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.
Bidding for ICPP2018 and Voting by ISPP Councillors
The ISPP seeks your help in updating names and email addresses, listed according
to their Member Societies, for the following ISPP Councillors
whose email addresses have bounced. (Please refer to ISPP Rule 5 for guidelines
on selection of Councillors
If you know the correct email address for any of these Councillors, or are aware
that the ISPP Councillors for your Society have changed, please contact the ISPP
Business Manager at
Arab Society for Plant Protection,
Dr Safaa Kumari
Asociación Colombiana de Fitopatología,
Dr Gabriel Cadena
Asociación Colombiana de Fitopatología,
Dr Fernando Correa
Asociación Latinoamericana de Fitopatología,
Dr Mario Rocha Peña
Danish Society for Plant Diseases and Pests,
Dr Bent Nielson
European Foundation for Plant Pathology,
Dr Johannes Vandenheuvel
German Phytomedizinische Gesellschaft,
Prof G F Backhaus
Indian Phytopathological Society,
Dr D V Singh
Pakistan Phytopathological Society,
Dr Farhat Jamil
Southern African Society for Plant Pathology,
Prof Zacharias Pretorius
Swedish Society of Biopathology,
Dr Sture Brishammar
Swiss Society for Phytiatry,
Dr Brigitte Mauch-Mani
Changes in Mycology to Benefit Plant Pathology – Do You Agree?
Pedro Crous believes that plant pathologists should welcome some major changes
in mycology which occurred during 2011. The changes affect taxonomy and
particularly the naming of fungi. A key series of publications for and against
the changes are as follows:-
“The Amsterdam Declaration on Fungal Nomenclature” by Hawksworth D L, Crous P W.
Redhead S A, Reynolds D R, Samson R A, Seifert K A, Taylor J W, Wingfield M J
and 80 others (2011) was published in IMA Fungus
2 (1) 105–112.
“A critical response to the Amsterdam Declaration” was published as a contrary
view by Gams W, Jaklitsch W and 77 signatories a little later in 2011 in
Mycotaxon 116 501–512.See:
Mike Wingfield played a major role in facilitating the changes and he published
an editorial about them in December 2011 in
IMA Fungus2 (2) 39-40. He notes that most
plant diseases are caused by fungi, typically pleomorphic organisms, for which
the taxonomy and, in particular, their dual nomenclature system have frustrated
and confused students and practitioners of plant pathology. Mike points out that
over eight months have passed since the “One fungus=One name” (1F=1N) symposium
was held in the Netherland’s Academy of Science, Amsterdam. He believes that the
period since might well go down in history as amongst the most traumatic,
exciting, and important in the history of fungal taxonomy. Mike believes that
the outcomes will undoubtedly influence the field and the many associated
disciplines that rely upon it for decades, if not posterity.
A further review entitled “One fungus one name promotes progressive plant
pathology” by Mike Wingfield writing with de Beer Z W, Slippers B, Wingfield B
D, Groenewald J Z, Lombard L and Crous P W has been published on-line in
December 2011 in
Molecular Plant Pathology.
The review highlights the problems of a dual nomenclature, especially its impact
on plant pathogenic fungi, and charts the road to a one fungus, one name system
that is rapidly drawing near. The robust and reliable identification of fungi
underpins virtually every element of plant pathology, from disease diagnosis to
studies of biology, management/control, quarantine and, even more recently,
comparative genomics. The journey to a one fungus, one name taxonomic reality
has been long and arduous, but its time has come. This will inevitably have a
positive impact on plant pathology, plant pathologists and future students of
this hugely important discipline on which the world depends for food security
and plant health in general. The review includes coverage of the impact of
molecular biology, recognizing that the emergence of DNA sequencing has revealed
cryptic taxa and revolutionized our understanding of relationships in the fungi.
The impacts on plant pathology at every level are already immense and will
continue to grow rapidly as new DNA sequencing technologies continue to emerge.
