Concurrent Sessions

The ICPP2018 Scientific Program Committee is pleased to announce the following concurrent sessions. Presentation titles and speakers within each session will be added as confirmed. Sessions may be subject to change.

Accessory Genomes, Genome Islands, and Dispensable Chromosomes Fuel Rapid Adaptations in Plant Pathogens

Organizer: Steve Klosterman, USDA ARS; Li-Jun Ma University of Massachusetts
Subject Matter Committee: Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics

Plant pathogen populations can adapt quickly to changing environments, including the changes presented by their plant hosts. Research has begun to unravel mechanisms that underlie these rapid adaptations in some pathogens. Increasingly, DNA sequencing has revealed that plant pathogens adapt through accessory genomic regions, genome islands, or chromosomes. This session highlights the recent discoveries, functional characterizations, and mechanisms of acquisition of accessory sequences in some plant pathogenic microbes.

Advances in Modeling the Fluid Dynamics of Pathogen Transmission and Dispersal

Organizers: Don Aylor, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station; Lydia Bourouiba, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Subject Matter Committee: Crop Loss Assessment and Risk Evaluation (CLARE) Committee; Epidemiology Committee

This session will focus on the emerging field of quantitative research on infectious disease transmission in agriculture rooted in physical sciences and will aim at connecting small microscopic scale (plant-pathogen interaction) research to macro-scale field level research. The discussion will include interactions of rain and irrigation water with diseased crops and how such interactions shape the transmission of pathogens from the vicinity of infected crops to the rest of the field; how human pathogens and plant pathogens interact in shaping transmission, particularly on fresh produce crops; how air turbulence affects pathogen dispersal over both short and long distances; and how the integration of these various foci informs multiple-scale modeling of disease spread in plant populations and improve risk assessment and disease management.

Advancing Disease Resistance Traits from Lab to Field

Organizers: Jack Westwood, 2Blades Foundation; Diana Horvath, 2Blades Foundation

Crop disease is a major constraint on global food production, in some cases causing total crop failure. Losses are especially damaging in the developing world where locally-adapted resistant varieties rarely exist. Preventing disease losses can boost resilience of food production and ensure the economic security of smallholder farmers. In the developed world, chemical controls are routinely used, a process that can be environmentally damaging and carbon intensive. Genetic solutions can reduce dependency on fungicides and secure yields but bringing solutions to market is a lengthy process. In 20 years of research, only two products, virus-resistant papaya and squash, have been adopted despite many proofs of concept. This session will provide a macro view of the challenges in translating genetic disease resistance and look at three examples of disease resistance traits in staple crops and how this technology could be central to productivity and sustainability of future agricultural systems.

Challenges and Successes of Agricultural Technology Transfer Globally

Organizers: Susan Cohen, Center for Regulatory Research, LLC; Carla Garzon, Oklahoma State University; Steve Johnson, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Subject Matter Committee: APS Office of International Programs

Topics for is session include the barriers and successes to implementing new agricultural technologies to address worldwide plant disease issues, and advances in plant disease diagnostics, biopesticides, plant breeding, climate mapping, and aerial field survey applied to international problems.

COST Action DIVAS: Impacts of Next Generation Sequencing Era in Plant Virology

Organizers: Sebastien Massart, University of Liège - Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech; Antonio Olmos, IVIA

Since the last five years, next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies have significantly impacted the research in plant virology in many areas: etiology, epidemiology, population genetics, plant-virus interaction. The session will start with an overview of the impacts of NGS in plant virology and on the growing importance of bioinformatic field, and will also focus on the downstream consequence of current application of NGS and the discovery of new strains and variant. The last talk will focus on the future perspectives of NGS technologies in disease surveillance.

CRISPR/Cas9 Genome Editing for Plant Pathology and Disease Management

Organizers: Yulin Jia, USDA ARS; Dale Bumpers, National Rice Research Center; Yinong Yang, Pennsylvania State University; Jagdeep Kaur, Danforth Center
Subject Matter Committee: Host Resistance; Molecular and Cellular Phytopathology

The bacterial cluster regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 nuclease (Cas9) system is a powerful and versatile technology for precise genome editing of various animal, plant and microbial organisms. Recently, the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology is being used to study plant-pathogen interaction, engineer crop disease resistance, and manage viral, bacterial and fungal diseases. This session’s speakers will discuss the broad applications of CRISPR/Cas9 technology in plant pathology and disease management.

