Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

Conference travel report submitted by Dr. Deena Errampalli, President, Canadian Phytopathological Society. E-mail:Deena.errampalli@agr.gc.ca

Deena E

Over 1,500 delegates from 45 countries attended the symposia, workshops, 4 plenary lectures and 35 technical sessions on the management and control of diseases of crops at the American Phytopathological Society (APS) and Canadian Phytopathological Society (CPS) joint meeting in Minneapolis, MN, USA from August 10-13, 2014. Seventy delegates from Canada attended the meeting. Rick Bennett, the APS President–Elect and the APS Annual Meetings Program Chair, and Deena Errampalli, CPS President-Elect and the CPS Programs Chair were members of the APS-CPS joint meeting program planning committee. The theme of the meeting was “Plant Health Connections.”

Errampalli was invited to the 2014 APS Presidential Meeting of Plant Pathology Organizations and APS International Society Relations Committee (ISRC), where she met with presidents or representatives of plant pathology societies from Australasia, China, International society, Japan, Korea, Latin America, Mexico, South Africa and USA. They discussed the issues that are important each of the societies and how to develop ways to foster collaborations among the sister societies of plant pathology. Errampalli believes that it is an important initiative.

EFPP Board conf org committee Deena  Sept 8 2014-1

Representatives from plant pathology societies from Australasia, Canada,
Japan, Latin America, Mexico, Brazil and USA.

One of the plenary lectures was the Glenn Anderson Lectureship Award on security of world food supply (http://phytopath.ca/glenn_anderson.shtml). Dr. Jennifer Thomson (http://web.uct.ac.za/org/sawise/RoleModels/rolethomson.htm) of the University of Cape Town in South Africa presented the lecture and her lecture entitled “Genetically Modified Crops for Africa: Healthy Plants and Healthy Bodies” was well received. The CPS and APS jointly sponsored the lecture.

Errampalli organized the lecture and gave an introduction to GA lecture at the plenary session on August 11, 2014. APS and CPS members participated as co-moderators of technical sessions, organizers of workshops, and contributed to technical sessions by presenting talks and posters. One of the advantages of joint meetings is opportunities for networking with colleagues from both societies to develop new collaboration, and hope many did just that. It was a busy meeting for Errampalli as the Incoming President; in addition to attending meetings of the CPS Financial Advisory Committee, Outgoing Board, Incoming Board, Special Members and Annual members meetings, she was invited to participate in some of APS committee meetings. Also, Errampalli presented two posters and moderated a session. Deena was honoured to present a talk on ‘how to be a successful professional’ to more than 50 graduate students at the First Timers Session (by invitation only). Interestingly, this was her 30th anniversary of home coming to APS, as she joined the society as a graduate student (Oklahoma State University) and attended the APS meeting as a first timer in 1984. Deena said, “it was my turn to give back and I was happy to do so”.

EFPP conf award winners

The CPS honoured scientists who have made important contributions to plant pathology in Canada: Dr. Denis Gaudet of Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada in Lethbridge was the recipient of the award of CPS Fellow and his award will be presented at the 2015 awards ceremony. The award for Outstanding Research was received by Dr. Richard Belanger, Université Laval, Québec. Dr. Zie Feng, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, Edmonton received the Outstanding Young Scientist Award. The award of Achievements in Plant Disease Management award was received by the Club Root Mitigation Team, comprised of Stephen Strelkov, Gary Peng, Sheau-Fang Hwang, Bruce Gossen, Mary Ruth McDonald, Ron Howard, and Clint Jurke. Graduate student travel awards, scholarships to several graduate students of plant pathology were presented. Congratulations to all!

The conference concluded with the final night celebration of good food, fellowship, networking and dancing with the APS, CPS and international plant pathologists. A group of CPS and APS members have literally organized a CPS-APS joint lecture initiative for 2015 at this party, which shows net-working and face to face meetings work beautifully!

Dr. Deena Errampalli took office of the President of the Canadian Phytopathological Society (CPS) on August 10, 2014 at the APS-CPS joint meeting in Minneapolis, MN, USA. Deena has served as Vice President (2012-13) and President Elect (2013-14) and she will serve as President for one year (2014-15). Deena has been a member of APS since 1984 and CPS since 1992 and has served as the Secretary of the CPS Executive Board from 2003-2007. Since 2007, she has been the Section Editor of Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology, a journal of CPS.