DNA sequence comparisons, used to resolve a dual nomenclature problem for the
first time only 19 years ago, have made it possible to approach a natural
classification for the fungi and to abandon the confusing dual nomenclature
The leaders of the change would like to know what plant pathologists think about
it. ISPP has set up a
web-site for receiving the viewsof the membership about all of this. The intention is that ISPP will
garner a compilation of comments and send a digest to the leaders. Therefore,
ISPP asks members and their national societies to send in their support or
opposition to, and comments about, the idea that “one fungus one name promotes
progressive plant pathology. The receiving site is:
4th International Workshop for Phytophthora, Pythium, and Phytopythium, Web
Symposium on “Oomycetes of Regulatory Concern in International Trade”
Z Gloria Abad and Yilmaz Balci are very pleased to announce the presentation of
the “4th International Workshop for Phytophthora, Pythium, and Phytopythium” and
the International Web Symposium “Oomycetes of Regulatory Concern in
International Trade” to be held during 21-25 May 2012 at University of Maryland,
College Park, MD, USA.
The primary purpose of the workshop is to provide hands-on training on
morphological and molecular tools used to identify species within the genera.
Participants will have the chance to examine a selected assemblage of species
from each genus using type species. The innovative “Morphological and Molecular
Identification Tools for Oomycetes: Phytophthora - Lucid and Tabular Keys” with
important information of the described species will be presented at the event.
Z Gloria Abad at the USDA-CPHST and Yilmaz Balci at the University of Maryland
are the organizers. Instructors for the workshop are: Frank Martin of the
USDA-ARS, Salinas, California; Michael Coffey of the World Oomycetes Genetics
Resource Collection (WOGRC) Universityof California; Gloria Abad and Yilmaz
Balci from the USA; and Arthur de Cock of the CBS Fungal Biodiversity Center,
Utrecht, The Netherlands. Invited Speakers are: Niklaus Grünwald of USDA-ARS,
Horticultural Crops, Research; Seogchan Kang of Pennsylvania State
University-Phytophthora Database; and Kurt Zeller of USDA-CPHST, Beltsville,
The International Web Symposium will be presented during the morning of
Wednesday 23rd as an additional activity for the workshop. Invited Speakers are:
Clive Brasier and Joan Webber at the Forest Research Agency, Farnham, UK; Marco
Thines from the University of Hohenheim, Germany; Trena Burgess from The Centre
for Phytophthora Science and Management, Australia; André Lévesque from
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Paloma Abad from the Mediterranean
Agroforestal Institute of the Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain.
Registrations for the Workshop will be open to 30 April 2012.
Z Gloria Abad, PhD, Senior Plant Pathologist, Lead Scientist,
USDA-APHIS-PPQ-CPHST Beltsville, Building 580-East, Powder Mill Road,
Beltsville, MD 20705, USA. Phone: +1-301.313.9340; Fax: +1-301.313.9226 and at
Richard D Berger - Obituary
Dr Richard D Berger, Emeritus Professor of Plant Pathology at the University of
Florida (UF), passed away on 22 December 2011, after a long illness. His
colleagues and former students remember him as a friendly, quiet and dedicated
researcher and teacher, with a unique sense of humor and a tremendous historical
knowledge of the development of epidemiological concepts and applications. Dr
Berger voiced and published many original, innovative and sometimes
controversial ideas about temporal and spatial dynamics of plant diseases. He
trained six MS and eight PhD students the principles and practice of plant
disease epidemiology in addition to teaching an introductory course in Plant
Disease Control and a course in Epidemiology at the graduate level.
