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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.
Serious Problems posed by Puccinia psidii
As readers of this Newsletter will be aware, a rust fungus infecting members of
the Myrtaceae was found in New South Wales in about April 2010, and a number of
papers have been published since then, reporting the developing situation.
The first was Carnegie A J, Lidbetter J R, Walker J, Horwood M A, Tesoriero L,
Glen M and Priest M (2010) Uredo rangelii,
a taxon in the guava rust complex, newly recorded on Myrtaceae in Australia.
AustralasianPlant Pathology39:463–466, as reported in the ISPP
of August 2010.
Then came Carnegie A J and Cooper K (2011) Emergency response to the incursion
of an exotic myrtaceous rust in Australia.
Australasian Plant Pathology
referred to in the ISPP Newsletter of August 2011.
The latest is Carnegie A J and Lidbetter J R (2011) Rapidly expanding host range
for Puccinia psidii sensu lato in
Australia. Australasian Plant Pathology
volume 40 (6) and published on-line
on 26 August 2011 at <
The recent discovery of teliospores in NSW indicates that the rust in Australia
is a strain (with tonsured urediospores) of
P. psidii sensu lato. Key forestry
species were tested in artificial inoculation experiments. Several species of
Eucalyptus were susceptible (viz. E.
pilularis, E. cloeziana, E. agglomerata and
E. grandis ), as was Melaleuca quinquenervia.
In Australia, P. psidii s.l. has now been found on 107 host species in 30
genera, including species in Angophora,
Asteromyrtus, Austromyrtus, Backhousia, Callistemon, Chamelaucium, Choricarpia,
Decaspermum, Eucalyptus, Eugenia, Gossia, Lenwebbia, Leptospermum, Lophomyrtus,
Melaleuca, Metrosideros, Myrtus, Pilidiostigma, Rhodamnia, Rhodomyrtus,
Ristantia, Stockwellia, Syncarpia, Syzygium, Tristania, Tristaniopsis, Ugni,
Uromyrtus and Xanthostemon.
Species in nurseries and gardens that are severely affected include
Gossia inophloia, Agonis flexuosa,
Syzygium jambos and S. anisatum
while species that are severely damaged in native bushland include
Rhodamnia rubescens, Rhodomyrtus
psidioides, Choricarpia leptopetala and
The Importance of Plant Science to Humanity
How do we feed our children’s children?
Which crops must be grown and which sacrificed, to feed the billions?
When and how can we simultaneously deliver increased yields and reduce the
environmental impact of agriculture?
These are just some of the crucial questions facing the global community today
which plant science must address in order to ensure a sustainable future for
humanity. Yet while the importance of plant science and botany is
undeniable, in a growing number of countries and institutions there are threats
to our ability to populate these fields of study with our brightest and best
young minds and in sustaining academic activities in these subject areas. A
cause for alarm in the UK was cited in the June 2011 issue
of the ISPP Newsletter.
Now comes the rousing view in a new article that Plant Scientist should take its
rightful place beside Doctor, Lawyer and Vet in the list of top professions to
which capable young people aspire.
This challenge is made in a letter entitled “One
hundred important questions facing plant science research” and published on-line
on 22 August 2011 in
Its fourteen authors lead by Professor Claire Grierson of the University of
on-line consultation over a 3-month period in recent years among plant
scientists in and outside of the UK and among farmers and through the press. The
consultation was about key issues that future plant scientists should be
addressing, and resulted in the compilation of nearly 400 questions. A panel
from the academic, commercial, and public service communities that produce or
benefit from plant science research selected 100 of them for the letter.
The panel grouped the questions into five broad areas: society, environment and
adaptation, species interactions, understanding and utilizing plant cells, and
diversity. They are detailed in the letter. The
panel concluded that plant science is central to many of the issues facing
humanity. “Secure food production and quality remain key issues for the world in
the 21st Century, and the importance of plants extends well beyond agriculture
and horticulture because of declining fossil fuel reserves, climate change, and
a need for more sustainable methods to produce fuel, fibre, wood, and industrial
Further conclusions were as follows:
As plant science becomes increasingly important, the brightest and best must
be attracted to careers in plant research.
