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.
Election of the 2013-2018 Executive Committee of the International Society for
Plant Pathology (ISPP)
The call for nominations of candidates for election to
the 2013-2018 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 Richard Falloon (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 2013 (Beijing) and 2018 (Boston), and being
able to commit 50 to 100 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 Richard Falloon (firstname.lastname@example.org),
or through a representative of an Associated Society (see http://www.isppweb.org/about_associated.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 15 October 2012.
Many international wheat
varieties owed their resistance to a single gene
Sr31. Over the decades in East Africa
the stem rust fungus evolved a way around this gene, resulting in Ug99, to which
much of the world’s wheat was susceptible. Ug99 is now present in various
Eastern and Southern Africa countries, as well as Sudan, Yemen, and Iran. Seven
different variants belonging to the Ug99 lineage have now been identified, some
of which are able to defeat the resistance genes,
Protecting the world
from Ug99 will prevent devastating crop losses and hunger for the poor. An
international research effort is now supplying new wheat varieties that are
resistant to Ug99—both for African countries where outbreaks already occur and
wheat farming regions that lie in the disease’s path.
Kenya was the first
country to be attacked by Ug99 after its emergence in Uganda was confirmed in
1999. There have been several epidemics, as most of the varieties planted in
Kenya were susceptible and wheat is grown continuously throughout the year, so
more mature crops can infect younger plants. However, the presence of Ug99 in
Kenya has been turned into an opportunity that is benefitting the world, thanks
to a close partnership between the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI),
the international Borlaug Global Rust Initiative (BGRI) and CIMMYT. Each year,
KARI’sNjoro field station now tests
as many as 50,000 wheat lines, from research organizations and national breeding
programs of more than 25 countries. As a consequence, resistant wheat varieties
are now available to farmers in several countries, with more due for release in
Farmers in Afghanistan,
Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Egypt, Nepal, and Pakistan are multiplying the new seed.
In an emergency, the resistant wheat harvest could be used as seed, allowing
complete replacement of susceptible varieties within a year should Ug99 appear.
Scientists continue to
release new and even better-yielding varieties to enhance productivity and
genetic diversity. Breeders are working hard to make sure they do not rely on
one gene. Instead they are using harder-to-spot “slow-rusting” genes, which
confer a type of “adult plant resistance” that cannot be easily evaluated in
seedlings in the greenhouse, but must instead be evaluated in adult plants in
the field. Individually, the effects of slow rusting genes are minor, slowing
down the disease rather than bestowing total resistance. However, four or five
such genes together can result in near immunity. This additive resistance is
much less likely to be hit hard by new mutations of the disease.
Kenya is reaping the
benefits of the Njoro partnership, as KARI develops high-yielding,
Ug99-resistant wheats for the Kenyan market. Two such varieties have already
been released, and KARI has produced and sold more than 200 tons of their seed.
Another three varieties are in advanced testing for imminent release. Kenya
currently produces only a third of its annual wheat requirement of 900,000 tons,
with farmers reluctant to take the risk of losing their entire crop to rust.
In 2012 Njoro will host
its fourth annual stem rust training course, with experts from Kenya, CIMMYT and
around the world gathering to share knowledge with other researchers. The Njoro
station also holds training days for farmers, covering early detection of stem
rust, prevention methods, and resistant varieties available.
Together, scientists from Africa and throughout the world have risen to the
challenge of Ug99. Thanks to their expertise, hard work, and partnerships,
farmers now hold in their hands a gift from Njoro. By staying one step ahead of
the stem rust disease and preventing further epidemics, food security and the
sustainable production of wheat worldwide could be ensured.
Plantwise Knowledge Bank
The science and
agriculture organisation, CABI, has launched a free online resource designed to
help extension workers, government organisations, researchers and farmers in
developing countries diagnose, treat and prevent plant pests and diseases.
