spot

25

Stem borers

20

Maize streak

9

Cyst nematode

11

Rhizoctonia blight

9

 
  1 Number of responses
2 Fusarium head blight
3 Fusarium and Gibberella
 
     
  There are many ways to address the importance of crop diseases and pests. The Survey has generated information on the magnitude of crop losses, in five categories (less than 1%, 1 to 5%, 5 to 20%, 20 to 60%, and more than 60% losses), and on the frequency of these losses, in four categories (every season, one season in two, one season in five, and less than one season in five). This will enable different approaches to quantify crop losses.  

At this stage, a key question concerns the overall representativeness of the information gathered. Across all five crops, experts have reported losses lower than 1% in 15.4% of the cases, between 1 and 5% in 37.3% of the cases, between 5 and 20% in 33.7% of the cases, between 20 and 60% in 11.5% of the cases, and higher than 60% in 2.1% of the cases. A simple aggregate weighted average of these losses, in which loss levels are weighted by their reported frequencies, gives an overall crop loss of 11.7%.  This figure would represent the average loss caused by an average disease (or pest), (1) when occurring, and (2) in the absence of any other disease or pest. Although a preliminary result, the estimated average loss is well within the ranges of global or regional crop losses that have been reported in the literature.  

Preliminary analyses suggest that the data collected are sufficiently robust and representative to warrant more detailed investigation. This Survey is important for a number of reasons: its international reach, the procedure it has followed, and the targeted crops. Another important element of this Survey is that it was conducted on five different crops simultaneously, which will facilitate cross comparisons. Work is under way on these analyses.  
 
     
  Who contributed to the Survey?
The table below provides the list of contributors and their institutions, based on those who provided name and institute information.
 
     
 

Name

Institute

Araz Abdullah

Curtin University, Centre for Crop and Disease Management

Adewale Adetayo

Ministry of Agriculture Ogun State Nigeria

Dante Adorada

University of Southern Queensland, Centre for Crop Health

Vanina Alemandri

IPAVE CIAP INTA (Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria)

Shaukat Ali

South Dakota State University

Thomas W. Allen

Mississippi State University

Eduardo Alves

Universidade Federal de Lavras

Lamia Aouini

WUR (Wageningen University and Research)

Christos Athanassiou

University of Thessaly

Renuka Nilmini Attanayake

University of Kelaniya

Julián Ayala

AIMCRA (Asociación de Investigación para la Mejora del Cultivo de la Remolacha Azucarera)

Arun Balasubramaniam

Banaras Hindu University

Ranajit Bandyopadhyay

IITA (International Institute of Tropical Agriculture)

Biruta Bankina

Latvia University of Agriculture

Robert Beiriger

University of Florida

Samia Berraies

INRAT (National Institute of Agricultural Reseach of Tunisia)

Suma S. Biradar

University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad Karnataka

Leonardo Silva Boiteux

Embrapa Vegetable Crops  (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation)

Claude Bragard

Université Catholique de Louvain

Toby Bruce

Rothamsted Research

Adalberto Correa Cafe Filho

Universidade de Brasilia

Nancy Castilla

IRRI (International Rice Research Institute)

Xianming Chen

USDA ARS

Angela Cherunya

KALRO (Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization)

Godfree Chigeza

IITA (International Institute of Tropical Agriculture)

Il-Ryong Choi

IRRI (International Rice Research Institute)

Michalakis Christoforou

Cyprus University of Technology

Glenda Clezy

Saskatchewan Pulse Growers

Fernando Correa

CIAT (International Center for Tropical Agriculture)

Leila Maria Costamilan

Embrapa Trigo  (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation)

Eric Cother

New South Wales Department of Primary Industries

Gilles Couleaud

ARVALIS (French Arable Crops R&D Institute)

Henry Creissen

Teagasc (The Agriculture and Food Development Authority)

Leonardo Crespo-Herrera

CIMMYT (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center)

Adriano Augusto de Paiva Custódio

Instituto Agronômico do Paraná

Dagma Dionísia da Silva

Embrapa maize and sorghum (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation)