Steps are needed to improve school education to show the most interesting or
relevant aspects of plant science, and to encourage further study at
Making the best possible progress will require exceptional people.
FAO Vegetable IPM Program in South & Southeast Asia
For over a decade,
has worked with government and nongovernmental organizations and carried out
farmer education and participatory research activities to promote and support
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in vegetables by Asian smallholder farmers. IPM
is an ecological approach to crop production and protection that combines
different management strategies and practices to grow healthy crops and minimize
the use of pesticides.
The training approach used in the Program is mainly a Farmer Field School (FFS).
In an FFS, 25-30 farmers meet each week along with qualified extension staff
and/or experienced farmers. Employing informal methods, a field is used as the
resource for discovery-based learning. Farmers gain management skills, generate
knowledge, carry out experiments and learn how to make better informed
decisions. This seeks to empower the application of the principles learned to
other spheres aimed at improving rural livelihoods.
The twenty-seventh session of the
Asia and Pacific Plant Protection Commission
(APPPC) was held in Manila, Philippines, from 15 to 19 August, 2011.
Forty-seven delegates from 19 contracting governments attended the meeting.
There were also 13 observers from various organizations including Pesticide
Action Network – Asia and Pacific, USDA and the Secretariat of the Rotterdam
Progress Report of the Standing Committee on Integrated Pest Management
was delivered by the outgoing Chair from the Philippines. It highlighted the
incidence of pests and diseases in APPPC member countries as a result of crop
production intensification under the national food security agenda and how the
problems can be adequately addressed by breakthroughs in IPM given the political
will to invest in farmer education in IPM. Work-plans for 2012-2013, presented
by the incoming Chair from Vietnam, identified lead-counties for each activity
as the People’s Republic of China, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia and the
Philippines for different activities.
Indian Phytopathological Society and coming Symposium
The Indian Phytopathological Society (IPS) is one of the largest societies of
plant pathologists in the world. It was established in February 1947 at the
Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi. The constitution was ratified
at the first annual general body meeting of the Society held in January 1948
when 156 charter members took part. IPS now has about 2,000 members located in
more than 50 countries. It focuses on the fields of Mycology, Fungal Pathology,
Bacteriology, Virology, Phytoplasmology and Nematology. IPS has published its
journal Indian Phytopathology since
More information about the
Society and its history can be obtained
by clicking here,
which also leads to a link for the forthcoming
National Symposium on "Biology of
Infection, Immunity and Disease Control in Pathogen-Plant Interactions" in
Hyderabad in December 2011. See also “Coming Events”.
International Symposium in China on Tropical and Subtropical Fruits
This symposium will be held in Guangzhou, China, in June 2012. See “Coming
the symposium web-site.
It is jointly organized by the Fruit Tree Research Institute, GDAAS, Guangzhou,
China, the International Tropical Fruits Network (TFNet), the International
Society for Horticultural Sciences, the Hunan Agricultural University and the
Guangdong Fruit Association. The symposium is a follow up to the one held in
Bogor, Indonesia in 2008.
More information may be obtained from Professor Dr Jiang Zongyong, Guangdong
Academy of Agricultural Science, Guangzhou, Guangdong, 610640, China. Phone:
+86-2087596262, Fax: +86-2087503358 or
or from Professor Dr Ganjun Yi, Fruit Tree Research Institute, Guangdong Academy
of Agricultural Sciences, Wushan, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510640, China. Phone:
+86-2038765869, Fax: +86-2038765626, or
French Society of Phytopathology (Société Française de Phytopathologie)
Dr Pascal Frey, President of the Society, has advised Greg Johnson, ISPP
Secretary-General, that it has obtained a new Executive Committee for the period
This Workshop of the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative (BGRI) will be held from 1-4
September 2012 at the Friendship Hotel in Beijing, China. Before this, the 13th
International Cereal Rust and Powdery Mildew Conference will take place from
28-31 August. The local host institution will be the Institute of Plant
Protection of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science. See “Coming Events”
APS Journals – Editor’s Selections
Dr R Michael Davis, Editor-in-Chief of
Plant Disease, picked from the September issue, a paper titled “Variability
Among Forecast Models for the Apple Sooty Blotch/Flyspeck Disease Complex” by D
R Cooley and colleagues. They examined sources of variability among available
models that forecast apple diseases. Leaf wetness duration was highly variable,
but canopy density, tree size, and cultivar also affected accuracy of models.
