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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.
Reminder on nominations for the ISPP Executive 2018-2023
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:
should be sent directly to Prof M Lodovica Gullino (email@example.com),
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 31 March 2017.
Ken Pegg - 60 years of plant pathology in Queensland's Fruit Industries
Ken Pegg with family (R to L) wife, Sue Pegg; Ken; son, Dr Geoff Pegg; and
daughter in law, Dr Fiona Giblin (both Geoff and Fiona are also plant
Ken Pegg commenced as a cadet plant pathologist with the then Queensland
Department of Agriculture and Stock in March 1956. Fast forward 61 years, and Dr
Ken Pegg AM is still working, an eminent plant pathologist for Agri-Science and
Biosecurity Queensland. To celebrate this remarkable milestone, professional
and industry colleagues gathered in Brisbane in late February 2017.
While Ken's contributions to horticulture and plant pathology have been many and
varied, he has earned global recognition for the development of an integrated
disease management system for Phytophthora root rot of avocado
(including a highly effective trunk injection method for applying phosphonate to
rejuvenate affected trees), and his studies on Panama disease in banana
(pathogen diversity studies and evaluation of breeding lines for Panama disease
R to L - Dr Joe Kochman, Dr Melda Moffett and Dr Bob Dodman
After official speeches and congratulations, Dr Melda Moffett, retired plant
bacteriologist, and the first female plant pathologist appointed in Queensland,
reminisced about when Ken started out, while Dr Suzy Perry, Dr Bob Dodman and
John Harden highlighted Ken's lifetime commitment to practical solutions to
plant diseases, his collaborative approach to research, his mentorship of young
scientists, his wealth of knowledge, and his kind and humble nature.
(Lindy Coates, Suzy Perry and Greg Johnson)
Global Good Practice Notes
The Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services
(GFRAS) is about enhancing the performance of advisory services so that they can
better serve farm families and rural producers in developing countries, thus
contributing to improved livelihoods in rural areas and the sustainable
reduction of hunger and poverty. One of its initiatives is the
Global Good Practices which
aims to facilitate access to information and know-how on agricultural extension
for a wide audience of practitioners. It does so by providing Good Practice
Notes, which are peer-reviewed descriptions of key concepts, approaches and
methods in an easy to understand format.
Good Practice Notes Note 23
plant health clinics and Note 24 is on
extension campaigns are two notes of interest to the plant pathology
community. The extension campaign note covers surveillance and how to get better
information from the field so that plant health authorities can respond
Pacific Pests and Pathogens app version 5 released
A new version of the app, Pacific Pests and Pathogens, has been released and
contains 300 mini fact sheets; one for every full fact sheet. The latest mobile
version can be updated and downloaded from
Apple stores. The mini fact sheets are also available on the
Insights into fungal-bacterial symbioses may lead to novel methods of
Rhizoctonia solani control
Rhizoctonia species and R. solani specifically, are a complex
group of soil fungi with broad host range and world-wide distribution. In a
research paper titled "A
dimorphic and virulence-enhancing endosymbiont bacterium discovered in
Rhizoctonia solani" published in Phytobiomes, University of Florida
researcher Ken Obasa and colleagues identified a novel and important biological
aspect of R. solani while investigating brown patch infected cool-season turf
grasses. The findings of this study suggest that at least some Rhizoctonia
species in the anastomosis group 2-2IIIB can harbour intracellular bacteria that
affect the biology of their fungal host and, in turn, the way the fungus
interacts with plants. This and similar recent discoveries raise important
questions about the distribution and significance of fungal microbiomes to our
understanding and management of phytopathogenic fungi.
A universitywide effort to promote the study of microbiomes has led to the
creation of a center for microbiome research at Penn State. The university's
focus on microbiomes dovetails with increased recognition of the importance of
this field within the scientific community and by the public.
2016, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy announced the
National Microbiome Initiative, aimed at fostering the integrated study of
microbiomes across different ecosystems. That announcement coincided with
commitments for federal agency investments of $121 million in the first two
years. Agencies supporting microbiome research include the USDA, Department of
Energy, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Institutes of
Health and National Science Foundation. In addition, $400 million in financial
in-kind support was committed by other organizations, including Penn State.