Frederick K. Danso

Department of Food and Agriculture

Matthias Daub

Julius Kuehn Institute

Emerson Del Ponte

Universidade Federal de Vicosa

Matthew Denton-Giles

Centre for Crop and Disease Management Curtin University

Ruth Dill-Macky

University of Minnesota

Jessica Dohmen-Vereijssen

New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research

Anne Dorrance

The Ohio State University

Daniel Dostaler

University Laval

Benjamin Dumont

Gembloux Agro Bio Tech

Etienne Duveiller

AfricaRice

Jacqueline Edwards

Agriculture Victoria

Juan Pablo Edwards Molina

ESALQ USP (Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture, University of São Paulo)

Oliver Ellingham

University of Reading

Luis Espino

University of California Cooperative Extension

Ieuan Evans

Private consultant

Bert Evenhuis

WUR (Wageningen University and Research)

Washiq Faisal

IRRI (International Rice Research Institute)

Mohamed Moez Fakhfakh

National Institute of field crops

Travis Faske

University of Arkansas

Andrea Ficke

NIBIO

Alexey Filippov

All Russian Research Institute of Phytopathology

John Fletcher

New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research

Gregory Forbes

CIP (International Potato Center)

Gabriela Morel Gadea

IPTA (Instituto Paraguayo de Tecnología Agraria)

Tatiana Gagkaeva

All Russian Institute of Plant Protection

Fernanda Gamba

Facultad de Agronomia

Seelavarn Ganeshan

Mauritius Sugarcane Industry Research Institute

Philipp Gannibal

All Russian Institute of Plant Protection

Denis Gaucher

ARVALIS (French Arable Crops R&D Institute)

Dattatray Gawade

Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth Maharashtra India

Alaerson Maia Geraldine

Instituto Federal Goiano

Claudia Vieira Godoy

Embrapa (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation)

Jos Groten

WUR (Wageningen University and Research)

Russell L. Groves

University of Wisconsin

Elena Gultyaeva

All Russian Institute of Plant Protection

Ashish Kumar Gupta

IARI (Indian Agricultural Research Institute)

Göran Gustafsson

Swedish Board of Agriculture

Michael Harding

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry

Xinyao He

CIMMYT (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center)

Andrea Hills

Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia

Dave Hodson

CIMMYT (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center)

Grant Hollaway

Agriculture Victoria

Clayton A. Hollier

Louisiana State University

Nyo Me Htwe

IRRI (International Rice Research Institute)

Touseff Hussain

ICAR Indian Agricultural Research Institute New Delhi

Agape Ishabakaki

Research and Development Network

Kiyoshi Ishiguro

National Agricultural Center for Tohoku Region, Morioka, Iwate

Jai Prakash Jaiswal

G B Pant University of Agriculture and Technology Pantnagar India

Mohammad Reza Jalal Kamali

CIMMYT (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center)

Prashant Jambhulkar

Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology Udaipur India

Douglas J. Jardine

Kansas State University

Stewart Jennings

University of Leeds

Fernando Cezar Juliatti

Uberlandia Federal University

Santoso Kadrawi

Indonesian Center for Rice Research

George Karaoglanidis

Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki

Ute Kastirr

Julius Kuehn Institute, Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants

Masayasu Kato

JIRCAS (Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences)

Shakiro Adewale Kazeem

Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service

Yodit Kebede

WUR (Wageningen University and Research)

Thomas Kelly Turkington

Agriculture and AgriFood Canada

Aleksandr Khiutti

All Russian Institute of Plant Protection

Zakir Khursheed

Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir

J Kumar

G B Pant University of Agriculture and Technology Pantnagar India

Lava Kumar

IITA (International Institute of Tropical Agriculture)

Sundeep Kumar

National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources New Delhi

Uttam Kumar

Borlaug Institute for South Asia

Susamoy Kundu

Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya

Marcos Lana

ZALF (Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research)

Douglas Lau

Embrapa (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation)