The study is applicable to many forecasting models and shows the types of
detailed analysis needed before any single model is universally applied. Read
Dr Gary Stacey, Editor-in-Chief of
Molecular Plant Microbe Interactions, selected from the September issue, a
paper by Chiara Volpi et al from
Italy titled “The Ectopic Expression of a Pectin Methyl Esterase Inhibitor
Increases Pectin Methyl Esterification and Limits Fungal Diseases in Wheat”. It
showed that transgenic expression in durum wheat of the inhibitor derived from
golden Kiwi fruit caused an increase in pectin methylation and an increase in
resistance to Bipolaris sorokiniana
and Fusarium graminearum.
Dr Niklaus Grunwald, Editor-in-Chief of
Phytopathology, picked a paper titled “Investigating the Genetic Structure
of Phytophthora capsici Populations”
by L M Quesada-Ocampo et al. The
soil-borne pathogen affects many crops in the Solanaceae, Cucurbitaceae,
Fabaceae and other families. Isolates from six continents, 21 countries, 19
states in the USA and from 26 host species were genotyped for four mitochondrial
and six nuclear loci. Bayesian clustering revealed some population structure by
host, geographic origin and mefenoxam sensitivity, with some clusters occurring
more or less frequently in particular categories. This highlights the importance
of including isolates from all detected clusters for development of diagnostic
tools, fungicides, and host resistance.
International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists and a Workshop in China
is an association of scientists, technologists, managers, institutions and
companies/corporations concerned with the technical advancement of the cane
sugar industry and its co-products. It has been in existence for 86 years during
which time it has organized 27 Congresses, usually at 3-year intervals. The last
Congress was held in Veracruz, Mexico. The next, the XXVIII Congress, is
scheduled for São Paulo, Brazil in May 2013.
Workshops are also held
between congresses for discussions among specialists on key issues affecting the
industry. In May 2012, its 10th Pathology Workshop will be held in Nanning,
China, as shown in “Coming Events” and
the Workshop web-site.
Bacterial disease of betel vines in Taiwan
Betel-vines (Piper betle, Piperaceae)
showing leaf blight symptoms were observed during 2008 in central Taiwan.
Infections resulted in 30 to 70% losses in leaf production. Symptoms on leaves
were small, necrotic and water-soaked spots that progressed to circular or
irregularly shaped brown lesions with chlorotic haloes. The presence of
Acidovorax citrulli was found on
diseased plants and this was the first report of the bacterium naturally
infecting a non-cucurbit. Inoculation studies showed that betel-vine strains
could infect Cucumis melo.
See: Deng W L, Huang T C, Tsai Y C (2010) First report of
Acidovorax avenae subsp.
citrulli as the causal agent of
bacterial leaf blight of betelvine in Taiwan.
Plant Disease94 (8), 1065-1065.
Annual Review of Phytopathology
Useful information about this important review journal including about its
latest issue Volume 49 published in
September 2011 can be obtained by clicking on
Seed China News
The first issue of “Seed China News” came out in January 2011 as volume 1 issue
1, and it may be down-loaded by
It starts by stating that China is the second largest seed producing country in
the world but that its domestic market is currently in turmoil, with too many
companies with generally weak R&D capabilities. It faces great challenge from
many overseas seed companies. The Ministry of Agriculture is formulating a new
policy of "Seed Management Regulations". This is likely to cause the number of
seed companies in China to be reduced because many existing companies will be
unable to meet the requirements.
Overseas seed companies continue to strengthen their business in China, with for
example expanding vegetable seed business in Guangdong, cooperating with
The news then covers over fourteen pages about activities involving seeds of
different crops and for different regions of China.
ADVERTISEMENT about the Journal of Integrated Pest Management
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;