Development of Innovative Management Strategies for Economically Important Bacterial Diseases

Organizers: Jong Hyun Ham, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center; Alejandra I. Huerta, Colorado State University; Ana Cristina Fulladolsa, University of Wisconsin
Subject Matter Committee: Bacteriology Committee

Numerous crop diseases caused by bacterial pathogens represent serious emerging problems worldwide due to their substantial impacts on regional and global economy. For example, global citrus industry is endangered by the citrus greening and citrus canker. Olive and grapevine diseases caused by Xylella fastidiosa threat the economy and food security of the countries around the Mediterranean Sea. In addition, recent outbreaks of fire blight in the Mediterranean and East Asian countries are thought to seriously influence the world trade market of apples and pears. Commercially available chemical control materials for bacterial plant diseases, such as antibiotics and copper materials, have shown limited efficacy in disease suppression, and are challenged by the frequent occurrence of resistance. This session will introduce recent research activities conducted for the development of innovative methods/materials to manage economically important bacterial crop diseases, through direct suppression of pathogen growth, enhancement of plant defense, and/or promotion of plant fitness.

Emerging Issues and Pathogens Causing Blackleg and Soft Rot of Potatoes World-wide

Organizers: Teresa Coutinho, University of Pretoria; Gerry Saddler, Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA)
Subject Matter Committee:  Plant Pathogenic Bacteria; Bacteriology

This disease is dynamic and the organisms that caused soft rot and blackleg on potatoes and other crops appear to be changing. Whereas in the past Pectobacterium carotovorum and P. atrosepticum were the main causes of this disease, Dickeya solani has caused significant losses in Europe, and D. dianthicola is causing severe losses in Canada and the US. There has also been a shift from P. atrospeticum to P. carotovorum subsp. brasiliensis in Europe. Are we just getting better at defining/circumscribing diversity or are our production practices selecting for different and more aggressive pathogens? This session will look at the biology, epidemiology, taxonomy and management of Enterobacteriaceae causing blackleg and soft rot of potatoes and other crops.

Frontline of Fungal Secondary Metabolite and Mycotoxin Research to Mitigate Threats to Food Security

Organizers: Paola Battilani, Università Cattolica del S. Cuore; Won-Bo Shim, Texas A&M University; Melvin Bolton, USDA ARS NCSL; Ronnie de Jonge, Utrecht University
Subject Matter Committee: Mycotoxicology

Increased variability in global climate is having an unforeseen impact on agriculture worldwide, not only influencing crop growth and yield but also raising food security and food safety issues. The high risk of mycotoxin contamination in key crops worldwide is placing added pressure on growers and producers particularly in developing economies. In addition to mycotoxins, recent studies have shown that fungal secondary metabolite effectors play critical roles in host infection, pathogenesis, and fungal-microbe interactions. Our motivation to solve these problems spearheaded innovative efforts in biocontrol, detection, breeding and genomics research, and in turn these outcomes are making positive impacts on mycotoxin mitigation. Recent research efforts and highlight our global campaign to overcome mycotoxin risks in foods and feeds will be addressed in this session.

Fungal Canker and Vascular Diseases: A Global Threat to Woody Plant Health and Introduction of the Sentinel Concept

Organizers: Jose Ramon Urbez-Torres, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; Laura Mugnai, Universita Degli Studi Firenze
Subject Matter Committee: Forest Pathology; Disease of Ornamental Plants

Woody perennial crops and forests represent some the most economically valued plant industries in the world. Fungal canker and vascular diseases have only been recognized as a threat to these hosts in the last two decades. Recent outbreaks and epidemics of these diseases have been attributed to changes in production practices, the increase of monoculture farming, the loss of effective chemicals due to environmental and human health concerns, climate change, and most importantly the global movement of plant material. The goal of this session is to raise awareness among the international plant pathologist community about the threat imposed globally by fungal canker and vascular diseases on woody plant health.

Global Challenges in Plant Diagnostics

Organizers: Julie Beale, University of Kentucky; Clarissa Balbalian, Mississippi State University
Subject Matter Committee: Diagnostics

Early, quick and reliable detection and identification of organisms is critical to phytosanitary measures and plant disease management at global and local levels. Additionally, routine turnover, political and financial constraints, and lack of coordination across agencies or countries hinders maintenance of trained diagnosticians. This session will consider international challenges regarding harmonization of diagnostic methods development, validation procedures, and quality assurance. Consideration will be given to the critical role reference collections, as a resource for positive and negative controls, play in the development and validation processes and in ensuring the reliability of diagnostics in an international setting. The session also will discuss the pitfalls and potential solutions to current and future efforts to sustain diagnosticians globally and locally.

Global Impact of International Seed Movement: Regulatory Implications of Seed Health Testing

Organizers: Theresa Aveling, University of Pretoria; Ronald Walcott, The University of Georgia
Subject Matter Committee: Seed Pathology

Molecular tools can dramatically improve seed health testing. However, the presence of pathogen nucleic acids in seed samples does not directly indicate a threat of epidemic development. Hence, concomitant with emerging pathogen detection technology, research is needed to assess the threat posed by seed-borne inoculum. This is important to allow for international seed trade, while reducing the risk of global plant disease dissemination. Unfortunately, with new seed assays, regulatory agencies may set policies based on incomplete information. Hence, it is important to determine how to take advantage of new molecular seed health assays, without losing epidemiological relevance. In response to this concern, this session will explore the implications of molecular detection tools for informing phytosanitary regulation development and enforcement.