The Plantwise Knowledge
Bank is packed with features which ensure the information it provides is useful,
relevant and applicable. The diagnostic tool enables users to diagnose plant
problems based on pictures of symptoms; country specific homepages mean the
information shown is tailored to the user’s location; and a range of factsheets
provide information about easily applicable treatments.
The Knowledge Bank map
is the world’s most comprehensive distribution data source for pests and
diseases. The interactive map links information from a variety of sources
enabling a wide audience of users involved in the battle against pest and
diseases to map and model distribution data.
resource will contribute to reducing crop losses (currently up to 40% pre- and
post-harvest) that blight countries and threaten local, national and global food
Rumsey, CABI Head Office.
Bioprotection of Foliar Diseases of Radiata Pine in New Zealand
The July 2012 issue of
New Zealand Bioprotection Newsletter carries an article on a major new
multi-partner funded forest bioprotection project led by Dr Robert Hill of
Lincoln University. The project is about “Bioprotection of Foliar Diseases and
Disorders of Radiata Pine”. It will investigate ways of enhancing defence
mechanisms of the pine in nurseries and forest plantations, with particular
emphasis on using beneficial microbes to suppress existing foliar diseases and
minimise the threat of forest biosecurity incursions. The microbes will include
selected isolates of Trichoderma,
which has a good track record in plant protection,
Beauveria, more commonly recognised as
an insect pathogen, and needle endophytes. The focus will be on controlling
several diseases including those caused by
Cyclaneusma minus and Dothistroma pini
and the Red Needle Cast disease. The research focus will be to induce systemic
resistance against foliar diseases by using endophytes and elicitors.
Dr Hill has developed
several Trichoderma-based products in New Zealand for use in horticulture and
forestry. In Malaysia, there has been widespread industry adoption of
Trichoderma root endophytes isolated locally by Dr Hill, resulting in increased
tree growth and reduced disease levels.
project is a major industry and science collaboration. It involves researchers
from a number of institutions and companies including Dr Tony Reglinski of The
New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited.
American Phytopathological Society Announces its Awardees for 2012
Phytopathological Society (APS) advised about the recipients of its 2012 awards.
The awards were presented during the APS Awards & Honors Ceremony on 5 August
during the APS Annual Meeting held from 4-8 August 2012 in Providence, Rhode
The following APS
members were recognized as Fellows in 2012 in recognition of distinguished
contributions to plant pathology or the society:
Yehoshua Anikster, Tel
Aviv University, Israel;
Richard M Bostock,
University of California-Davis;
Xianming Chen, USDA-ARS;
Bruce B Clarke, Rutgers
Margery L Daughtrey,
Kenneth B Johnson,
Oregon State University;
Deborah A Samac,
Ariena H C van Bruggen,
University of Florida;
Guo-Liang Wang, The Ohio
The Excellence in
Extension Award was presented to Gail E Ruhl, senior plant disease diagnostician
at the Purdue University Plant and Pest Diagnostic Lab.
William Ronald Landis,
CEO of LANDIS International Inc., received the Excellence in Industry Award.
William W Bockus,
professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at Kansas State University,
received the Excellence in Teaching Award.
The William Boright
Hewitt and Maybelle Ellen Ball Hewitt Award was presented to Peter Ojiambo,
assistant professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at North Carolina State
Andrea Ficke, cereal
pathologist at the Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental
Research; Lisa Hoffman, product development manager with DuPont Crop Protection;
and Megan Kennelly, associate professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at
Kansas State University, received the Lee M Hutchins Award.
Vitaly Citovsky, a
professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology at the State
University of New York-Stony Brook, received the Noel T Keen Award for Research
Excellence in Molecular Plant Pathology.
The Ruth Allen Award was
presented to Jeff L Dangl, a professor at University of North Carolina at Chapel
Rodrigo P P Almeida,
assistant professor at the University of California-Berkeley in the Department
of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, received the Syngenta Award.