Carolee Bull, head of the Department of Plant Pathology and
Environmental Microbiology, represented Penn State at the kick-off event for the
national initiative. Bull, is chairwoman of the planning committee that drafted
the proposal for the new center and will lead the center until a director is
"Several Penn State colleges and institutes have robust
microbiome-related research programs and have made commitments to participate,"
Bull said. "We expect that a core group of about 30 researchers and their teams
will be actively involved in the center's activities." Searches are underway to
fill positions in microbial ecology in the Department of Food Science and in
root biology and rhizosphere interactions in the Department of Plant Science.
Acknowledgement of the contributors to the Global Survey on Crop Losses
As of 1 February 1, 2017, the overall results of the Global Survey on Crop
Losses, which started on 1 November 2016, have led to the following results:
- 1142 total responses
- 216 respondents (contributors) in 67 countries
- 368 responses on wheat diseases and pests
- 151 responses on maize diseases and pests
- 297 responses on rice diseases and pests
- 180 responses on potato diseases and pests
- 146 responses on soybean diseases and pests
The data set is well-balanced, with very large contributions from North America
and South Asia, but also sizeable contributions from South America, East Asia,
South-East Asia, and Europe, as well as workable contributions from Sub-Saharan
Africa, Central Asia, and Oceania. Interpretations of patterns of responses
should be possible, regionally, and world-wide.
This is a tremendous
success, since for the first time ever, a collective expert assessment has been
generated on the importance of diseases and pests worldwide on world's five most
important food crops. The volume of responses should enable worldwide as well as
regional estimates of crop losses derived from these assessments.
behalf of the ISPP subject matter committee on Crop Losses, I wish to thank
every one of you for having contributed and volunteered information in this
effort. I believe that this is a fine example of the strength of a collective,
In the coming weeks, the data set which has been
assembled from these assessments will undergo a first set of processing, to
provide (expert-based) crop loss estimates (1) by crops, (2) by disease and
pests, and (3) by regions of the world, and worldwide. This will be reported in
the bulletin of ISPP News probably in the April or May issue.
of colleagues involved in the development of the Survey protocol and procedures
[ Paul Esker (University of Costa Rica), Asimina Mila (North Carolina State
University), Neil McRoberts (UC Davis), Andrew Nelson (University of Twente),
Sarah Pethybridge (Cornell University), Serge Savary (INRA, France), and
Laetitia Willocquet (INRA, France) ], will then proceed with additional, more
detailed analyses, aimed at (1) linking levels of crop losses and their
frequencies; (2) robustness of the information generated, in comparison with
available empirical data; and (3) the implications of these results, including,
but not restricted to, policy implications. These analyses will be submitted for
publication in a journal (medium) still to be determined.
reporting which will be made will include the list of contributors who have
volunteered information. The format of this recognition will necessarily depend
on the requirements, style, and policies of the publishing medium. For instance,
a full table of the contributors will appear in the manuscript which will be
submitted to the ISPP in view of an article in ISPP News. The collective work
will also be reported at the
Conference on Global
Crop Losses to be held in Paris, France, during 16-18 October 2017.
Thanking each of you for your contributions,
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.
Asian Conference on Plant Pathology ACPP2017 13-16 September 2017,
Jeju, South Korea
The Asian Association of Societies for Plant Pathology will convene their sixth
conference in Jeju, South Korea, from 13-16 September 2017 with the theme
"Translation from Genomics to Disease Management."
Key topics for the
conference include: Subtropical and Tropical Plant Diseases, Plant Diagnosis and
Quarantine, Grain Crop Diseases, Horticultural Crop Diseases, Molecular Plant
Pathology, Biological Control, Genomics and Phytobiome, and Chemical Control.
The conference will conclude with a field trip on the 16 September 2017.
Abstract submission will be available from 1 May 2017 to 30 June 2017
through the ACPP 2017 website (http://acpp2017.org).
Organising Committee, February 2017)
Overconsumption leads to loss of one fifth of world's food
The world's population is consuming around 10 per cent more food than it
needs, while almost nine per cent is thrown away or left to spoil, a new
study has found. Scientists at Edinburgh examined ten key stages in the
global food system, including food consumption and the growing and
harvesting of crops, to quantify the extent of losses. Using data collected
primarily by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation, the team found that
more food was lost from the system than was previously thought.