Global Impacts of Plant Disease Epidemics

Organizer: Serge Savary, INRA
Subject Matter Committee: Crop Loss Assessment and Risk Evaluation

Plant disease epidemics are impacting individual farms, local economic and social fabrics, national and international trade, and the global economy. Information on the impacts of plant disease epidemics is critical to develop and implement policies, prioritize research efforts, and develop decision-making frameworks. Such information is critical in an inter-connected world facing climate change and population growth challenges. This session will highlight the need for global-scale information on the importance of plant disease epidemics and their impacts – agronomical, environmental, and economical; and display an array of modeling approaches enabling the acquisition, analysis and interpretation of epidemiological data, and how they can be used to inform decisions from the field to the global scale.

Improving Disease Control Through Decision Support with Remote Sensing

Organizers: Ian Small, University of Florida; Sarah Pethybridge, Cornell University
Subject Matter Committee: Epidemiology; Crop Loss Assessment and Risk Evaluation

Intensive crop production has rapidly become “data rich” as a result of the intersection between the physical and engineering sciences integrating with precision agriculture. Effectively harnessing these data through precision technologies has clearly demonstrated potential to enhance productivity, efficiency and environmental outcomes across primary production. To date, examples of successful integration of these technologies into farming practices have been relatively few. Moreover, the tools that have been adopted by growers are largely restricted to remote measurement of yield. This session will explore the potential for integration of remote sensing and precision agriculture technologies to improve profitability via decreased crop losses from plant diseases by growers.

Innovative Pest Control Technologies for Smallholder Farmers: Cases from the Field

Organizers: Amer Fayad, Virginia Tech; Cindy E. Morris, INRA, Plant Pathology Research Unit

Innovations for plant protection, adjusted to real-life constraints of farming, are a major challenge for food security. Programs that link science to policy and involve farmers directly in this process are essential to build farmers’ capacity and to develop, transfer, implement, and scale innovations. One successful program is the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Integrated Pest Management, USAID-funded and managed by Virginia Tech, whose mission is to help smallholder farmers in the developing world improve crop production, nutrition, health, income, and food security. This session will highlight this and other participatory approaches in developing, adapting, and disseminating plant protection innovations including biocontrol, enrichment of mycorrhizae and other IPM components and links with policy makers, NGOs, extension agents, researchers, educators, and other stakeholders.

Innovative Technologies for Monitoring Emerging Diseases

Organizers: Lise Korsten, University of Pretoria; Jean Ristaino, North Carolina State University
Subject Matter Committee: ISPP Task Force on Global Food Security

The role of plant clinics, geospatial models, novel detection technology and population genomics are explored as innovative means for monitoring emergin diseases.

Interactions Between Endophytes and Pathogens

Organizer: Matthew Bakker, USDA ARS
Subject Matter Committee: Biological Control

This session will explore several different facets of endophyte-pathogen interactions, with implications for both applied use of endophytes for plant protection, and for our ecological and evolutionary understanding of plant-microbe interactions.

Microbial Interactions and Resilience for Plant Health

Organizers: Gupta Vadakattu, CSIRO; Stephen Neate, University of Southern Queensland

With the ever growing human population and the need to find sustainable food production systems, there is a growing interest to find alternative disease management options that complement the use of disease resistant varieties and chemicals. Natural biological disease suppression has long been suggested to be this alternative for the sustainable management of disease impacts both to improve productivity and to achieve high water and nutrient resource use efficiency. The interaction between soil organisms, plants and their pathogens is inherently fascinating.

Modern Approaches in Weed Biological Control

Organizer: Louise Morin, CSIRO
Subject Matter Committee: Plant Pathogens for the Biological Control of Weeds and Invasive Plants

Biological control using plant pathogens has delivered effective solutions for weed management across the world. It exploits the ability of pathogens to cause severe epidemics that suppress weed populations below damaging thresholds to primary industries or the environment. Interest in pathogens has steadily increased since the deliberate introduction and spectacular impact of the skeleton weed rust fungus in Australia in 1971. Contemporary researchers are embracing latest molecular technologies and exploring novel approaches to develop more efficiently biological control solutions. This session comprises early and late-career researchers from across the globe who will highlight exciting developments in this field.

