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.
and a 1992 Picture of Participants
The Sainsbury Laboratory is located at the Norwich Research Park in Norwich,
Norfolk, UK. The Laboratory opened on the campus of the John Innes Centre in
1989. The Laboratory has established a global reputation in plant and microbial
science. It is dedicated to adventurous and long-term research which will help
reduce crop losses to important diseases. It has groups working on aspects of
plant disease, plant disease resistance and microbial symbiosis in plants. See:
The John Innes Horticultural Institution was founded in 1910 at Merton Park,
Surrey, UK, with funds bequeathed by John Innes, a merchant and philanthropist.
The Institution occupied Innes's former estate at Merton Park until 1945 when it
moved to Bayfordbury, Hertfordshire, UK. In the 1980s, the administration of the
John Innes Institute was combined with that of the Plant Breeding Institute at
Cambridge and the Nitrogen Fixation Laboratory. In 1994, following the
relocation of the operations of these two organisations to Norwich, the three
were merged as the John Innes Centre in Norwich.
An agreement was signed in 1987, setting up The Sainsbury Laboratory as a joint
venture between the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, the John Innes Foundation, the
University of East Anglia and the then UK Agricultural and Food Research Council
(now the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council). The current
laboratory building was constructed at the John Innes Centre and occupied in
From its inception, The Sainsbury Laboratory has been generously supported by
the Gatsby Charitable Foundation. In the mid 1980s the Gatsby trustees decided
to establish the Sainsbury Laboratory to investigate plant interactions with
microbes and viruses, using state-of-the-art genetics and molecular biology
techniques. This topic was chosen in part because it presented a large number of
questions with fundamental significance in biology, with good prospects that any
discoveries might be usefully applied.
Recently Sophien made available to fellow twitterer Greg Johnson a 1992 group
photo taken at The Laboratory. It is reproduced below so that people around the
world can identify themselves and colleagues from those days.
The group photo has been worked on for the ISPP Newsletter. Elizabeth Aitken,
now of the Plant Pathology research group, University of Queensland, Australia,
is in the photo, and she has helped to identify others in the picture with the
help of colleagues in Australia and the UK. Peter Williamson has arranged the
picture so that first it can be enlarged by clicking on it. Then hovering the
cursor over each face will bring up the name of the person if they have been
recognised by Elizabeth and colleagues. Clicking again on the picture will
return to the Newsletter.
Please let Elizabeth know
if there any mistakes or recognitions not yet made.
Click the image to enlarge and
Investment in Agriculture is Imperative � a Canadian Perspective
On behalf of Canada's Deans of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, John
Kennelly, Dean of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences at the University
of Alberta collaborated with Alastair Cribb, Dean of Veterinary Medicine at the
University of Calgary in submitting a statement to the press.
Click here to see the full statement.
Producing more food with the same or fewer resources has been one of humankind's
most remarkable accomplishments over the years. Since 1990, the rate of yield
improvements has slowed in most countries, including Canada. This slowdown is
reflected in record high food prices and elevated concerns about food security.
If the trend is not reversed there will be trouble. In the next 40 years, world
food demand is expected to double again. Meeting the needs without destroying
the Earth's resource base depends on growth in agricultural productivity and
efficiency. Canada must invest more in agricultural and food research, the
principal source of new technologies, environmental efficiencies, agricultural
yield growth and nutritionally superior foods.
Investments in agricultural and food research have very high internal rates of
return and create excellent benefits. Despite this, agricultural and food
research investment in Canada continues to languish. Such investment can come
from the public (through taxes), the producers (through commodity levies) and
the private sector (through product sales levies). An holistic approach is
needed encompassing all three sources, as has been used effectively in
Australia, where wheat research investment is now four times higher than in
Producer-funded research plays an important role. Levies are collected on farm
product sales and then reinvested in research by producer-managed boards. The
levy is equitable because the cost is borne by consumers and producers who most
directly benefit from productivity improvement. The success of the Saskatchewan
Pulse Growers, the Dairy Farmers of Canada and the Australian Grains Research
and Development Corporation research programs demonstrates how powerful this
producer-funded model can be.