Dr Berger was born in Pennsylvania in 1934, grew up on a farm, and received his
BS degree from Kutztown State College, PA, in 1955. He then served in the US
Army as research assistant doing research on rice blast in the biological
warfare laboratories in Frederick, MD. There, he developed an interest in and
understanding of plant disease epidemiology, so that he continued with graduate
studies in Plant Pathology at the University of Wisconsin, where he earned the
PhD degree in 1962. His first position in Plant Pathology was that of Extension
Plant Pathologist at the Pennsylvania State University. Next, he became
assistant and later associate professor at the Everglades Research and Education
Center of UF in Belle Glade, Fl. In 1976, he and his family moved to the main
campus of UF in Gainesville, Fl., where he taught the epidemiology course,
maintained a successful research program, and mentored graduate students for
many years.An interest unrelated
to epidemiology was his fascination of Cercospora taxonomy. For a few years, Dr
Berger was also the interim Department Chair for the Department of Plant
Dr Berger retired in 2002, but continued to teach epidemiology until 2006.
Dr Berger was an active member of the
American Phytopathological Society, serving as Chair or member of the
Epidemiology, the IPM and the Crop Loss Committees. He was also a member of the
Florida State Horticultural Society and of the American Peanut Research and
Education Association. He was Senior and Associate Editor of Phytopathology,
Assigning and Senior Editor of Plant Disease, Associate Editor of
Phytoprotection, and served on the Editorial Committee of the Annual Review of
Phytopathology. He attended numerous scientific meetings worldwide and was a
regular participant in the International Epidemiology Workshops. He also gave
many invited presentations at various conferences. Dr Berger spent several study
leaves abroad, among others in the Netherlands, Brazil, Puerto Rico and Mexico.
For these tremendous contributions Dr Berger received two awards from
horticultural organizations in Florida and two awards (Campbell award and Fellow
award) from the American Phytopathological Society.
Contributions to Science
Dr Berger’s research interest was in quantitative epidemiology, particularly the
intensification of disease in time and space. He worked on many pathosystems,
including leaf spots on beans, soybeans, celery, citrus, roses, turf grass,
sweet corn and oats, root and bulb pathogens on onions or garlic to weed
pathogens that could be used as biological control agents. Dr Berger and his
graduate students developed models and simulators to help interpret the
peculiarities of natural epidemics, and these models were used to devise ways to
better manage plant diseases. They used a wide array of experimental techniques,
including electronic probes to measure micro- and macroclimate variables, light
interception, infra-red reflection, leaf area meters and video imagery to assess
effects of the environment on disease development and the amount of host stress
caused by disease and other factors.
Dr Berger published about 100 scientific papers, mostly in APS journals. His
most important contributions to epidemiology were: improved disease assessments
by partitioning the crop canopy and designing interpolative disease rating
scales (1973); the development of disease forecasting systems for early blight
on celery and Northern leaf blight on corn, widely used by growers (1973-1976);
prediction of final disease and crop loss from average epidemic rates (1974);
the realization that disease develops in temporal ‘waves’ at the beginning of
the epidemic, which can only be observed when observations are made daily
(1975); utilization of isopaths to describe the spread of plant diseases in time
and space (1979); demonstration of the superiority of the Gompertz equation over
the logistic equation for many disease progress curves (1981); coupling of
models for pest and disease development to growth simulators to predict yield
loss (1983); the development of a general model for disease progress with
functions for variable latency and lesion expansion on growing host plants
(1985); development, with Paul Waggoner, of the concepts of healthy leaf area
duration (HAD) and healthy leaf area absorption (HAA) , the latter being the
integration of the incident insolation absorbed by the healthy leaf area over
the season, to predict crop yield (1987 and 1995); the development of a
simulation model for bean rust (1995); the importance of lesion expansion for
epidemic development, especially in (sub)tropical climates (1997); introduction
of the area under the disease gradient curve (AUDGC) as alternative to fitting
various models to disease gradients (1999); modification of the HAA concept to
photosynthesizing leaf area index absorption (PAA) to account for large ‘virtual
lesion’ areas (2001); and the realization that a biotrophic pathogen has a less
damaging effect on physiological processes of the remaining green leaf area than
a hemibiotrophic pathogen (2002).
The later contributions resulted from collaborative research with Brazilian
epidemiologists (L Amorim, R B Bassanezi, A Bergamin and L A Maffia). In
addition to his Brazilian colleagues, Dr. Berger had a wide network of other
collaborators, in particular, in Germany (B Hau, G E Weber and J Kranz), the
Netherlands (J C Zadoks), and the USA (P Waggoner). In Dr Berger’s own words:
“International projects provide an added stimulus to study epidemiology under
different sets of host-pathogen-environmental conditions”.