Multi-scale Influence of Weather on Pathogens and Disease Development

Organizers: Odile Carisse, Agric & Agri-Food Canada; Ian Small, University of Florida
Subject Matter Committee: Epidemiology

Plant disease progress is determined by a set of dynamic interactions between hosts, pathogens and biophysical environments. These interactions occur at multiple spatial and temporal scales, resulting in complex systems. In this session the focus will be on the influence and importance of weather conditions (at multiple scales) on disease development, forecasting, and management. Talks will cover interactions at the intra-field/canopy scale, through to landscape connectivity and influence of continental/global weather conditions on disease development. The concepts, approaches, and data required to study the influence of weather at multiple scales on disease development will be presented.

New Insights into Rice Pathogens Interactions

Organizers: Xueping Zhou, Institute of Plant Protection, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences; Guo-Liang Wang, The Ohio State University

Rice (Oryza sativa) is a staple food crop for more than 50% of the world’s population, with the majority of rice consumption occurring in developing countries. A large number of pathogenic microorganisms cause important diseases in rice, leading to significant yield losses worldwide and threatening global food security. This session will present new progress on molecular biology and control of rice diseases.

Novel and Integrated Approaches to Control Post-harvest Diseases - Part II

Organizers: Samir Droby, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center; Michael Wisniewski, Appalachian Fruit Research Station, USDA-ARS; Davide Spadaro, DISAFA and AGROINNOVA, University of Torino
Subject Matter Committee: Postharvest Pathology

This session is aimed at providing recent findings about research efforts undertaken by leading scientists to develop and implement alternative and innovative approaches to control post-harvest diseases that cause tremendous looses of agricultural fresh produce. It will cover novel work about characterizing fruit microbiome and its use to design new approaches for biocontrol of post-harevst pathogens. It will also address research about translation of basic research on pathogenicity to develop practical control technologies. New work about integration of various alternatives control methods used to control emerging postharvest pathogens in tree crops as well as the use of new technologies based of disinfectants will be also presented. It is anticipated that the world known speakers as well as the subjects will attract participants from all plant pathology disciplines. Alternative control technologies and novel approaches for the control of postharvest diseases are of great important to reduce the use of chemical fungicides and of great interest of the industry in general.

Pathogenicity and Resistance in Post-harvest Diseases- Part I

Organizers: Samir Droby, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center; Michael Wisniewski, Appalachian Fruit Research Station, USDA-ARS; Davide Spadaro, DISAFA and AGROINNOVA, University of Torino Subject Matter Committee: Postharvest Pathology

Ssession content will provide the recent state of the art about basic research undertaken to understand pathogenicity mechanisms of key postharvest pathogens and its possible use to dvelop novel management strateies. Presentations will include different approaches that are also relevant to the general plant pathology community and address the role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and effector proteins in fruit resistance and pathogen virulence. In addition, the role of iron in fungal pathogenicity and its implication on development of novel management strategies will be discussed.

Plant Health in a Global Economy: Mobilizing Global Support for a Healthy Planet

Organizers: Mary Palm, USDA-APHIS; Stephanie Bloem, North American Plant Protection Organization

Get involved - learn more so you can promote, raise awareness, and secure support among plant health scientists and others attending ICPP2018 for an International Year of Plant Health (IYPH) in 2020. An IYPH is intended to enhance public understanding and support for plant health and plant protection services and activities at the national, regional, and global level and ensure political support and investment in this area going into the next decade. You can make a difference!

Population Dynamics of Fungicide Resistance

Organizers: Jeffrey Standish, University of Georgia; Jeffrey Stein, Monsanto
Subject Matter Committee: Pathogen Resistance Committee

Chemical fungicides are heavily relied upon to manage plant diseases and maintain yields. However, significant portions of pathogen populations with resistance to fungicides are emerging around the globe. A pathogen population paradigm can help us understand the dynamics and evolution of resistances. Elucidating the mechanisms that lead to fungicide resistances is key when addressing this serious disease management problem. With global population constantly rising, we must adapt and preserve the high disease management potential of fungicides.

Potato Late Blight – Global Research and Networking

Organizers: Ivette Acuna, INIA; Alison Lees, The James Hutton Institute

The EuroBlight, USABlight, TizonLatino and AsiaBlight networks share the quest to control late blight, the cause of significant losses to potato worldwide. In some regions, Phytophthora infestans populations are dominated by specific clones, whilst in others populations are genetically diverse. Effective late blight management requires an understanding of the contemporary pathogen population as aggressive and fungicide insensitive clones can quickly emerge in this polycyclic disease. Aggressive strains are exchanged across regions and even continents and this calls for global collaboration. The session explores a continuum from the science of understanding pathogen populations at multiple scales, sharing of tools and data, translation of knowledge into application and the overall benefits of a truly global coordinated approach.