The Canadian Phytopathological Society Inc. (CPS), founded in 1929, is a professional organization dedicated to creating and sharing knowledge of plant pathology in Canada and throughout the world. The objective of CPS is to encourage and support research and education in plant pathology, to promote public awareness of the importance of plant diseases and of the socio-economic benefits of controlling them, and to act as a forum for discussion of policies and strategies affecting all aspects of research and education in plant pathology in Canada. The current membership of CPS is 300 and the society publishes peer- reviewed journal, Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology. In addition, CPS publishes books, Diseases of field crops and Diseases of pests of vegetable crops in Canada. CPS holds annual scientific meetings in Canada and meets with APS once in every 5-8 years and with Plant Canada once in every 4 years. More information can be found at http://phytopath.ca/


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Former Director Planning and Professor & Head Plant Pathology of CCS Haryana agricultural University, Dr M P Srivastava has been conferred with National Glory Award (Rashtriya Gaurav Award), in recognition his life-time outstanding contribution and exemplary services to the Nation on Plant Healthcare for Food Security through popularization of Plant Clinic and innovation-driven Transfer of Technology .The award was presented by former Governor of Tamil Nadu & Union Minister, Shri Bhishma Narayan Singh at a glittering function on November 24th, 2014 at India International Centre, New Delhi. Earlier recipients of the award include Mother Teresa, amongst others.

srivastava award 12 2014
Dr. M.P. Srivastava receiving the award from Dr Bhishma Narain Singh, Former Governor

Dr Srivastava, is renowned extension pathologist and global expert in plant clinic who has been honored with several awards and honors for empowering farmers with innovative technology for increasing productivity and mitigating losses, which include; Fellowship of National Academy of Sciences 1988, Extension Scientist National Award 1996, Man of the Year Award 1998 (USA), and International Technological Achievement Award 2014 amongst others. He has been invited by several International Congresses to deliver keynote addresses in New Zealand (2003) Italy (2008) and Beijing (2013) besides plenary/invited lecture in India, Beijing (1999, 2000), Singapore (2005), Italy (2008), Germany (2009) amongst others to share his concept to strengthen food security. He was a lead speaker and Advisor in a Workshop organized by Kerala Planning Board for stating Plant clinic in 12th plan in Feb 2013 and a Keynote Speaker in 3rd international Conference organized in Hyderabad 25-28 November 2014.
At 72 years old Dr Srivastava,  even after his retirement 12 years ago, he is engaged in offering online diagnostic and advisory support to farmers free of cost through his website www.xsgrowth.com

The International Association of Plant Protection Sciences (IAPPS) congratulates Dr Srivastava and hope he will continue to help the growers in protecting their crops from onslaught of diseases and other pests.

E. A. “Short” Heinrichs

IAPPS Secretary General

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Released: 24-Nov-2014 11:00 AM EST
Source Newsroom: Kansas State University

Mike Smith image (1)