Miguel Angel Lavilla

National University of Northwestern Buenos Aires Province

Maria Imaculada Pontes Moreira Lima

Embrapa Trigo  (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation)

Anders Lindgren

Jordbruksverket

Tai Guo Liu

Institute of Plant Protection of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences

Aleksandre Loladze

CIMMYT (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center)

Carlos Alberto Lopes

Embrapa (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation)

Jagjeet Lore

Punjab Agricultural University Ludhiana India

Zhanhong Ma

China Agricultural University

Zhonghua Ma

Zhejiang University

Khaled Makkouk

National Council for Scientific Research

Febina Mathew

South Dakota State University

Sarrah Ben MBarek

Center of Biotechnology of Borj Cédria

Bruce A. McDonald

Plant Pathology Group ETH Zurich

Ana Maríía Pesqueira Méndez

Universidad de Santiago de Compostela

Walter R. Meza

Gembloux Agro Bio Tech

Thomas Miedaner

University of Hohenheim, State Plant Breeding Institute

Asimina Mila

North Carolina State University

Eduardo S.G. Mizubuti

Universidade Federal de Vicosa

Atef Mohamed

Fayoum University

Kalyan K. Mondal

ICAR Indian Agricultural Research Institute New Delhi

Alexey Morgounov

CIMMYT (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center)

Gloria Mosquera

CIAT (International Center for Tropical Agriculture)

Daren Mueller

Iowa State University

Norma Mujica

CIP (International Potato Center)

Harun Murithi

IITA (International Institute of Tropical Agriculture)

Norman Muzhinji

University of Pretoria, South Africa

Meshack Mwenda

Agricultural Research Institute Uyole Mbeya

Bita Naseri

Kermanshah Agricultural and Natural Resources Research Center

Kedar Nath

Navsari Agricultural University

Nilceu R.X. de Nazareno

Instituto Agronomico do Parana

Innocent Ndikumana

Rwanda Agriculture Board

Stephen Neate

University of Southern Queensland

Cley Donizeti Martins Nunes

Embrapa Clima Temperado  (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation)

Sunao Ochi

National Agriculture and Food Research Organization

Christopher Yao Ocloo

Plant Protection and Regulatory Services  Ministry of Food and Agriculture

Godfried Ohene-Mensah

Crops Research Institute

Ricardo Oliva

IRRI (International Rice Research Institute)

Richard Oliver

Centre for Crop and Disease Management, Curtin University

Kirsty Owen

University of Southern Queensland

Ayu Kartini Parawansa

Muslim University of Indonesia

Monica Parker

CIP (International Potato Center)

Salina Parvin Banu

BARI (Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute)

Silvia Pereyra

INIA (National Institute of Agricultural Research of Uruguay)

Willmer Perez Barrera

CIP (International Potato Center)

Bui Xuan Phong

Plant Protection Department Vietnam

Danilo Batista Pinho

Universidade de Brasilia

T.L. Prakasha

IARI (Indian Agricultural Research Institute) Regional Station Indore Madhya Pradesh

Godfried J. Prinsloo

Agricultural Research Council Small Grain Institute

Alejandro Rago

INTA (Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria)

Senthil Ramu

Central Integrated Pest Management Centre Vijayawada

Angel Rebollar Alviter

Universidad Autonoma Chapingo

Abdul Rehman

University of Agriculture, Faisalabad Pakistan

Ailton Reis

Embrapa

Erlei Melo Reis

OR melhoramento de sementes Ltda

Bert Rijk

WUR (Wageningen University and Research)

Alison Robertson

Iowa State University

Gianfranco Romanazzi

Marche Polytechnic University

Vittorio Rossi

Department of Sustainable Crop Production, University of Piacenza

Hannah Rostad

University of Southern Queensland

Concepcion Rubies Autonell

Department of Agricultural Sciences, Universitàdi Bologna

Jason Rudd

Rothamsted Research

M.S. Saharan

IARI (Indian Agricultural Research Institute) New Delhi

Flavio Santana

Embrapa (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation)

Serge Savary

INRA (French National Institute for Agricultural Research)