"Reducing losses from the global food system would improve food security and
help prevent environmental harm. Until now, it was not known how over-eating
impacts on the system, "Dr Peter Alexander, from the university's School of
GeoSciences and Scotland's Rural College, said.
production is the least efficient process, with losses of 78 per cent, or
840 million tonnes, the University of Edinburgh team found. Increased demand
for some foods, particularly meat and dairy products, would decrease the
efficiency of the food system and could make it difficult to feed the
world's expanding population in sustainable ways, researchers said.
Encouraging people to eat fewer animal products, reduce waste and not exceed
their nutritional needs could help to reverse these trends, the team said.
"A forest is much more than what you see," says ecologist Suzanne Simard.
Her 30 years of research in Canadian forests have led to an astounding
discovery - trees talk, often and over vast distances. Learn more about the
harmonious yet complicated social lives of trees and prepare to see the
natural world with new eyes.
Prospects for biological soilborne disease control: Application of
indigenous versus synthetic microbiomes
A paper by Mark Mazzola and Shiri Freilich titled "Prospects for biological
soilborne disease control: Application of indigenous versus synthetic
microbiomes" was published in March 2017 by Phytopathology (vol. 107 pp.
256-263). The abstract is as follows:-
Biological disease control
of soilborne plant diseases has traditionally employed the biopesticide
approach whereby single strains or strain mixtures are introduced into
production systems through inundative/inoculative release. The approach has
significant barriers that have long been recognized, including a generally
limited spectrum of target pathogens for any given biocontrol agent and
inadequate colonization of the host rhizosphere, which can plague progress
in the utilization of this resource in commercial field-based crop
production systems. Thus, although potential exists, this model has
continued to lag in its application. New omics' tools have enabled more
rapid screening of microbial populations allowing for the identification of
strains with multiple functional attributes that may contribute to pathogen
suppression. Similarly, these technologies also enable the characterization
of consortia in natural systems which provide the framework for construction
of synthetic microbiomes for disease control. Harnessing the potential of
the microbiome indigenous to agricultural soils for disease suppression
through application of specific management strategies has long been a goal
of plant pathologists. Although this tactic also possesses limitation, our
enhanced understanding of functional attributes of suppressive soil systems
through application of community and metagenomic analysis methods provide
opportunity to devise effective resource management schemes. As these
microbial communities in large part are fostered by the resources endemic to
soil and the rhizosphere, substrate mediated recruitment of
disease-suppressive microbiomes constitutes a practical means to foster
their establishment in crop production systems.
Zebra chip disease: Portable diagnostic tool breakthrough aims for
fast, accurate results
A new portable diagnostic tool for identifying the devastating zebra chip
disease may bring faster and more accurate results to stem its spread,
according to New Zealand scientists. Zebra chip is a bacteria which alters a
plant's metabolism and burns striped patches in potatoes, making both the
potato and its seed inedible and unmarketable. It is mainly spread by
tomato potato psyllids, a pest which was detected in Perth last week.
Dr Grant Smith is a plant pathologist with the Plant and Food
Research institute in New Zealand and has been working on the development of
the tool. He said current tests were not accurate enough. According to Dr
Smith, the new technology would also be portable and cut waiting times from
two-three days to roughly 30 minutes. Dr Smith said this reduced time-frame
and portability would be particularly important for delimitation surveys
when trying to define infected areas and distance of spread.
(Michelle Stanley and Tyne Logan, ABC Rural, 21
Discovery of new rust in sugarcane
In January 2017, the Australasian Plant Pathology journal published the
description of Macruropyxis fulva, a new fungus that causes rust in sugarcane. The
samples originated from the south of the African continent and consisted of
leaves presenting symptoms of rust on both faces, with different
characteristics of other rusts. Comparative molecular analyses with other
species of fungi confirmed that this was a new species. In addition to
sugarcane, Macruropyxis fulva has also been reported in Miscanthus ecklonii.
As far as is known, it is restricted to Swaziland and South Africa, at least
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:
15th Congress of the Mediterranean Phytopathological Union - Plant health
sustaining Mediterranean Ecosystems 20 June - 23 June, 2017 Cordoba,
Asian Conference on Plant Pathology 13 September - 16 September, 2017 Jeju Island, South Korea Website:
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