C. Michael Smith, professor of entomology at Kansas State University.


Newswise — MANHATTAN, Kansas — Two Kansas State University faculty members have been named 2014 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS, the world’s largest scientific society.
The following Kansas State University faculty members were selected as fellows:
• C. Michael Smith, professor of entomology, for distinguished contributions to entomological sciences, particularly in the fields of plant-insect interactions and plant resistance to insects.
• Christopher Sorensen, Cortelyou-Rust university distinguished professor of physics and university distinguished teaching scholar, for pioneering contributions in soft matter physics, disperse particulate systems and light scattering; teaching curriculum development and outreach; and service to the scientific community.
Smith and Sorensen are among 401 fellows chosen this year. Their selection follows a vote by their peers in the association, who looked at potential fellow’s distinguished efforts to advance science.
The professors will be recognized at a certificate and pinning ceremony at the association’s annual meeting Feb. 14, 2015, in San Jose, California.
“We’re proud of our newest fellows in the AAAS and congratulate them on this well-deserved recognition,” said Kirk Schulz, university president. “Dr. Smith and Dr. Sorensen have repeatedly demonstrated their dedication to the advancement of science, research and education. Our distinguished researchers and their recognitions will help Kansas State University become a Top 50 public research university by 2025.”
The 2014 fellows will be announced in the AAAS News and Notes section of the journal Science on Nov. 28.
Smith has spent more than 30 years conducting research on plant resistance to arthropods. Before joining Kansas State University, he studied the allelochemical basis of resistance in soybean and rice as well as cereal gene expression in response to aphids and mites. He has helped characterize a gene cluster in wheat responsible for creating resistance to the Russian wheat aphid as well as identified factors affecting the expression of R genes in this cluster.
As a 2002 Fulbright scholar, he collaborated with European and African scientists to identify the first Russian wheat aphid biotypes in North Africa and South America. He is currently developing biotype-sensitive molecular markers. Additionally, collaborations with entomology, plant pathology and agronomy researchers have identified wheat genotypes with multiple resistances to wheat curl mite and several viruses transmitted by the mite.
Smith’s research has been supported by more than $4.7 million in funding, and he has published three books, 17 book chapters and more than 103 refereed journal articles. He has mentored 20 graduate-level students. He also was named a fellow of the Entomological Society of America in 2006.
Sorensen devotes his time to both teaching and research. His research interests are diverse. He performs experimental and theoretical studies of light scattering by particles of arbitrary shape, which is related to how aerosol particles affect global warming. He uses chemical methods to synthesize nanoparticles and then studies their solution and self-assembly behavior. He has developed a novel method for the large-scale production of graphene, and he studies gelation and aggregation kinetics in aerosols and colloids. His service to science includes a term as president of the American Association for Aerosol Research. Sorensen has authored more than 280 technical publications and holds six patents, with three more pending.
His teaching interests are equally diverse as he has taught at all levels. He conceived and developed hands-on studio instruction in physics, applying it broadly. He has won multiple teaching awards, including being named the 2007 CASE/Carnegie U.S. Professor of the Year.
He has given more than 100 invited lectures in the U.S. and abroad, including five lectures on a Scientific American Bright Horizons cruise around Cape Horn.
Kansas State University currently has 20 faculty members who are AAAS fellows.

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Released: 12-Nov-2014 9:50 AM EST
Source Newsroom: Kansas State University

Newswise — MANHATTAN, Kansas — Kansas State University researchers have developed a patented method of keeping mosquitoes and other insect pests at bay.
U.S. Patent 8,841,272, “Double-Stranded RNA-Based Nanoparticles for Insect Gene Silencing,” was recently awarded to the Kansas State University Research Foundation, a nonprofit corporation responsible for managing technology transfer activities at the university. The patent covers microscopic, genetics-based technology that can help safely kill mosquitos and other insect pests.
Kun Yan Zhu, professor of entomology; Xin Zhang, research associate in the Division of Biology; and Jianzhen Zhang, visiting scientist from Shanxi University in China, developed the technology: nanoparticles comprised of a nontoxic, biodegradable polymer matrix and insect derived double-stranded ribonucleic acid, or dsRNA. Double-stranded RNA is a synthesized molecule that can trigger a biological process known as RNA interference, or RNAi, to destroy the genetic code of an insect in a specific DNA sequence.
The technology is expected to have great potential for safe and effective control of insect pests, Zhu said.
“For example, we can buy cockroach bait that contains a toxic substance to kill cockroaches. However, the bait could potentially harm whatever else ingests it,” Zhu said. “If we can incorporate dsRNA specifically targeting a cockroach gene in the bait rather than a toxic substance, the bait would not harm other organisms, such as pets, because the dsRNA is designed to specifically disable the function of the cockroach gene.”
Researchers developed the technology while looking at how to disable gene functions in mosquito larvae. After testing a series of unsuccessful genetic techniques, the team turned to a nanoparticle-based approach.
Once ingested, the nanoparticles act as a Trojan horse, releasing the loosely bound dsRNA into the insect gut. The dsRNA then triggers a genetic chain reaction that destroys specific messenger RNA, or mRNA, in the developing insects. Messenger RNA carries important genetic information.
In the studies on mosquito larvae, researchers designed dsRNA to target the mRNA encoding the enzymes that help mosquitoes produce chitin, the main component in the hard exoskeleton of insects, crustaceans and arachnids.
Researchers found that the developing mosquitoes produced less chitin. As a result, the mosquitoes were more prone to insecticides as they no longer had a sufficient amount of chitin for a normal functioning protective shell. If the production of chitin can be further reduced, the insects can be killed without using any toxic insecticides.
While mosquitos were the primary insect for which the nanoparticle-based method was developed, the technology can be applied to other insect pests, Zhu said.
“Our dsRNA molecules were designed based on specific gene sequences of the mosquito,” Zhu said. “You can design species-specific dsRNA for the same or different genes for other insect pests. When you make baits containing gene-specific nanoparticles, you may be able to kill the insects through the RNAi pathway. We see this having really broad applications for insect pest management.”
The patent is currently available to license through the Kansas State University Institute for Commercialization, which licenses the university’s intellectual property. The Institute for Commercialization can be contacted at 785-532-3900 and ic@k-state.edu.
Eight U.S. patents have been awarded to the Kansas State University Research Foundation in 2014 for inventions by Kansas State University researchers.