Parthasarathy Seethapathy

Tamil Nadu Agricultural University

Ane Sesma

Centre for Plant Biotechnology and Genomics

S.K. Sethi

Haryana Agricultural University India

Rajiv Sharma

CIMMYT (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center)

Arslan Shehroz

University of Agriculture, Faisalabad

Meena Shekhar

Indian Institute of Maize Research New Delhi

Abubacker Siddick

Hand in Hand India

Hamood Ahmed Siddiqui

PPSL

Richard W. Smiley

Oregon State University

Damon Smith

University of Wisconsin

Marcella Viana de Sousa

Monsanto, Brazil

Gomathinayagam Subramanain

University of Guyana

Frédéric Suffert

INRA (French National Institute for Agricultural Research)

W. Tadesse

ICARDA (International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas

Oliver Boye Teekpeh

Ministry of Agriculture, Liberia

Didier Tharreau

CIRAD (Agricultural Research for Development)

Kelly Tiller

Syngenta Canada Inc

Ruud Timmer

WUR (Wageningen University and Research)

Vicki L. Tolmay

Agricultural Research Council Small Grain Institute

Juan Manuel Tovar-Pedraza

Universidad Autonoma Chapingo

Atma Nand Tripathi

ICAR India Institute of Vegetable Research IIVR, Varanasi UP

Dimitrios Tsitsigiannis

Agricultural University of Athens

Anne D. Turner

Independent Consultant

Gupta Vadakattu

CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation)

Johnnie van den Berg

North West University South Africa

Jacquie E. van der Waals

University of Pretoria

Joseph-Alexander Verreet

Institute of Phytopathology, University of Kiel Germany

Antonio Vicent

IVIA (Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Agrarias)

Hugh Wallwork

SARDI (South Australian Research and Development Institute)

Jianhua Wang

Shanghai Academy of Agricultural Sciences

Shiwen Wang

CNRRI (China National Rice Research Institute)

K. L. Wasantha Kumara

University of Ruhuna

Johnson Belamai Weefah

Cuttington University

Caroline Wesp Guterres

Cooperativa Central Gaucha Ltda

Jonathan S. West

Rothamsted Research

Calum Wilson

University of Tasmania

Kaoru Zenbayashi-Sawata

National Agriculture and Food Research Organization

Yilin Zhou

Institute of Plant Protection of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences

Xiaoyang Zhu

Ottawa Research and Development Center

 
     
  Acknowledgements:
We wish to thank Greg Johnson, President of the ISPP, and Daniel Hüberli, ISPP Newsletter Editor, for the instrumental and friendly support they have been giving to this project all along.  

S. Savary, INRA, Centre INRA de Toulouse, France; Chair, Crop Loss Subject Matter Committee of the ISPP;
A. Nelson, ITC, University of Twente, The Netherlands;
L. Willocquet, INRA, Centre INRA de Toulouse, France ;
Sarah Pethybridge, Cornell University, USA;
Asimina Mila, North Carolina State University, USA;
Paul Esker, University of Costa Rica;
Neil McRoberts, UC Davis, USA.
 
     
   
  Janaki Ammal is the reason your sugar tastes sweeter  
     
  "In recognition of international women's day held on 8 March every year is this inspiring story of a woman who braved a largely patriarchal, ultra-conservative society to fulfil her academic dreams."  

One of the first women scientists to receive the Padma Shri way back in 1977, Edavaleth Kakkat Janaki Ammal lived a life only a handful of other women of her time lived. In an age when most Indian women didn't make it past high school, Janaki Ammal didn't just obtain a PhD at one of America's finest public universities, she went on to make seminal contributions to her field. She also remains one of the few Asian women to be conferred an honorary doctorate (DSc. honoris causa) by her alma mater, the University of Michigan, and that was in 1931!  

A pioneering botanist and cytogeneticist, Janaki Ammal is credited with putting sweetness in India's sugarcane varieties, speaking against the hydro-electric project in Kerala's Silent Valley and the phenomenal study of chromosomes of thousands of species of flowering plants. There is even a flower named after her, a delicate bloom in pure white called Magnolia Kobus Janaki Ammal.  