The social imperative to invest in improving the world's food production
capacity in a sustainable way is clear. Greater long-term public funding
commitments are needed to plant, animal and food research. Through increased
research investment, Canada can "do well by doing good", thereby creating
economic benefits at home while helping to address pressing global food security
Huanglongbing on Citrus in California
A ProMED-mail post on 4 April 2012 at
reported that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the USA
recently confirmed the presence of citrus greening, also known as Huanglongbing,
in samples from an Asian citrus psyllid and from plant tissue collected from a
lemon/pummelo tree in a residential neighborhood in Los Angeles County,
California. This is the first confirmation of the disease in California. The
collection was done by the California Department of Food and Agriculture during
ongoing citrus surveys. The Department is enacting an emergency quarantine in an
8 km radius around the site of detection. APHIS will put a parallel interstate
quarantine area in place.
According to ProMed, Huanglongbing, citrus greening, is caused by the fastidious
phloem-inhabiting bacterium Candidatus
Liberibacter asiaticus and occurs throughout much of Asia. It is one of the
most damaging diseases of citrus crops. The pathogen was reported for the 1st
time in the Americas from Brazil in 2004. Asian citrus psyllids were discovered
in Florida in 1998 and the pathogen was found there in 2005. In 2012, the
pathogen was confirmed in Texas. The disease has not been reported from the
Mediterranean region or from Australia.
International Working Group of Plant Viruses with Fungal Vectors
This working group as 2013 IWGPVFV will hold a symposium in Obihiro, Japan, in
2013. It is shaping up to be one of the most productive and exciting meeting in
recent years. IWGPVFV was officially launched at the 5th International Congress
of Plant Pathology in Kyoto, Japan, in 1988 following an initiative by Professor
Chuji Hiruki, the recent ISPP Treasurer. The group organizes symposia at
intervals of approximately 3 years in different countries in the world. Previous
countries having meetings organized by the IWGPVFV were; Germany, 1990; Canada,
1993; UK, 1996; USA, 1999; Switzerland, 2002; Italy, 2005; Germany, 2008;
Belgium, 2001. Membership is free of charge and open to all who are actively
engaged in any aspect of research work on soil-borne viruses, their fungal
vectors, and/or their interaction. Enthusiasm is building up as many plant
pathologists around the world plan their participation in 2013 ICPP in Beijing,
The 2013 symposium is planned to be a 4-day meeting prior to the main congress
of ICPP and will include a welcome reception, oral paper presentation, poster
session, conference dinner and field excursion.Detailed programs including travel plans and an estimate ofexpenses can be obtained by contacting Dr Tetsuo Maoka, Local Organizer,
NARO Hokkaido Agricultural Research Center, Sapporo 062-8555, Japan. The second
announcement containing the description of the program and other related
information will be available shortly.
The last meeting was held from 6-8 July 2011, in Louvain-la Neuve, Belgium. See
The program included: Virus-Plant Interactions (7 papers), Resistance (5
papers), Vector Transmission and Interaction with Plants (3), Virus
Characterization (5), Poster Sessions (10) . The proceedings of the symposium
are in press.
The IWGPVFV holding its 8th International Symposium on the new campus of the
Universite Catholique de Louvain in Louvain-la Neuve, Belgium, 6-8 July 2011.
International Plant Virus Epidemiology (IPVE) Symposium
The International Committee on Plant Virus Epidemiology is pleased to inform
that IITA is organizing the 12th International Plant Virus Epidemiology (IPVE)
Symposium from 28 January to 1 February 2013, in Arusha, Tanzania. The symposium
will be held under the auspices of the International Committee on Plant Virus
Epidemiology of the International Society for Plant Pathology (www.isppweb.org/ICPVE).
symposium will cover all aspects of epidemiology, ecology, evolution and control
of plant virus diseases. There will be a special session on plant virology in
sub-Saharan Africa, and a field excursion around Arusha and Kilimanjaro. For
further details, visit: www.iita.org/IPVE.
Attached documents have details about the meeting and registration. More details
will appear in the website in due course.
