Plant pathologists from around the world to discuss national agricultural security initiatives

St. Paul, MN (July 30, 2003) - Plans to protect the nation's crops from both intentional and non-intentional plant pathogen introductions and recent technological advances in plant health science will be the focus of the plenary session at the 2003 Annual Meeting of the American Phytopathological Society (APS) in Charlotte, NC, August 9-13, 2003.

The plenary session will feature new national initiatives for plant biosecurity. "The actions APS is proposing and those that came about from the funding of biosecurity initiatives will improve the science of plant pathology and our ability to protect our crops from disease whether or not we have a breach in biosecurity," said APS President Jacqueline Fletcher.

Fletcher also noted that recent advances in technology will change the face of plant pathology. "The power of modern technology, such as genomics, will touch every discipline in plant pathology," Fletcher said. "It will revolutionize the way plant pathology is conducted in the future," she said.

Elements of the plenary session include:

  • Plant Pathology and Plant Security: Historical use of plant pathogens as weapons, relevant programs and case studies of non-intentional plant pathogen introductions.
  • The Security Community's Viewpoint: What issues are at the heart of those charged to protect the United States and its citizens?
  • Genomics and Plant Security: How genomics can help in detection, diagnosis, forensics, and epidemiology of plant pathogens in natural or intentional introductions.
  • Genomics and Plant Health: How genomics will enhance non-security related plant pathology research and touch the lives of every plant pathologist.

    The plenary session will take place from 9:30 -11:30 a.m. at the Charlotte Convention Center on Sunday, August 10, 2003. Members of the media are invited to attend annual meeting events and complimentary registration is available. The American Phytopathologica

Contact: Amy Steigman
American Phytopathological Society

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