Yet, at a time when the country is focussing on educating the girl child, Janaki Ammal's contribution to Indian botanical research remains mostly unknown outside academic circles. This is the story of an extraordinary Indian woman who braved a largely patriarchal, ultra-conservative society to fulfil her academic dreams.  

Read this inspiring story.  

(Sanchari Pal, The Better India, 16 November 2016)
 
     
   
  Plant Pathology in the 21st Century ISPP and Springer book series  
     
  ISPP is pleased to announce the broadening of the book series Plant Pathology in the 21st Century.  

Under an agreement with Springer, the book series based on the invited lectures at the 9th International Congress of Plant Pathology ICPP2008, was initiated and four books covering key themes were published. Three additional volumes in the series were published on themes which were key topics at ICPP2013, held in Beijing, China. In light of the initial seven volumes' success, the ISPP has reached an agreement with Springer to broaden the scope of the series and publish additional volumes.  

The aim of the series is to highlight the latest international findings and advances in plant pathology and plant medicine. ISPP Subject Matter Committees representatives, plant pathology topic specialists and workshop organisers are invited to consult with the Series Editor, Prof M Lodovica Gullino (marialodovica.gullino@unito.it), regarding their topic's potential inclusion in the series.
 
     
   
Plasma prevents food from spoiling
     
  Kirsty Bayliss from Murdoch University is using plasma and electrical currents to stop mould from taking hold on fresh food, bread, meats, grains, and dairy products such as milk and cheese. The technology also kills bacteria associated with food-borne illness, such as salmonella and listeria.  

The technology - which is already widely used in medicine and dentistry - works by producing plasma generated by an electrical charge, conducted through two electrodes using the air around us. This then produces a plasma flame which is applied to food.  

"That plasma coats the surface of the food, and what you do when you treat that surface is kill the mould spores on the surface so they can't infect the fruit," Dr Bayliss said. "It seems to be stimulating the resistance response in the fruit as well so it's actually defending itself against infection - it's really clever and completely chemically free,"  

Dr Bayliss says the technology could lead to a massive reduction in food waste. Right now more than 30 per cent of purchased food in Australia ends up in the bin. "Food wastage contributes to a lot of the food insecurity - a developed country such as the US or Europe wastes around 100 kilograms of food per person every year.  

The researchers are taking their work to San Francisco to pitch it to industry and philanthropists to improve global health outcomes, and have even had interest from NASA to help with their space exploration.

(Sarah Collard, ABC News, 22 March 2017)
 
     
   
  Milton Zaitlin (1927 - 2016)  
     
  Milton Zaitlin, professor emeritus of plant pathology, died 11 October, 2016, in Ithaca, New York. He was 89.  

Zaitlin, who joined Cornell University, Ithaca, Department of Plant Pathology in 1973, was an influential pioneer of plant virology research. He made important contributions to the study of virus replication and tobacco mosaic virus, a pathogen that infects a wide range of plants in the nightshade family (Solanaceae). He also added to the understanding of virions and viroids, among other areas. As an instructor, he taught courses in plant virology, plant-virus interactions and plant biotechnology.  

"Milt's reputation attracted many postdocs and sabbatical visitors representing a broad cross-section of the international community," said Peter Palukaitis, an adjunct professor of plant pathology at Cornell, who is also currently a professor of horticultural sciences in the Seoul Women's University in Seoul, South Korea. Palukaitis is a former postdoctoral researcher and faculty member in the former Department of Plant Pathology, where he was a colleague of Zaitlin's. "Milt was an excellent mentor and good friend to all, and he maintained long-term relationships with many of those who passed through his lab," he said.  

Zaitlin received his bachelor's degree in plant pathology from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1949 and earned a doctorate in botanical sciences from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1954. Zaitlin served as a research officer at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Canberra, Australia (1954-58); an assistant professor of horticulture at the University of Missouri, Columbia (1958-60); and as a professor of agricultural biochemistry at the University of Arizona, Tucson.  