Precision Turf and Ornamental Disease Management in the 21st Century

Organizers: Lisa Beirn, Syngenta; Fulya Baysal-Gurel, Tennessee State University
Subject Matter Committee: Turfgrass Pathology; Ornamental Pathology

In recent years, plant professionals around the world have seen an increase in legislation limiting nutrient and pesticide inputs in nonagricultural specialty crops, such as turfgrass and landscape plants. As such, plant practitioners working in these fields must alter their disease and insect control strategies, while still producing high quality plants that their customers demand. Understanding how growers and plant managers can overcome these challenges through implementing new tools is pertinent, as restrictions are only likely to increase. Topics outlined for this session will provide an international perspective of turfgrass and ornamental producers implementing advanced technologies for limiting pathogens with reduced inputs. Specific areas include biocontrol agents, precision application technology, and pathogen development amidst pesticide and nutrient restrictions world-wide.

Progress in Chemical Disease Control

Organizers: Tarlochan Thind, Punjab Agricultural University; Guido Schnabel, Clemson University
Subject Matter Committee: Chemical Control

Efficient control of plant diseases is essential if we are to augment crop production for meeting the increasing food requirements of the increasing human population. Chemical fungicides, despite certain drawbacks, are still the most reliable and widely used means for the safe management of devastating plant diseases, and thereby, increasing crop yields and ensuring and improving food quality. This session will provide the unique opportunity for plant pathologists to get an overview on the newest status in chemical control and to have a platform to exchange views and ideas.

Real-time and Spatial Disease Risk Monitoring

Organizers: Rohan Kimber, SARDI; Jon West, Rothamsted Research
Subject Matter Committee: Epidemiology

There is an emerging interest in smart disease forecasting in a wide range of crops based on new technologies such as rapid diagnostics integrated with air sampling, remote sensing and high resolution microclimate forecasting. This session will bring together applied plant pathology experts from around the world to present recent developments and discuss future prospects. This area can be viewed as a form of precision agriculture for crop protection and is relevant to integrated pest and disease management, strategies to manage fungicide resistance, biosecurity and to improve food, fuel and fibre production for the growing population. Presentations will include applications of UAVs and satellite-based remote sensing, automated and mobile air sampling platforms, enhanced weather-based forecasting.

Regulatory Issues Surrounding the Global Movement of Cultures and Collections

Organizers: Kimberly Webb, USDA-ARS; Sally Mallowa, Augustana University
Subject Matter Committee: Germplasm and Collections Committee; APS Public Policy Board

Collections of living plant-associated microbes represent an essential foundation for global research and for the future of agriculture. The origin and movement of culture collections and seed materials are important to anyone doing taxonomy and systematics, diagnostics validation, and any of the basic sciences research into microbes or plants. However the availability of these collections, and the ability to share them among researchers continues to leave a barrier that limits research and the sharing of information. This session will emphasize the continued need for the global harmonization of pathogen/host nomenclature, issues that arise with sharing these materials, and barriers for the movement and shipment of host parts (seeds) or microbial collections.

Resistance Breaking Isolates of Plant Viruses: What Are We Going to Do Now?

Organizer: Ozgur Batuman, University of Florida; Robert Gilbertson, University of California-Davis; Satyanarayana Tatineni, USDA-ARS; Alexander Karasev, University of Idaho
Subject Matter Committee: Virology

Genetic resistance to plant viruses has been used for almost a century as a tool to manage plant viruses. To date, a wide range of genes for resistance to viruses have been identified, and many have been introgressed into crops to generate virus-resistant varieties. These resistance crops, however, inflict strong selective pressure that can result in the emergence of resistance breaking (RB) virus strain. Such plant resistances are often overcome by mutations in specific regions of the viral genome. Thus, viruses containing a small number of nucleotide changes may have strong impact on plant resistance, causing breakage of resistance in many crops. The continued emergence and importance of RB viruses in different crops has led us to examine the current understanding of this phenomenon and to discuss possible means of preventing resistance breakage or making these genes more robust.

Sequence Based Taxonomies for Plant Pathogens

Organizers: Carolee Bull, Penn State University; Boris Vinatzer, Virgina Tech
Subject Matter Committee: Taxonomy Plant Pathogenic Bacteria, Plant Pathogenic Bacteria, Plant Virus Epidemiology, Mycology, Bacteriology, Virology, Vector-Pathogen Complexes

Low cost sequence technologies have changed our understanding of microbial diversity and of the unculturable microbial dark matter. Sequence data is now used as part of modern descriptions of taxa including species and is used for microbial identification. Concurrently, these technologies are allowing us to describe and classify microbial dark matter and rapidly identify plant pathogens and other microorganisms. There is tension between incorporating sequence data into established taxonomies and basing taxonomies solely on sequence data. Additional tension exists due to differences in access to sequence data throughout the world. This session will discuss the power of sequence based classification and identification schemes for three microbial groups while providing context for integrating them into current taxonomic frameworks.