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For more details see Congress homepage: www.ippc2015.de

REMINDER Call for Abstracts • Funding Opportunities

Dear Sir or Madam,

On behalf of the International Association for the Plant Protection Sciences (IAPPS) and the local organisations responsible for organising this International Plant Protection Congress series, it is our great pleasure to invite you to the XVIII. International Plant Protection Congress (IPPC) 2015, scheduled from 24-27 August 2015 at Henry Ford Building, Berlin (Germany).

We would like to hereby kindly remind you that abstract submission is possible in English and online until 1 February 2015. Please click here to submit your abstract online.

We are happy to announce that several societies offer travel grants for international conferences such as the IPPC. Please visit our conference homepage www.ippc2015.de to find a small collection of funding opportunities and the corresponding application requirements.
ATTENTION! Please note that the application deadline of the Browning Plant Medicine and Health Travel Award ends on 14 November, 2014 and the application deadline of the Student Educational Award (both awards offered by the American Phytopathological Society) ends on 21 November, 2014.Take advantage of this opportunity and apply now!

If you have any further questions regarding the conference, please contact the organizing agency Conventus via phone 0049 3641 31 16-374 or email ippc@conventus.de.

We are looking forward to receiving your contributions to this unique international and multi disciplinary congress and to welcoming you to the exciting city of Berlin!

With best regards,

Justus Appelt and Claudia Tonn

On behalf of the congress managing director Falko Feldmann
Deutsche Phytomedizinische Gesellschaft e.V. – The German Scientific Society for Plant Protection and Plant Health r.S.

Responsible for this content is
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Justus Appelt/Claudia Tonn
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Muniappan headshot


Muni Muniappan wins award for work in tropical agriculture


Saving the papaya industry in southern India. Discovering an invasive species in Senegal and Nepal. Connecting researchers in developing countries. These are some of the accomplishments of entomologist Rangaswamy “Muni” Muniappan that caught the attention of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development and that won him the organization’s 2014 award for scientific excellence.

Muniappan received the BIFAD Award for Scientific Excellence today in Des Moines, Iowa. It is presented each year by the presidentially appointed body that governs U.S. foreign assistance in agriculture.

Muniappan is director of the Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab, a venture that works in developing countries to achieve three vital aims: minimize crop losses, increase farmer income, and decrease pesticide use. Muniappan, a longtime expert in the study of insects that benefit or harm humans, leads a multimillion dollar research portfolio of projects that includes partners from 16 American universities and 51 overseas organizations.

Muniappan discovered the papaya mealybug in Asia and helped employ biological control to eradicate it, which restored the livelihoods of thousands of farmers on the Asian subcontinent. This translated to an economic benefit of more than $1 billion over five years, according to a study published in the Journal of Crop Protection.

His discovery of the tomato leafminer (Tuta absoluta) in Senegal allowed experts to be warned so that preventive biological control measures could be taken for a pest that likely threatens all sub-Saharan tomato farmers.

Muniappan has created incentives for scientists to work together across national boundaries. He recently brought together scientists from South Asia and Central America in a conference on invasive species in Senegal.

Muniappan’s achievements also include control of such pests as the pink hibiscus mealybug, the fruit-piercing moth, the red coconut scale, the banana weevil, and the Asian cycad scale. He has worked to control weeds including the Siam weed, lantana, and the ivy gourd. He has been instrumental in establishing working groups for the weeds chromolaena and parthenium within the International Organization for Biological Control.

Muniappan’s career includes 36 years spent in Guam; a stint as a Fulbright Research Scholar in India; a UN Food and Agriculture Organization consultant in the Maldives, Palau, and Vanuatu; and a visiting professorship at the University of Guyana.