Jonathan Jones Selected for the 2012 E C Stakman Award
Professor Jonathan Jones of The Sainsbury Laboratory in the UK has been selected
as the recipient of the 2012
E C Stakman Award,
for his outstanding achievements in the field of plant pathology.
Jonathan has made many sustained contributions to plant pathology. His group was
among the first to isolate and characterize a disease resistance gene. By
cloning the Cf-9 gene in 1994, he
demonstrated that resistance induced in plants towards pathogens is based on
specific classes of innate immune receptors. His discovery that an
R gene codes for a receptor-like protein was a validation of the
concept of gene-for-gene and elicitor-receptor interactions that originated from
the work E C Stakman, Harold Flor, and other pioneers of plant pathology.
Jonathan has also been a strong advocate of the use of transgenic approaches to
control plant diseases. He has sought to ensure that his research can be applied
to solve serious problems of disease in agriculture, and so be of great benefit
worldwide. A field trial of late blight-resistant potatoes is testament to this
practical approach and his efforts to engage with the public, media, farmers and
NGOs during this trial have typified his open approach to talking about GM and
Jonathan completed his PhD in Plant Genetics at Cambridge University in 1980. He
then accepted a Post-doctoral Research Fellowship at Harvard University. In 1988
he joined the Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, UK. He was elected a member of
the European Molecular Biology Organization in 1998, and a Fellow of the Royal
Society in 2003.
Retirement of Dr Solke De Boer from ISPP Committee
Dr Solke De Boer has diligently served the ISPP as a member of the ISPP
Committee on the Taxonomy of Plant Pathogenic Bacteria. This committee is very
active and requires a great deal of its members. Solke�s service to ISPP is
commendable because he has been a valuable and active participant since 1992. He
has been an integral part of the development of the List of Names of Plant
Pathogenic Bacteria and updates to the list as well as an active participant in
the writing of papers by the committee to explain the taxonomy of bacterial
plant pathogens. See:
Dr Solke De Boer has announced his retirement from the Canadian Food Inspection
Agency (CFIA) and the ISPP Committee on the Taxonomy of Plant Pathogenic
Bacteria as of 30 April 2012. Having immigrated with his family to Canada from
the Netherlands as a young child, Solke De Boer grew up in Canada and studied
crop protection at the University of British Columbia. He obtained his PhD in
plant pathology with a minor in bacteriology from the University of
Wisconsin-Madison in 1976 and then took employment as a research scientist with
AAFC at the Vancouver Research Station. At the closing of the Vancouver
research centre in 1996, he moved to Prince Edward Island to work on plant
health with the regulatory division of AAFC which later became the Canadian Food
Inspection Agency (CFIA). During his tenure at both AAFC and CFIA, Solke�s
research focused primarily, but not exclusively, on bacterial diseases of
potato. He studied the diversity of the soft rot erwinias (now pectobacteria)
and contributed to a better understanding of the bacterial ring rot disease
caused by Clavibacter michiganensis
subsp. sepedonicus. The serological
and molecular tests he developed for detecting the potato bacterial pathogens
are widely used today and played a part in achieving the level of detection
technologies for phytopathogens available today.
Convener ISPP Committee, and Research Plant Pathologist, USDA/ARS, 1636 E Alisal
St, Salinas, CA 93905, USA, asks readers to join her in thanking Dr De Boer for
his long and meaningful service to ISPP.
General Assembly of the IUBS in Suzhou, China
The International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS) has asked for publication
of a reminder about its 31st General Assembly on 5-9 July 2012 in Suzhou, China.
The co-hosts are the Bureau of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, the Chinese
Academy of Sciences (CAS), China, the Bureau of International Cooperation, CAS,
China, and the Department of International Affairs, China Association for
Science and Technology, China. The theme of the conference is �Promoting
Biological Sciences for a Better Life�.
Two publications from APS will help with understanding within the genus
One is a review paper by Laurens P N M Kroon, Henk Brouwer, Arthur W A M de Cock
and Francine Govers from the Netherlands in the April 2012 issue of
348-364. It is entitled �The Genus
Phytophthora Anno 2012� and can be accessed in abstract form at
The review reminds that Phytophthora
literally means plant destroyer, as coined in the 19th century by Anton de Bary
when he investigated the disease underlying the Great Irish Famine.