Contributions to teaching
Dr Berger developed and taught primarily the graduate course "Epidemiology of
Plant Disease". This course consisted of lectures on the theory of epidemiology,
various computer exercises, and also hands-on laboratory and field sections,
including disease assessment, quantification of inoculum and inoculation of
plants, and monitoring a field epidemic in space and time. Students often
thanked him for the lessons learned in the field plots as the most valuable part
of their training in plant pathology. Through computer exercises the students
learned sampling techniques, analysis of experimental data, curve fitting of
epidemics in space and time, and simulation modeling. The students got
acquainted with classical simulation models like EPIDEM of P. Waggoner as well
as Dr Berger’s own model CERCOS (for Cercospora blight on celery). His lectures
reflected his research interests next to giving an overview of epidemiological
concepts. For example, he showed students that disease progress occurs in waves
in the early stages of epidemic development. [I remember vividly that Dr Berger
presented a lecture on this topic at Wageningen University, when I was an M.S.
student in the 1970s!!]. He also discussed the controversy surrounding the
relationship between inoculum density and disease incidence (ID:DI) based on the
rhizosphere-rhizoplane models presented by R Baker (1967 and 1972). To quote Dr
Berger: “There has been controversy about the “I” and the “D” in inoculum
density AND the “D” and the “I” in disease intensity. The only part of the ID:DI
relationship that was non-controversial was the colon “:” !!”. Other lecture
topics included spatial distribution and spread, disease forecasting, components
of resistance and gene deployment; and finally, systems analysis, modeling,
yield and crop loss. Dr Berger summarized his approach to teaching as follows:
“This systems philosophy permeates most of my activities. It has really changed
the way how I look at plant pathological problems. Before my indoctrination, I
visualized our science as thousands of bits and pieces, unique for every
pathosystem. Now, I look for patterns, generalizations, commonalities, etc.; the
holistic view”. Dr Berger is missed by epidemiologists worldwide, plant
pathologists in the USA, and colleagues, students and growers in Florida.
However, he left behind an important legacy of theoretical concepts, practical
information and excellent lecture notes, which will be used for many years to
Dr Berger is survived by his wife Joyce, son Dan and daughter Tina, a sister and
two brothers, and four grandchildren.
I like to thank Dr Larry Madden and Terry Davoli for corrections in the text.
Ariena van Bruggen, Professor of Plant Disease Epidemiology, Department of Plant
Pathology and Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville,
FL 32611, USA.
Ever Increasing Importance of Plant Pathology
Dr Andre Drenth of the University of Queensland gave a talk entitled “The Impact
of Globalisation and Plant Diseases on Food Security” at a Food Security and
Biosecurity Symposium run by the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science
and Technology at the University of Sydney in November 2011. It was an excellent
history of agriculture, input technologies, trade, biosecurity, pathogens and
the importance of crop protection.
Andre also gave a more comprehensive presentation, with greater emphasis on food
security and less on biosecurity, in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, to a
Plenary Session at the 2010 American Phytopathological Society Annual Meeting.
This was made into a webcast entitled “The Ever Increasing Importance of Plant
Pathology” and it can be heard and viewed
by clicking here.
has a new Director-General
FAO's new Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, told his inaugural press
conference two days after taking over that the total elimination of hunger and
undernourishment from the world will be his top priority. He told journalists
that with a term in office of only three and a half years there was no time to
lose. FAO would begin by scaling up its support to a number of low-income and
food deficit countries and especially to those facing prolonged crises. He
indicated that he wanted to work in the most transparent and democratic way with
member countries, United Nations agencies, the private sector, civil society and
Statement of the Director-General at his Press Conference in Rome on 3 January
2012 may be seen by
Newsletter of the Punjab Agricultural Research Board
Maryam Nasee, Research Publication Officer of the
Punjab Agricultural Research Board (PARB), draws ISPP members’ attention to the
PARB Newsletter at www.parb.gop.pk
where much information and an archive can be found. The PARB was established as
an autonomous body under the PARB Act 1997 to foster an integrated approach for
research planning and efficient allocation of research resource so that the
agriculture innovation system of the province can generate appropriate solutions
to the issues faced by various stakeholders in the food and fiber chain.