During a sabbatical leave in 1966-67, Zaitlin was supported by a Fulbright scholarship and Guggenheim fellowship to work at the CSIRO Division of Plant Industry. Two more sabbaticals took him to the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at University of California, Davis, in 1979-80, and at the John Innes Institute in Norwich, U.K., in 1986-87.  

Zaitlin authored and co-authored more than 30 review articles, many of which influenced the development of the study of plant pathology. He served twice as an associate editor of the journal Virology (1966-71 and 1982-84), and as editor for plant viruses (1972-81). He was also the first senior editor for virus-plant interactions in the journal Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions (1987-90). He was a founding member of American Society for Virology and organised the society's first meeting at Cornell in 1982 and its 10th meeting in 1992.  

Zaitlin was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1969) and the American Phytopathological Society (1978), from which he received the APS Award of Distinction (2006).  

Zaitlin is survived by his wife of 65 years, Marjorie, four children, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.  

Zaitlin extensive career is highlighted on the APS Award of Distinction.  

(Krishna Ramanujan, Cornell Chronicle, 28 March 2017)   
 
     
   
  IV International Symposium on Postharvest Pathology - draft programme available  
     
  Program for the IV International Symposium on Postharvest Pathology to be held at Kruger National Park, South Africa during 28 May to 3 June, 2017 is now available on the updated website, www.postharvest2017.co.za.  
     
   
  Science Protecting Plant Health 2017 - speakers list  
     
  Plenary and keynote speakers for the Science Protecting Plant Health 2017, a joint conference of the Australasian Plant Pathology Society and the Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre, to be held in Brisbane, Australia during 26-28 September 2017 has been listed on the website, www.sciplant2017.com.au.  
     
   
  Royal rivalry over the safety of GM farming fuel letters to Editor  
     
  An article in The Times dated 22 March 2017 titled "Princess backs GM" has resulted in several letters to the Editor being published the following day, including one by Richard Strange.  

Sir, Wouldn't the whole GM debate be defused if it were recognised that genetic modification is merely a technique which, like so many other techniques, may be used for good or ill? Thus it is the product that should be carefully scrutinised rather than the technique by which it was obtained. In the case of crop plants, wouldn't it be good to alleviate the "hidden hunger" suffered by an estimated two billion of the world's population owing to vitamin or micronutrient deficiencies? This could be done effectively and safely by introducing the appropriate genes into the plants they eat.  

Richard Strange Editor-in-chief, Food Security  

(The Times, 23 March 2017)
 
     
   
  Phytophthora cinnamomi A1: An ancient resident of New Guinea and Australia  
     
  A paper by Frans Arentz titled "Phytophthora cinnamomi A1: An ancient resident of New Guinea and Australia of Gondwanan origin?" was published in February 2017 by Forest Pathology (early view). The abstract is as follows:-     

This article re-examines the hypothesis, first proposed by Shepherd (Search, 6(11-12), 1975, 484), that Phytophthora cinnamomi is an ancient organism in Australia and New Guinea. It further evaluates data that suggest the A1 mating type is Gondwanan in origin and may have been present in New Guinea for up to 10 million years. It is postulated that there has been a mating type change in P. cinnamomi from A1 to A2 in relatively recent times as a result of genetic transformation of the A1 mating type.   

Read paper.
 
     
   
  Genetically engineered potatoes approved for planting  
     
  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the planting of three types of genetically engineered (GE) potatoes that resist Phytophthora infestans, the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine. According to EPA, the GE potatoes are safe for the environment and safe to eat.  

The GE potatoes were developed by J.R. Simplot Co. According to Simplot, the GE potatoes only contain potato genes and that the resistance to late blight trait originated from an Argentine potato variety that naturally exhibited defense against the pathogen.  

The decision by EPA is consistent with the safety clearance given by Food and Drug Administration in January 2017.  

Read more from AP.  