Surveillance for Emerging Plant Diseases

Organizer: Stephen Parnell, University of Salford

There has been a dramatic increase in emerging plant diseases in recent times. Examples include HLB in the US and Brazil, Ug99 stem rust in Africa and the middle east and the first epidemic of X. fastidiosa in Europe. Preventative measures such as quarantine and border inspections cannot catch all epidemics and effective surveillance in agricultural and natural landscapes is paramount to successful control of emerging diseases. However, surveillance is prohibitively expensive and challenging given we often seek to detect epidemics at an early stage across vast host landscapes. This session will bring together leading experts in the design and implementation of surveys for some of the most challenging emerging disease threats across the world and those working on state-of-the-art epidemic modelling tools and diagnostic technologies.

Taxonomy of Plant Pathogenic Fungi

Organizers: Brett Summerell, Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust; Pedro Crous, CBS-KNAW Fungal Biodiversity Institute

This session would explore and highlight advances in the taxonomy and systematics of the most important plant pathogenic fungal groups by world authorities in those groups. Areas of focus include Mycosphaerella and allied genera; Ceratocystis/Ophiostoma; Fusarium and allied genera and Colletotrichum.

The EMPHASIS Project and Networks for Pest and Disease Management. Practical Solutions for Effective Integrated Management of Pests and Harmful Alien Species

Organizers: Maria Lodovica Gullino, University of Torino; John Mumford, Imperial College London

EMPHASIS is a research and innovation action funded by the European Framework Program Horizon 2020, addressing native and alien pests threats (insect pests, pathogens, weeds) for a range of natural ecosystems and farming systems. Its goal is to ensure a European food security system, protect biodiversity and ecosystems services, develop integrated mechanisms of response measures for agriculture and forestry systems. Its specific objectives are: 1. Predict, Prioritize and Planning: pest management challenges and opportunities will be evaluated; 2. Prevent:practical solutions and monitoring tools to enhance preparedness will be developed; 3. Protect: practical solutions for managing native and alien pests will be developed, their feasibility demonstrated and their market uptake enhanced. 4. Promote: a mutual learning process with end-users will promote the identified practical solutions.

The First Line of Defense Against Plant Diseases in the Developing World: Mineral Nutrition

Organizers: Jason Woodward, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service; Greta Schuster, Texas A&M University - Kingsville 
Subject Matter Committee: Intergrated Plant Disease Management

One of the fundamental strategies for maintaining plant health is to manage the mineral nutrition of the plant. Nutrition can often regulate the fragile balance between a crop’s susceptibility and resistance to a plant disease. One major problem in providing appropriate nutrition is that many agronomic and horticultural crops vary in their nutritional requirements and different nutrients may affect different plant diseases in different ways. In many cases, the amount of a nutrient needed to reduce a plant disease may far exceed a healthy plant’s nutritional requirement for that nutrient, suggesting that many nutrients may participate in multiple mechanisms for plant disease resistance. Moreover, the recommended fertility requirements for optimum plant development may differ for maximizing plant resistance against an infecting pathogen. Thus, the need for detailed prescribed nutrition on individual crops is required. Over the past decade, new information on prescription nutrition for managing plant diseases has been developed in a number of agronomic and horticultural crops. This session will highlight these findings on the important role that macro- and micro-nutrients play in protecting plants from destructive diseases, to explore their interactions and effects, and to prescribe nutritional regimes that will minimize crop loss to plant diseases.

The History of Plant Pathology: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the International Society for Plant Pathology

Organizers: Greg Johnson, Horticulture for Development; Charles Delp, DuPont Senior Research Scientist at E. I. du Pont de Nemours

This session on the History of Plant Pathology celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the ISPP and will cover the history of ISPP and overcoming barriers – as in: plant defence, embracing globalism (ISPP), facing gender inequity (women), the resilience of nations where walls kept out the sea (Netherlands) or invaders (China).

The Most Wanted Global Tree Pathogens: Big Data Approach to Protect Our Forests

Organizers: Caterina Villari, University of Georgia; Denita Hadziabdic, University of Tennessee; John Mansfield, Imperial College At Wye
Subject Matter Committee: Forest Pathology

Global spread of plant pathogens can rapidly change ecosystem services, causing enormous environmental and economic changes worldwide. With increase in population, climate change, and globalization, affordable and secure forest products may be threatened by number of introduced and/or exotic plant pathogens. Using current advances in genomics, ongoing research efforts can provide new knowledge regarding the most unwanted forest pathogens including their biology, genetics and distribution, as well as current management practices. Improved molecular diagnostic techniques are critical to plant regulatory and land management agencies.

