While many collections of relevance to plant pathology do exist, there is a need for a comprehensive repository of plant pathogens for the preservation of materials used in plant pathology research, said Kevin McCluskey, Research Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology at the University of Kansas Medical Center. "Collections have a specific focus, and the long-term preservation of the diversity of plant pathogens is one area that is generally overlooked," he said.
Collections of plant pathogens have often been generated and maintained by individual researchers, and when those individuals retire or change their research emphasis, the collections may be neglected or discarded, said McCluskey. "Resources have certainly been lost over the years, and this process is continuing," he said. "A specific repository, dedicated to preserving and distributing plant pathogenic organisms would be a valuable tool advancing the goals of plant protection for the United States and the world," said McCluskey.
More on this subject, including funding opportunities for collections, the variety of collections in existence, and trends in organization, is available in this month's APS feature article that can be found on the APS website at www.apsnet.org. The American Phytopathological Society (APS) is a non-profit, professional scientific organization dedicated to the study and management of plant disease with 5,000 members worldwide.