(Crop Biotech Update, 1 March 2017)
 
     
   
  Novel virus breaks barriers between incompatible fungi  
     
  A virus that can weaken the ability of a fungus to avoid pairing with other incompatible fungi has been identified and is published in PLOS Pathogens. By promoting fungal pairing, the virus could aid transmission of additional unrelated viruses between fungi.  

While studying Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, which infects hundreds of plant species worldwide, Jiatao Xie of Huazhong Agricultural University, China, and colleagues discovered a virus they named Sclerotinia sclerotiorum mycoreovirus 4 (SsMYRV4). To better understand this novel virus, they grew infected S. sclerotiorum alongside other vegetatively incompatible strains and investigated the molecular effects.  

The researchers found that SsMYRV4 decreased expression of S. sclerotiorum genes that promote vegetative incompatibility. Vegetative incompatibility is a molecular process that normally causes cell death when two incompatible strains touch each other; in this study, Xie's team found a reduction in the amount of cell death that normally occurs in intermingled colonies of incompatible strains.  

S. sclerotiorum infected with SsMYRV4 successfully made connections with incompatible strains by fusing filamentous structures known as hyphae. To investigate the consequences, the scientists grew SsMYRV4-infected fungi alongside fungi infected with other unrelated viruses. They found that the unrelated viruses were able to pass through the fused hyphae, crossing between fungal pairs. Vegetative incompatibility is considered a significant obstacle to using viruses to effectively control fungal diseases. These new findings could point to a new strategy that uses SsMYRV4 to weaken barriers between fungi. They could also improve understanding of virus ecology and evolution.  

(Phys.org News, 23 March 2017)
 
     
   
  Estimate iPad app  
     
  A new iPad app, called Estimate, connects plant professionals with a portable database of photographs of diseased leaves to help determine plant disease severity.  

Estimate relies on Standard Area Diagrams (SADs), a series of photographs of diseased leaves, with each photo containing a leaf incrementally more diseased than the previous one. Each SAD shows disease severity in terms of the percent of the leaf that is diseased. Users then examine a leaf in the field, for example, and compare and match it with SADs to estimate the disease severity.  

The app comes with an initial set of SADs of yellow and red table beet leaves affected by Cercospora leaf spot, a fungal disease that affects beets, chards and spinach. Pethybridge and Nelson hope to offer sets of SADs for five other vegetable diseases within the Estimate app by next year.  

The new app expands on a previous app developed by Nelson called Leaf Doctor, which allows users to take a photo of a diseased leaf with an iPhone or iPad. The app quantifies the percentage of disease on that leaf. This algorithm allowed the creation of new, realistic SADs based on digital images. Pethybridge and Nelson will work with users to develop SADs for use in Estimate, based on their needs and diseases of interest.  

Estimate lets users interactively edit or save data for future reference, verification and study. The app will also email the information for use in spreadsheets for statistical analysis.  

Users can enter data as single samples from the field or they may group data according to a plot or subplot in a field experiment, such as when researchers have trial plots to test the efficacy of a fungicide or other treatment, for example.  

The app is available for free download from iTunes and is compatible with an iPad Air 2 or equivalent using iOS 9.0 or greater.  

(Krishna Ramanujan, Cornell Chronicle, 6 March 2017)   
 
     
   
  Acknowledgements  
     
  Thanks to Grahame Jackson, Greg Johnson, Serge Savary and Peter Williamson for contributions.  
     
Coming Events
     
2nd International Workshop on Barley Leaf Diseases
5 April - 7 April, 2017
Rabat, Morocco
Website: click here

Population Genomics of Fungal and Oomycete Pathogens of Animals and Plants
7 May - 11 May, 2017
Monte Verita Conference Center, Ascona, Switzerland
Contact Email: ascona_2017@usys.ethz.ch
Website: http://www.path.ethz.ch/education/population-genomics-of-fungal-and-oomycete-diseases-of-animals-a.html

IV International Symposium on Postharvest Pathology  
28 May - 3 June, 2017 
Kruger National Park, South Africa 
Contact Email: lise.korsten@up.ac.za    
Website: http://www.postharvest2017.co.za/