The Two-for-One Deal: Mechanisms of Plant Cross-tolerance to Biotic and Abiotic Stresses

Organizers: Alejandra I. Huerta, Colorado State University; Ana Cristina Fulladolsa, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Plant scientist have a major role to play in providing effective and sustainable solutions to present and future challenges in crop management. Agriculture is continuously threatened by increasingly changing climates, a growing population, water and land availability. In nature, plants display a high capacity to respond to and tolerate different types of stress. They are often simultaneously exposed to abiotic (drought, inundation, salinity, toxins, high or freezing temperatures, excess of UV light) and biotic (harmful pathogens, parasites, and insects) stresses. This session will highlight advances in understanding plant responses to biotic and abiotic stress and their cross-tolerance mechanisms.

The Vulnerability of Banana to Globally Developing Disease Threats

Organizers: Andre Drenth, University of Queensland; Gerrit H.J. Kema, Wageningen University and Research

Banana is both the prime tropical and export fruit, as well as a major staple food for millions of people in developing economies.The crop is the worst example of a global monoculture that is threatened by diseases, particularly black Sigatoka and Panama disease, which ruins crops and disable banana cropping for years. The emergence and ongoing epidemic of the so-called Tropical Race 4 of Fusarium oxysporum. f.sp. cubense draws global attention and threatens millions of small-holders as well as large industrial producers. Banana is an orphan crop. Hence, research is limited and poor. Many scientists consider banana research as “academic suicide”. Therefore, the access to information and innovation is a great concern. Recently, several R&D initiatives have been undertaken, see e.g., which contribute to a better understanding and a greater attention for this immense problem. This session brings key players to shed light from different angles on the disease issues in global banana production.

Understanding Mechanisms of Resistance Costs to Improve Plant Yield

Organizer: Cristiana Argueso, Colorado State University

Activation of innate immune responses often results in reduced plant growth. Uncoupling of resistance from yield penalties can lead to increased crop productivity. This session will focus on research that explores the molecular mechanisms by which plant hormones integrate plant growth and defense activation. Speakers include leaders in the field of hormonal regulation of plant growth-defense tradeoffs, and represents diversity of ethnicity, gender, geographical location and career stage.

Unlocking the Secrets of Suppressive Soils: Insights From the Microbiome

Organizers: Ghazal Ebadzadsahrai, Midwestern University; Timothy Paulitz, USDA-ARS
Subject Matter Committee: Soil Microbiology and Root Diseases

Concepts of soil health have been grounded in terms of soil chemical, physical and biological properties that promote plant growth, but much less attention has been focused on the ability of the soil to suppress or resist soilborne pathogens. The classical paradigm of suppressive soils is best represented by phenomenon of take-all decline in wheat, where antagonistic Pseudomonas suppress Gaeumannomyces. However, there are clear differences in the microorganisms responsible for suppressiveness and their interactions with pathogens and plants in other pathosystems. New technologies are providing insights into the roles of complex consortia and networks of microbes (the microbiome) in the development of suppressive soils with unprecedented detail. We now have the tools to understand the microbiome so that growers can manipulate their cultural practices, inputs, and rotations to promote sustainable disease suppression. This session will look at recent developments in suppressive systems against a number of the soilborne pathogens.

Variability: Friend or Foe of Emergent Forest Diseases?

Organizers: Lori Eckhardt, Auburn University; Matteo Garbelotto, University of California Berkeley
Subject Matter Committee: Forest Pathology

Every year a number of new forest pathosystems are discovered worldwide as the result of the introduction of alien pathogens, host shifts and jumps, hybridization and recombination among pathogens, etc. Novel disease outbreaks may also be favored by climate change and intensive forest management. The mechanisms driving the resurgence of native pathogens and the invasion of alien ones need to be better understood in order to draft sustainable control strategies. For this Concurrent Session, we welcome population biology studies providing insights on the epidemiology and invasiveness of emergent forest pathogens possibly by contrasting different scenarios varying in pathogen and host populations size, genetics, phenotype and phenology, landscape fragmentation, occurrence of disturbances, management practices, etc. Both experimental and monitoring approaches are welcome. In summary, this special session is far from just being a list of new reports: instead it focuses on how variability in hosts, pathogens, or ecology may affect the emergence of new threats to plant species. Speakers will highlight our current understanding of the dynamic of emergent forest diseases.

Vector Biology and Virus Epidemiology – New Advances That Will Propel Science for the Next Decade

Organizers: Alberto Fereres, CSIC CCM; Stewart Gray, USDA
Subject Matter Committee: Plant Virus Epidemiology

Recent advances in plant virus epidemiology have in large part been driven by advances in understanding virus-vector-plant interactions from the molecular to the landscape levels. New resources and technologies, especially in geospatial and climate databases and analyses, have allowed epidemiological studies to move beyond models targeting single crop-virus-vector systems. While much is known about how viruses work, the inner workings of the vector and virus-vector-host interactions have largely been a black box. New technologies have allowed us to deepen the study of vectors and better understand tritrophic interactions. This session will focus on examples of how new technologies and new disciplinary partnerships are changing the fields of virus epidemiology and vector biology and will lead to major discoveries over the next decade.