Phytophthora infestans, the causal
agent of potato late blight, was the first species in a genus that at present
has over 100 recognized members. In the last decade, the number of recognized
Phytophthora species has nearly
doubled and new species are added almost on a monthly basis. The review presents
an overview of the 10 clades that are currently distinguished within the genus
Phytophthora with special emphasis on
new species that have been described since 1996.
Another is a CD published in 2011 and available at
�Identification of Common Phytophthora
Species� and produced by Jean Beagle Ristaino. It provides a computerized key to
morphological and molecular characters useful in identifying 55 common
Phytophthora species. The user enters
responses to known character state options to identify the correct species.
Illustrations of each state are included. The main features of the key are
asexual structures, sexual structures, and chlamydospores, hyphae and cultural
characteristics. An illustrated �Fact Sheet� on each species is included, with a
cross-linked glossary of terminology. In addition, a DNA Sequence Search
function of ITS and Barcode of Life (5� end of the cox1 gene) sequences for each
species can be queried. The product will assist educators, diagnosticians, and
regulatory personnel to distinguish common species. It can be used on either a
PC or Mac computer.
from the ISPP Taxonomy of Plant Pathogenic Bacteria Committee
The ISPP-Committee on the Taxonomy of Plant Pathogenic Bacteria (ISPP-CTPPB) has
published an up-date of the List of Names of Plant Pathogenic Bacteria. See:
The publication is C T Bull, S H De Boer, T P Denny, G Firrao, M Fischer-Le
Saux, G S Saddler, M Scortichini, D E Stead, Y Takikawa. (2012) List of New
Names of Plant Pathogenic Bacteria (2008-2010)
Journal of Plant Pathology94 (1), 21-27. See:
The Melanesian Agricultural Information System (MAIS) is a three-country
initiative to provide access to bibliographic and non-bibliographic information
about research and development in the agriculture sector in Papua New Guinea,
Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. The scope of the databases is not restricted to
just agriculture, but also includes information on forestry, fisheries and the
Transformed Musa spp for Resistance to
Nematodes in Uganda
Collaboration between researchers from the University of Leeds, UK, and the
International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Uganda, has resulted in
transformation of Musa spp with
defence against nematodes. The research was published on-line in March 2012 in
Molecular Plant Pathology as �Generation of transgenic plantain (Musa
spp.) with resistance to plant pathogenic nematodes� by Hugh Roderick, Leena
Tripathi, Annet Babirye, Dong Wang, Jaindra Tripathi, Peter E Urwin and Howard J
Plantain and banana productivity is severely constrained by nematodes, and
conventional breeding for resistance is precluded by the sterile nature of many
cultivars. A transgenic plantain cultivar (Musa
spp) expressing a maize cystatin that inhibits a digestive enzyme in nematodes
and also a synthetic peptide that disrupts nematode chemoreception was
evaluated. Lines were generated that expressed each gene singly or both
together. Nematode challenge with a single species or a mixed population
identified 10 lines with significant resistance. Resistance was achieved against
Radopholus similis and in certain
situations against Helicotylenchus
multicinctus. This work then gave evidence for the safe and effective
deployment of the resistance against multiple nematode species. It also
identified transgenic lines with a high level of resistance for a proposed field
trial in Uganda after approval has been obtained from the country's National
late Professor Harry Wallace
Professor T V Price of Victoria, Australia, has
published an obituary of Professor H R Wallace in
Australasian Plant Pathology on-line in April 2012. It is entitled
�Professor H R Wallace�distinguished nematologist and plant pathologist
1924�2011�. The article may be accessed at link to obituary,
Fungarium at Kew Gardens, UK
Perhaps not known to many is the fact that there is a team of mycologists at the
Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew Gardens in the UK. The team focuses on the
systematics, conservation, and ecology of fungi. Around 100,000 species of fungi
have so far been described, but most are still poorly known. It is estimated
that total numbers are far greater and that over 90% of fungal species still
await description. Research by the team is underpinned by the 1.25 million
specimens in the Kew Fungarium. The work involves morphological and molecular
phylogenetic analysis, yielding monographic studies, checklists, local and
regional mycotas, updated phylogenetic classification, and improved knowledge of
ecological and evolutionary patterns and processes. The team also has a vital
role in identifying material relevant to mushroom poisonings, following from
enquiries received from medical consultants and hospital staff.