The new Excellence in
Regulatory Affairs and Crop Security Award was presented to Robert P Kahn,
retired. The newly established award recognizes outstanding contributions to
regulatory plant pathology, crop security, and trade enhancement efforts by APS
Lawrence E Datnoff
received the International Service award. Datnoff is currently a professor and
head of the Department of Plant Pathology & Crop Physiology at Louisiana State
University (LSU)/LSU AgCenter.
Committee on the Taxonomy of Plant Pathogenic Bacteria – new Members
Following the recent
retirement of esteemed colleague Solke de Boer and the up-coming retirements of
two additional committee members, the ISPP – CTPPB has selected two new members.
They are Professor T A Coutinho and Dr Sean Li as set out below. Please join the
ISPP and the Committee in welcoming them.
Professor T A
Teresa Coutinho is a
Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology and the Forestry
and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), University of Pretoria, South
Africa. She was awarded her PhD in plant pathology from the University of Natal
in 1991. Her research interests include forest pathology, specifically bacterial
She has been involved in
the training of 15 PhD and 29 MSc students of which 13 PhD and 24 MSc students
have completed their degrees. During this period she authored or co-authored 103
publications in peer-reviewed, ISI-rated journals. She led the group that
recently published several proposals for new species. These publications
included genera that are unusual for bacterial plant pathogens (Tatumella,
Gibbsiella) as well as more well known
plant pathogenic bacterial genera (Pantoea,
Pectobacterium). She has written a
number of chapters in books including “Bacterial diseases of plants in South
Africa” published in 2009. She was also the senior editor in this case.
She sequenced the genome
of the first plant pathogen in Africa and is an authority on
Pantoea taxonomy and pathogenicity.
She is involved in several professional bodies, notably as an editorial board
member of the Southern Forests, chairperson of the organizing committee of the
2nd International “Erwinia” workshop held in Reunion in 2010, and past convener
of the NRF Assessment panel for Microbiology and Plant Pathology. She is
currently president of the Southern African Society for Plant Pathology
Her contact details are:
Teresa A Coutinho, Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology, Forestry and
Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), University of Pretoria, Pretoria
0002, South Africa, at e-mail.
Dr Sean Li
(Sean) Xiang Li is a
research scientist at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, working on
classification and diagnoses of plant pathogenic bacteria. His current research
focuses on developing novel diagnostic platforms for potato brown rot, blackleg,
zebrachip and phytoplasma diseases based on genomic and barcoding techniques.
He earned his PhD in
1993 under A C Hayward in Australia with earlier contributions to the
phylogenetic classification of Ralstonia
and Bulkholderia. He was postdoctoral research in Dr. Solke De Boer’s
lab in Vancouver from 1993-1995, where he developed molecular detection and
classification techniques on Clavibacter
spp.. Subsequently, his research led him to the Department of Microbiology and
Immunology of UBC and then to a pharmaceutical company where his research
concentrated on soil microbial diversity and
Streptomyces genetics. He has also been a professor for Chinese
Academy of Sciences researching metagenomics of oceanic microbes. He authored or
co-authored more than 60 scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals and 5
chapter books, and filed 5 patent applications with authorization. He has served
as the Chairperson of a Technical Advisory Group on
Ralstonia for the NAPPO Potato Panel,
and is an editorial board member of ACTA Microbiological Sinica since 2007.
His contact details are:
(Sean) Xiang Li, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Charlottetown Laboratory, 93
Mount Edward Road, Charlottetown, PE C1A 5T1, Canada, at e-mail.
Changing Public Perceptions and Opinions on Global Food Security
The ISPP project about
“Changing Public Perceptions and Opinions on Global Food Security” started in
2007 in South Africaand is now
completed. It was supported by the ISPP Task Force on Global Food Security. The
latest information from Professor Lise Korsten and colleagues about the
Background to the project, about the Final Report and a resulting video has been
included recently on the ISPP web-site about achievements under the project.