Vector-Pathogen Complexes Around the World: What Could Be the Next Big Threat to Food Security?

Organizers: Kathleen Martin, Kansas State University; Ismael Badillo-Vargas, Texas A&M AgriLife Research
Subject Matter Committee: Vector-Pathogen Complexes and Plant Virus Epidemiology

Insect vectors and plant pathogens pose a significant risk to food security. Increasing trade and travel also impact the speed in which emerging vector-pathogen complexes reach new geographic areas where they can cause devastating damage. The majority of plant viruses are exclusively transmitted between plants by insect vectors, while some bacterial pathogens are also completely dependent on their vectors for transmission to occur. In a world that is constantly changing, we must understand and be prepared for the next big threat to agriculture and food security. This session will focus on different aspects relevant to emerging vector-pathogen complexes around the world including vector epidemiology and pathogen emergence, pathogen effect on vector physiology and behavior, role of plant genotype on pathogen acquisition, and the molecular responses of a vector to the pathogen it transmits.

Wheat Blast – Developing Strategies for Assessing and Managing a Global Threat on the Move

Organizers: Christian Cruz, Purdue University; Md Tofazzal ISLAM, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University
Subject Matter Committee: TBD

Wheat blast, caused by the fungus Magnaporthe oryzae Triticum, is a high impact emerging disease present in South America and South Asia. Because little is known about the biological and epidemiological factors associated with blast outbreaks, wheat blast has proven difficult to control in disease-conducive environments. The urgent threat of wheat blast demands understanding of pathogen biology and disease epidemiology, and the development of management strategies based on risk assessment, chemical control and host resistance. Current research performed is focused on understanding pathogen biology and genetic identity, on developing risk models, and on assessing fungicide efficacy and identifying host resistance. Strategic collaboration will continue providing opportunities to develop prevention and management strategies for this global threat on the move.

Where the Wild Barberry Are: Alternate Hosts, New Virulence and Rust Pandemics that Never Quit

Organizers: Matthew Rouse, USDA-ARS Cereal Disease Laboratory; Maricelis Acevedo, Cornell University
Subject Matter Committee: Emerging Diseases and Pathogens; Plant Quarantine and Biosecurity

Recent large scale and sustained epidemics of wheat stem rust and stripe rust in Africa, North America, Middle East, and Europe have demonstrated that rusts continue to constitute a serious threat to wheat production worldwide. Berberis spp., serving as the alternate host for both Puccinia graminis and P. striiformis, have likely played a role in generating these newly emerged aggressive races that are capable of inciting regional, sometimes continental, epidemics. The session will focus on the consequences and prospects of the increasing population of common barberry (B. vulgaris) in Europe and North America, the presence and implication of the sexual cycle for P. graminis in eastern Africa, and the distribution and diversity of sexual hosts for P. striiformis, and will provide comprehensive reviews and updates on the research progress on roles of alternate hosts in pathogen race emergence and disease epidemiology in cereal rusts.

Why Light Matters: New Concepts, Tools, and Practices to Suppress Plant Pathogens and Enhance Plant Health

Subject Matter Committee: Epidemiology, Biocontrol, Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics, Epidemiology

Plants and their microbial pathogens coevolved over millions of years amidst natural day and night cycles that are reflected in a battery of interdependent processes that are only now being revealed and understood. Echos of this coevolutionary process are seen from the population to the molecular level. This session brings together leaders in research across a broad span of disciplines to focus on the exciting new developments in how visible and UV light, circadian rhythms, new technologies, and genetic methods can be exploited to suppress plant diseases, improve experimental designs, and reduce non-random variation in experiments.

Xylella Fastidiosa: Re-emerging Epidemics of a Global Pathogen and New Challenges for Its Control

Organizers: Giuseppe Stancanelli, European Food Safety Authority; Rodrigo Almeida, University of California Berkeley

The vector-borne bacterial pathogen Xylella fastidiosa, widely distributed in America, has re-emerged as global threat for agricultural crops, natural environment and landscape after its recent introduction in Asia and Europe. When entering a new area with adequate ecological conditions, including suitable plant hosts (hundreds of plant species), climate, and native vectors, this pathogen can rapidly become entrenched in the territory. This session aims to present the up to date knowledge on the biology of X. fastidiosa, the status of current epidemics in Europe, as well as to discuss new approaches to investigate host-pathogen-vector interactions, and recent developments in sustainable disease management and mitigation measures.

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