Plant pathologists meeting in Charlotte, NC to discuss homeland security, emerging diseases

August 11, 2003

St. Paul, MN (August 11, 2003) - Plant pathologists from around the world are meeting in Charlotte, NC, for the 2003 Annual Meeting of the American Phytopathological Society (APS) that runs through August 13, 2003.

Kicking off the meeting, plant pathologists were presented with details about new national initiatives for plant biosecurity designed to protect the nation's crops from both intentional and non-intentional plant pathogen introductions. Information about recent technological advances that allow the determination of entire genome sequences of plant pathogens and their host plants were also presented. "These new discoveries will definitely improve the science of plant pathology and our ability to enhance the security of our crops, rangelands, forests, and natural environments," said APS President Jacqueline Fletcher.

Other upcoming sessions include:

National Plant Pest and Disease Diagnostics Network: A Federal-State Partnership for Homeland Security. Tuesday, August 12, 2003, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Eastern Time In 2002 the National Plant Pest and Disease Diagnostic Network was established for homeland security of agricultural production. This session will serve as an update and forum for further thinking on the best way to achieve the objectives of the network.

Is Soybean Rust too close for comfort? Tuesday, August 12, 2003, 2-5 p.m. Eastern Time Industry experts will discuss the potential impact this devastating disease may have on U.S. agriculture. This session will cover methods of detection and identification, fungicide control, disease modeling for the U.S., and a presentation of the new USDA Soybean Rust Action Plan.

The United Soybean Board will hold a press teleconference on Tuesday, August 12 from 10-11 a.m. Eastern Time. Oak Disease Threats Worldwide. Tuesday, August 12, 2003, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Eastern Time A growing number of reports of local and regional episodes of oak mortality, outbreaks of new pathogens affecting the oak species, and the expansion of diseases, such as Sudden Oak Death, into new areas will be the focus of this session.

Meeting events are being held at the Charlotte Convention Center, 501 South College Street, Charlotte, NC. A full list of meeting sessions is available at http://www.apsnet.org/meetings/2003/schedule.htm. Complimentary registration is available to members of the media. The American Phytopathological Society (APS) is a non-profit, professional scientific organization dedicated to the study and control of plant diseases, with 5,000 members worldwide.
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American Phytopathological Society

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