He recommends that
readers visit the Introduction
page for this view of what has been happening with the classification. A lot has
changed since his retirement in 2000, and anyone interested in the
plasmodiophorids needs to keep abreast of the molecular studies and updated
phylogenies. He has added "Personal Comments" to several of the pages to give
visitors to the site an idea of how specimens were collected from different
interesting locations and the people who helped obtain many of the specimens. He
has also have been updating some of the images. When he first went online on
12 December 1995,
methods for scanning images and putting them on websites were crude compared to
standards used today. Eventually most of the inferior images will be replaced
with images that have been edited with GIMP.
His research was
supported in part by The National Science Foundation, the Ohio University
Research Committee, and the Baker Fund of Ohio University.
Phytophthorabilorbang – a New Species with an Australian name
A new homothallic
Phytophthora species, isolated from rhizosphere soil and roots of declining or
dead Rubus anglocandicans (European
blackberry) in south-west Western Australia, is described as
Phytophthorabilorbang sp. nov. The chosen name refers to a Noongar (southwest
Australian Aboriginal) word for a person living on the banks of a river. This is
reported in Aghighi, S; Hardy, G E S J; Scott, J K; Burgess, T I. (2012).
Phytophthora bilorbang sp. nov., a new
species associated with the decline of
Rubus anglocandicans (European blackberry) in Western Australia. European
Journal of Plant Pathology 133 (4)
Helpful Series of Forestry Images including Diseases and Pests
Forestry Images is a joint project of the Center for Invasive Species and
Ecosystem Health, USDA Forest Service, the International Society of
Arboriculture and The University of Georgia, particularly the Warnell School of
Forestry and Natural Resources and the College of Agricultural and Environmental
a grant-funded project that was started in 1994 by the University of Georgia’s
Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health. The website was launched in
2001 and has grown and received much recognition since. BugwoodImages provides
an easily accessible archive of high quality images for use in education. It is
made up of four major website interfaces,
The focus of BugwoodImages is on species of economic concern. Images
cover invasive species, forestry, agriculture, integrated pest management,
plants, insects, diseases, fungi, wildlife, fire and other natural resource
issues. Images are reviewed for content and quality. The organisers have strived
to provide accurate and correct identifications, taxonomy and descriptions. If
errors are found,
notify them so that they can be corrected in Forestry Images as
well. Currently BugwoodImages has 175,804 images, on 17,699 subjects with 1,931
contributing photographers. BugwoodImages has a wide audience including growers,
managers, researchers, diagnosticians, consultants, regulatory officials,
educators, journalist and the general public from all around the world.
Evolution, Ecology and Control of Plant Viruses
These are themes of the
12th International Plant Virus Epidemiology Symposium to be held in Tanzania in
early 2013 as shown in Coming Events and at
The symposium is one of a series held under the auspices of the International
Committee on Plant Virus Epidemiology of the International Society of the
International Society of Plant Pathology (ISPP) at
The 12th symposium will
focus on the emergence, epidemiology and control of native and newly encountered
virus diseases in the prevailing situation of virus diseases in Africa and
around the world that are not only ravaging crop production, but also affecting
the international exchange of germplasm and commerce. The symposium will provide
a forum for exchange of the latest knowledge and technologies to control virus
diseases and pave the way for an African and global strategy to combat emerging
and re-emerging plant virus diseases.
There will also be one full day dedicated to Virology in Africa, including a
session for ‘networking and partnerships’ with African virologists to provide
opportunity for visitors to promote their programs and establish new
Molecular Method to DistinguishColletotrichum acutatum from
Distinguishing these two
species by morphology and culture is difficult because both are quite diverse. A
qualitative molecular method to readily distinguish between these two species
has thus been developed. It was published as Bo Liu, F J Louws, T B Sutton and J
C Correll (2012). A rapid qualitative molecular method for the identification of
C. gloeosporioides. European Journal of Plant Pathology132 (4) 593-607.
paper was published on-line in November 2011 at
which shows the molecular methods and also a rapid DNA extraction method
reducing the time for DNA extraction from two hours to five minutes. The method
may be useful to diagnostic clinics in helping to make disease management
31st General Assembly
The 31st General
Assembly of the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS) was held from
5-9 July 2012in Suzhou, China. About400
participants attended the General Assembly and the Scientific Sessions. Among
them were 19 representatives of IUBS National Members and 15 representatives of
IUBS Scientific Members.