Phyllosticta and Citrus Disease in China
Phyllosticta species associated with diseases in mandarins, pomeloes, orange and
lemons in the main citrus producing regions across China were reported in recent
research. Four hundred and ninety six Phyllosticta strains were isolated and 74
of these were selected for phylogenetic analysis. The isolates clustered in four
distinct clades corresponding to three known, and one undescribed species. A
newly resolved taxon, P.citrichinaensis, was isolated from leaves and fruits of all four
citrus species and it caused minor damage, showing irregular spots or freckles.
P. citriasiana, associated with tan
spot of pomeloes, was isolated only from pomeloes, and never from lemons,
mandarins and oranges. P. citricarpa,
the citrus black spot pathogen, was isolated from lemons, mandarins and oranges,
but never from pomeloes. The isolates of P. citricarpa clustered in two subclades, one from mandarins, the
other from oranges and lemons. P.
capitalensis was isolated from all four citrus species as an endophyte,
causing false melanose. Morphological, cultural and biochemical characters were
consistent with the results of phylogenetic analysis. A specific primer pair was
designed and selected, and its corresponding PCR procedure was developed for the
detection of P. citriasiana in this study.
The paper has just been published in
Fungal Diversity (2012) 5 (1)
pages 209–224 by Xinghong Wang, Guoqing Chen, Feng Huang, Jingze Zhang, Kevin D.
Hyde and Hongye Li and entitled “Phyllosticta species associated with citrus
diseases in China”. It can be accessed by
New species of Phytophthora have been discovered in Western Australia’s forests,
heathland and waterways, some of which could pose a threat similar to the deadly
Phytophthora cinnamomi, the most
well-known cause of Phytophthora Dieback. The new species include
P. thermophila, P. fluvialis,
P. constricta, P. litoralis,
P. gibbosa and
P. gregata, which had not previously been found anywhere else, and
eight exotic species never recorded before in Western Australia (WA). The new
species were identified using recent DNA technology that enabled them to be
distinguished from similar species.
Mike Stukely of the WA Department Environment and Conservation stated that
P. thermophila and
P.constricta are among the most destructive and have been associated with
plant mortality in coastal heathlands following heavy summer rainfall.
P. multivora, while not as potent as
P. cinnamomi, is also of particular concern because of its very wide
distribution and ability to thrive in environments where
P.cinnamomi does not, such as alkaline
sands and Tuart forests. Mr Stukely also stated that
P. arenaria and P. constricta
are believed to be native to WA but others have probably arrived from overseas.
Phytophthora hybrids are also being found in WA, though little is known about
them beyond their likely parentage. Dr Treena Burgess of the Centre of
Phytophthora Science and Management stated that the hybrids are probably the
result of reproduction between P.
thermophila, P. litoralis and
P. fluvialis and are not yet widely distributed. The oldest samples
are 10 years old and are still being examined to assess their potency and what
plants they can infect. Hybrids have never been identified in WA before but have
been reported overseas, sometimes becoming more damaging than their parents.
a plethora of new species being discovered, Mr Stukely says all species of
Phytophthora need to be taken seriously and not underestimated merely because
they are not P. cinnamomi. This had
been the case until the mid-2000s but now many in the anti-dieback community are
pushing for the upcoming threat abatement plan to include all Phytophthora
Plant Protection for the Quality and Safety of the Mediterranean Diet
This is the theme of an International Workshop being organised by the
Mediterranean Phytopathological Union (MPU) in Bari, Italy, in October 2012. See
“Coming Events” and
the official web-site.