Paul Cannon leads research on the vast collection of fungi in The Fungarium.
Kew�s work in mycology goes beyond cataloguing fungal diversity, with a strong
focus on conservation, evolutionary biology, fungus-plant and fungus-insect
interactions and sustainability. Further insight into the location, size,
contents and activities of The Fungarium may be seen in a video at
World Cocoa Foundation and a Concern about the Future of Chocolate from David
The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) is an international membership foundation that
supports cocoa farmers and their families worldwide. WCF programs try to raise
farmer incomes, encourage responsible and sustainable cocoa farming and
strengthen communities. It attempts to promote a sustainable cocoa economy by
providing cocoa farmers with the tools they need to grow more and better cocoa
and to market it successfully. WCF's membership includes cocoa and chocolate
manufacturers, processors, supply chain managers, and other companies worldwide,
representing more than 80% of the global cocoa market.
The activities of WCF include work towards addressing the well-publicised
problem of abuse of child labour. WCF states that it is strongly committed to
elimination of the worst child labour abuses. It is a signatory to the 2001
Harkin-Engel Protocol, which commits the cocoa and chocolate industry to work
with the governments of C�te d�Ivoire and Ghana to eradicate the worst child
labour abuses. WCF believes that child labour is often a symptom of wider
problems, including poverty. WCF programs expand educational opportunities for
young people, provide literacy training, agricultural knowledge, leadership
skills, and vocational education. It believes that helping the entire farm
family will improve conditions for the children, and it works with its partners
to increase educational opportunity for all family members. See:
the WCF web-site for more coverage of
this matter, and for notices of WCF meetings and a link to its Newsletter.
A crisis may be looming according to a public lecture
given on 18 April 2012 by Professor David Guest from the Faculty of Agriculture
and Environment, University of Sydney, Australia. He is doing research which
supports the chocolate industry by improving the sustainability and
profitability of smallholder cacao production. Threats to cacao production
include pests and diseases, ageing plantations, poorly trained farmers and
poorly managed trees, climate change, dependence on a narrow genetic base, crop
substitution where cacao is replaced by maize because of the demand for
bio-ethanol, and political instability. In work with farmers in Indonesia, Papua
New Guinea and Bougainville the research shows that good farm management
increases yields, resulting in improved living standards, reduced rainforest
clearing, political and social stability, and more secure future supplies of
I thank Elizabeth Aitken, Carolee Bull, Chuji Hiruki,
Greg Johnson and Peter Williamson for their input to this issue.
The International Society of Sugarcane Technologists (ISSCT) 10th
Pathology Workshop in Nanning, China.
Research, Science and Technology Conference on �Harnessing Science and
Technology for Development: Meeting the PNG 2050 Vision Targets� hosted
by the Pacific Adventist University, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
Sixth Meeting of the International Union of Forest Research
Organizations IUFRO Working Part "Phytophthora in Forests and Natural
Ecosystems" in Cordoba, Spain. 9-14 September 2012. Contact : Ana M Perez Sierra at
e-mail. See: http://iufrophytophthora2012.org
30th New Phytologist Symposium �Immunomodulation by plant-associated
organisms� in Fallen Leaf Lake, California, USA.
The 12th session of the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
and World Health Organization (WHO) Codex Committee for North America
and the South West Pacific (CCNASWP) as a Regional Food Safety Meeting
in Madang, Papua New Guinea.
19-22 September 2012.
2nd Annual World Congress of Agricultural Biotechnology-2012 on
�Bridging Development of Agriculture and Technological Innovation� in
10th International Congress of Plant Pathology (ICPP2013) in Beijing, China.
25-30 August 2013.
Contact: Professor You-Liang Peng, Department of Plant Pathology, College of
and Biotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, PR China. Phone: +86-10-62733607;