An honorary member of the International Organization for Biological Control since 2010, Muniappan has published journal articles in the Journal of Economic Entomology and Annals of the Entomological Society of America.

Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the innovation lab is managed by Virginia Tech’s Office of International Research, Education, and Development.

Related articles:
1. Speckled beetle key to saving crops in Ethiopia
2. Halting crop destruction in India saves up to $309 million
3. Virginia Tech research program confirms presence of invasive insect in Senegal
4. Virginia Tech entomologist helps Asian farmers fend off papaya mealybug



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Prepared by Dr. Deena Errampalli, President, Canadian Phytopathological Society

(E-mail: Deena.Errampalli@agr.gc.ca)

The 11th European Foundation for Plant Pathology (EFPP) conference was held in Krakow, Poland from Sept 8-13, 2014. More than 300 delegates from 44 countries and 5 continents attended the conference and shared their scientific research, developed new collaborations and strengthened existing collaborations.

The EFPP (http://www.efpp.net/default.htm) Board met with the representatives of different plant pathology Societies from Europe and Canada (Photo below). See the REPORT OF THE 12th MEETING OF THE BOARD OF THE EFPP WITH DELEGATES OF MEMBER SOCIETIES Krakow, Monday 8 September 2014 at: http://www.efpp.net/Documents/DRAFT%20Report%20Board%20meeting%20EFPP%20Krakow%202014.pdf

EFPP Board conf org committee Deena  Sept 8 2014-1

12th Meeting of the EFPP board and delegates of member societies.
In front, from left to right: Dr. Arne Hermansen (EFPP treasurer), Dr. Piet M. Boonekamp (EFPP vice-president), Prof. Małgorzata Mańka (EFPP president), Dr. Martin Verbeek (EFPP general secretary).
Middle row, from left to right: Prof. Tatiana E. Şesan (Romania), Dr. Deena Errampalli (Canada), Prof. Małgorzata Jędryczka (Poland), Dr. Lesley Torrance (UK).
Back row, from left to right: Prof. Piotr Sobiczewski (Poland), Prof. Maria I. Clara (Portugal), Prof. Maria M. Lopez (Spain), Dr. Petr Komínek (Czech Republic), Prof. Radovan Pokorný (Czech Republic), Dr. Victoria Luksha (Belarus), Dr. Natalia Sklimenok (Belarus), Dr. Nenad Keča (Serbia)

The conference with the theme, ‘Healthy Plants- Healthy People’, was opened by Prof Malgorzata Mańka, President of the EFPP and the dignitaries from Poland brought best wishes to the delegates. Deena Errampalli extended greetings from Canadian plant pathologists to the European colleagues. An excellent scientific program was organised by Prof. Piotr Sobiczewski (Chair) and in his international scientific committee. A special thank you goes to Prof. Malgorzata (Gosia) Jedryczka (Secretary of the Scientific Committee),whose careful thought, creativity, dedication, leadership and hard work in the organization of every aspect of the conference made it a memorable event for all those that had attended the conference. There were eight contributed oral presentations sessions: 1. New pathogens and shifts in pathogenicity; 2. Toxic metabolites of pathogens; 3. Pathogen identification, detection and monitoring; 4. Genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics; 5. Diseases of trees in forests and recreation sites; 6. Plant disease management; 7. Plant pathogens in soil, air, and water and 8. Plant disease resistance. A special session in the Wieliczka Salt Mine, with a lecture on biological monitoring in the treatment salt chambers of the Wieliczka Salt Mine Health Resort, concluded with an amazing conference dinner, in the hall about 125 meters below the ground level, with the floors, ceiling and walls, made up by salt rock. In addition, three workshops on Ramularia leaf spot of barley, Black leg of crucifers and Clubroot of crucifers, and the 5th International Seed Health Conference were held on the September 12th. At the EFPP conference closing ceremony, awards for best poster presentations in each of the scientific and workshop sessions were presented (Photo below).

EFPP conf award winners (3)

EFPP Conference award winners

The conference concluded with a field tour to the ecological orchard (September 12th) where participants observed diseases of tree fruits, and an excursion and field trip to the Krakow-Czestochowa Upland area, a land of caves, castles, and unusual limestone cliffs, ravines and rock formations in the forest (September 13). http://www.efpp11-krakow.pl/ The next EFPP conference will be held in 2017 (location to be determined).

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