The Mediterranean diet now has a place in UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural
Heritage of Humanity. According to UNESCO, the Mediterranean diet constitutes a
set of skills, knowledge, practices and traditions ranging from the landscape to
the table. This includes crops, methods of harvesting, conservation, processing,
preparation and consumption of food. The diet consists mainly of pasta, bread,
cereals especially durum wheat or barley, olive oil, fresh or dried fruit and
vegetables, a moderate amount of fish, dairy and meat, and many condiments and
The main issue of the Workshop will be Plant Health, based on knowledge of
host-pathogen interactions, control and prevention of important pests and
pathogenic and toxigenic microorganisms, including viruses, bacteria,
mycoplasmas, fungi, oomycetes and certain insects, mites or nematodes, in
relation to quality and safety of the agricultural commodities. The main crops
or chains that will be considered are grape-wine, cereals, olives, horticulture,
Mediterranean fresh and dried fruits. Oral
presentations will be on the following main topics: Pre-Harvest: challenges and
prospects in food security, safety and quality through crop health management;
Post-Harvest: advanced safe technologies for postharvest disease and pest
management; Food Processing: influences of quality and safety of crop produce on
food processing. An additional goal will
be to organize round table discussions and strengthen the network on crop
protection in the Mediterranean region in order to increase its co-operation and
scientific weight at international and European levels.
The latest edition of “New Agriculturalist”
(2012) is now on-line atwww.new-ag.info. A key theme of this edition is keeping track
of the changing environment and humanity’s impact and dependence on natural
cycles. It also heralds new beginnings as “New Agriculturalist” launches two new
sections, supported by the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR).
Refutation of a Claim by Greenpeace Germany
Richard Levine < RLevine@entsoc.org >, the
Communications Program Manager of the Entomological Society of America, has sent
the following information about an article in the forthcoming issue of the
Journal of Integrated Pest Management (JIPM) which refutes claims by Greenpeace
Germany that the western bean cutworm (WBC),
Striacosta albicosta (Smith), is a new pest that was caused by
genetically engineered corn. The Greenpeace Germany paper is Then, C. (2010).
“Agro-biotechnology: new plant pest caused by genetically engineered corn: The
spread of the western bean cutworm causes massive damage in the US.”
Testbiotech, Institute for Independent
Impact Assessment in Biotechnology, which may be seen
by clicking here .
The JIPM authors maintain that the Greenpeace report fails to consider broader
ecological and agronomic factors which explain why the WBC's range has expanded.
These additional factors include insect biology, synchrony of insect and corn
phenology, reduced insecticide use, increases in conservation tillage, soil
type, glyphosate-resistant crops, insect genetics, insect pathogens,
pre-existing insect population densities, and climate change.
The Greenpeace claim that the WBC has historically "been confined to very
limited regions and did not cause any major problems in maize crops" is also
untrue, according to the JIPM authors. Farmers in Nebraska reported major
problems as early as 1962, and instead of being "confined to very limited
regions," the WBC was documented throughout the western Great Plains from Mexico
to Alberta, where it was found in the mid 1950s, despite the Greenpeace claim
that it was found in Canada for the first time as recently as 2009.
of concern that "potential misinterpretation of selected quotes" in the
Greenpeace report may lead to confusion among future regulatory decision makers,
the JIPM authors go on to give specific responses to other claims in the report.
These responses, and the full JIPM article,
can be downloaded here .
The Aspergillus website is
a worldwide comprehensive resource providing a wide range of information about
the fungus Aspergillus and the diseases - such as Aspergillosis that it can
cause. This site is free to use and provides an encyclopaedia of Aspergillus for
doctors, scientists, patients and their relatives. Some parts of the site for
example the image bank require free registration. See: www.aspergillus.org.uk/.
10th International Congress of
Plant Pathology (ICPP2013) in
25-30 August 2013.
Contact: Professor You-Liang Peng,
Department of Plant Pathology,
Agricultural University, Beijing
100193, PR China. Phone: +86-10-62733607; Fax: +86-10-62733607.