A new international and
interdisciplinary Executive Committee was elected for the triennium 2012-2015:
Nils Christian Stenseth, (President, Norway), Yury Dgebuadze (Vice-President,
Russia), Zhibin Zhang (Vice-President, China Beijing), Hiroyuki Takeda
(Secretary General, Japan), Santiago Merino (Treasurer, Spain), Regine Jahn
(Germany), Peter Kevan (ICPBR), Laszlo Lenard (Hungary), David Patterson
(OPTIMA), Lily Rodriguez (WCH), L S Shashidhara (India) and Jen-Leih Wu (China
In his speech, the new
President, Professor Nils Christian Stenseth, announced that the IUBS will
contribute to the development of a Unified Biology, by promoting: 1) biological
research covering all sub-disciplines, 2) communication of insight derived from
biological research to a broad audience, 3) training of young people all over
IUBS welcomed three new
IUBS Members: Uruguay as a new National Member of IUBS, Mongolia as an Associate
Member of IUBS and the International Committee on Bionomenclature (ICB) as a
Scientific Member of IUBS.
Living with the Trees of Life - Towards the Transformation of Tropical
This is the title of a
new book by Roger Leakey, who was Professor of Agroforestry and Novel Crops
Unit, James Cook University, Australia, until 2006. Currently he is Vice
Chairman of the International Tree Foundation, a UK registered charity, and Vice
President of the International Society of Tropical Foresters. The book was
published by CABI as a paper and hard back in July 2012. Leakey is a prominent
tree biologist and a past director of research at the World Agroforestry Centre
(ICRAF). He is a member of the celebrated East African Leakey family of natural
historians, paleontologists and environmentalists. See: www.rogerleakey.com and www.cabi.org/bookshop.
In the book, he argues
that abject rural poverty, food insecurity, land degradation and climate change
can be relatively easily addressed through the widespread application of
agroforestry, especially in the tropics and sub-tropics. He states that The
Convenient Truth is that we already know that agroforestry works, thanks to over
three decades of research. His conclusions are based on first-hand experience
working with rural farmers in Africa, Asia, Oceania and Latin America, where the
devastating effects of environmental degradation, poverty, malnutrition and
hunger are strongly felt. Leakey says a fresh approach both to food production
and the use of natural resources is needed if we are to avoid the food crises
expected to touch every country in the world by the middle of this century. “We
need to rehabilitate degraded land, diversify farming systems and protect
watersheds,” he states.
The book presents a
three-point action plan to boost food and nutritional security, particularly in
the world’s poorest regions. The approach involves tapping into the ecological
power of trees to enrich, stabilize and intensify local farming systems. This
approach will benefit from crop domestication to introduce additional valuable
tropical tree species into the farming landscape. The result will be
diversified, multifunctional farmlands that better meet people’s food and other
tree-product requirements, while at the same time restoring the planet’s
Leakey says agroforestry will not compete with, but rather build on the great
progress made in crop and livestock improvement over the last 60 years – and it
will correct some of the mistakes of modern agriculture. Done right, one mistake
that the new brand of farming with trees could remedy is the marginalization of
the poor in the tropics. Leakey is keen that the new business and employment
opportunities generated by trees on farms empower local people to lift
themselves out of poverty.
I thank Carolee Bull, Richard Falloon, Greg Johnson,
Abigail Rumsey and Peter Williamson for their input to this issue.
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
3rd Annual CropWorld India 2012 Conference in Hyderabad, India.
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
19-22 September 2012.
2nd Annual World
Congress of Agricultural Biotechnology-2012 on “Bridging Development of
Agriculture and Technological Innovation” in Dalian, China.
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; Fax: +86-10-62733607.