Joint 12th European Foundation for Plant Pathology (EFPP) and the 10th French Society for Plant Pathology (SFP) conference on "Deepen knowledge in Plant Pathology for innovative Agroecology"     
29 May - 2 June, 2017 
Dunkerque-Malo-les-bains, France
Contact Email: efpp12sfp10@univ-littoral.fr
Website: http://efpp12sfp10.univ-littoral.fr/ 

24th International Council for the Study of Virus and Other Graft-Transmissible Diseases of Fruit Crops
5 June - 9 June, 2017
Thessaloniki, Greece
Website: https://www.icvf.net/

15th Congress of the Mediterranean Phytopathological Union - Plant health sustaining Mediterranean Ecosystems
20 June - 23 June, 2017
Cordoba, Spain
Website: http://mpucordoba.mpunion.eu/

Fusarium Laboratory Workshop
25 June - 30 June, 2017
Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, USA
Website: http://www.plantpath.k-state.edu/events/fusarium/

10th International Workshop on Grapevine Trunk Diseases
4 July - 7 July, 2017
Reims, France
Website: http://managtd.eu/en/10th-iwgtd/

8th International Workshop on Grapevine Downy and Powdery Mildew
17 July - 20 July, 2017
Corvallis, Oregon, USA
Website: http://gdpm2017.org/ 

American Phytopathological Society (APS) Annual Meeting
5 August - 9 August, 2017
San Antonio, Texas, USA
Website: http://www.apsnet.org/meetings/annual/Pages/default.aspx

IX International Symposium on Kiwifruit
6 September - 9 September, 2017
Porto, Portugal
http://www.aphorticultura.pt/ixisk.html

BSPP Presidential Conference 2017 - Fungal Control and Exploitation
11 September - 13 September, 2017
University of Nottingham, Jubilee Campus, UK
Website: http://www.bspp.org.uk/meetings/bspppres2017.php

Asian Conference on Plant Pathology
13 September - 16 September, 2017
Jeju Island, South Korea
Website: http://acpp2017.org/

Science Protecting Plant Health 2017
A joint conference of the Australasian Plant Pathology Society and the Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre
26 September - 28 September, 2017
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Web: www.sciplant2017.com.au

International Conference on Global Crop Losses caused by Diseases, Pests, and Weeds
16 October - 18 October, 2017
INRA, Paris, France
Website:  http://www.smach.inra.fr/en/Events/crop-losses

Indian Society of Mycology and Plant Pathology International Conference - Plant Health for Human Welfare
1 November - 3 November, 2017
University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, India
Website: http://ismpp.org.in/article.php?q=ismpp-international-conf-2017

12th Arab Congress of Plant Protection
5 November - 9 November, 2017
Cairo, Egypt Contact: 12th ACPP
Secretariat Email: acpp2017@arc.sci.eg
Phone: +202-3748616
Website: http://www.acpp2017.sci.eg/

Sustainable Intensification
28 November - 30 November, 2017
Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Herts, UK
Website: http://www.aab.org.uk/contentok.php?id=196&basket=wwsshowconfdets

3rd International Conference on Global Food Security
3 December - 6 December, 2017 
Cape Town, South Africa
Website: http://www.globalfoodsecurityconference.com/

miCROPe 2017 an International Symposium on Microbe-Assisted Crop Production - Opportunities, challenges and needs
4 December - 7 December, 2017
Vienna, Austria
Website: http://www.micrope.org/  

2nd International Soilborne Oomycete Conference
5 December - 7 December, 2017
Islamorada, Florida, USA
Website: http://oomyceteconference.org/

9th International Integrated Pest Management Symposium
19 March - 22 March, 2018
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Website:  https://ipmsymposium.org/2018/index.html

11th International Congress of Plant Pathology (ICPP2018)
29 July - 3 August, 2018
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Website: http://www.icpp2018.org/

12th International Congress of Plant Pathology
20 August - 25 August, 2023
Lyon, France

15th International Cereal Rust and Powdery Mildew Conference
23 September - 27 September, 2018
Kruger National Park, South Africa
 
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