BSPP News Autumn 2001 - Online Edition

The Newsletter of the British Society for Plant Pathology
Number 40, Autumn 2001 

Forthcoming papers in Molecular Plant Pathology

Non-host resistance of barley is associated with a hydrogen peroxide burst at sites of attempted penetration by wheat powdery mildew fungus: R. Hückelhoven, C. Dechert and K.H. Kogel

Analysis of the distribution and structure of integrated Banana streak virus DNA in a range of Musa cultivars: A.D.W. Geering, N.E. Olszewski, G. Dahal, J.E. Thomas and B.E.L. Lockhart

A single amino acid change in the coat protein of Maize streak virus abolishes systemic infection, but not interaction with viral DNA or movement protein: H. Liu, A.P. Lucy, J.W. Davies and M.I. Boulton

Scorpion ARMS primers for SNP real-time PCR detection and quantification of Pyrenophora teres: J.A. Bates and E.J.A. Taylor

The myrosinase-glucosinolate system in the interaction between Leptosphaeria maculans and Brassica napus: E. Andreasson, S. Wretblad, G. Granér, X.M. Wu, J.M. Zhang, C. Dixelius, L. Rask and J. Meijer

Type III secretion and in  planta recognition of the Xanthomonas avirulence proteins AvrBs1 and AvrBsT: L. Escolar , G. Van den Ackerveken, , S. Pieplow, O. Rossier and U. Bonas

Preparation and sequencing of secreted proteins from the pharyngeal glands of the plant parasitic nematode Heterodera schachtii : J. De Meutter, B. Vanholme, G. Bauw, T. Tytgat, G. Gheysen and G. Gheysen

Forthcoming papers in Plant Pathology

Novel in vitro use of a polyvalent Streptomyces phage to disinfest Streptomyces scabies-infested seed potatoes: F. McKenna, K.A. El-Tarabily, G.E.St.J. Hardy and B. Dell.

Polygenic powdery mildew disease resistance in Arabidopsis thaliana: quantitative trait analysis of the accession Warschau-lr: C.L. Schiff, I.W. Wilson and S.C. Somerville.

Synergism between plant viruses: a mathematical analysis of the epidemiological implications: X.-S. Zhang, J. Holt and J. Colvin.

Variability associated with the official USDA sampling plan used to inspect export wheat shipments for Tilleria controversa spores: T.B. Whitaker, J. Wu, G.L. Peterson, F.G. Giesbrecht and A.S. Johansson.

Molecular characterization and detection of European isolates of Soil-borne wheat mosaic virus: G.C.G. Clover, C. Ratti and C.M. Henry.

Identification of different isolates of Cassava brown streak virus and development of a diagnostic test: G.D. Foster.

Plus 21 New Disease Reports.

Minutes of the 2nd Annual General Meeting held on 19th December 2000 at Wye College, Kent

An Annual General Meeting of the Society has been held during the Presidential Meeting since the foundation of the Society. From January 1999 the Society, still a registered Charity, also became a limited company, registered at Companies House. Hence this is a report of the 2nd AGM since incorporation as a limited company. The Board of the Company has, by law, to run an Annual Business Meeting at which it receives the audited accounts.This now takes place annually at the July meeting. The concomitant change is that the AGM now has no legal status. However the Board still considers it to be a very valuable event, as it is here that members can easily make comments concerning the conduct of the Society, and the content and frequency of meetings etc. In order to further facilitate communication with members, these minutes are published in BSPP News and all papers for the AGM are posted on the web site for you to examine. Please keep your comments and suggestions coming in!

Minutes of the Second Annual General Meeting of the BSPP held on 19th December 2000 at Wye College, Kent.

14 members of the Board and 43 members of the Society were present.

1) Apologies for absence
Professor Roger Plumb, Dr Gary Foster, Dr J Clarkson Dr D Cooke.

2) Minutes of the 1st Annual General Meeting
The Minutes of the 1st AGM were signed as a correct record of the meeting.

3) Secretary's Report
Dr Avice Hall presented the Secretary's Report.This started with the composition of the Board for the year 2000, giving the special responsibilities of members. It went on to outline the discussions that had taken place at Board meetings throughout the year.The Report highlighted the payment of Honoraria to the Senior Editor of New Disease Reports and the Editor of the Newsletter. Honoraria for Plant Pathology and Molecular Plant Pathology are paid by Blackwells and not by the Society.

Two of the three BCPC medalists at the Brighton Conference were BSPP nominations. Dr Peter Scott and David Yarham both received Crop Protection medals in November 2000. Other highlights of the year included the engagement of the PR company Parenthesis, to assist us in thinking through the image, provision and publicity of the Society. 

Major achievments of the year included the successful launch of New Disease Reports as a primarily web-based communication, and Molecular Plant Pathology, a new Journal published in partnership with Blackwells. Dr Roy Johnson, outgoing Editor of Plant Pathology, had accepted the invitation to be an Honorary member of the Society.

The Secretary thanked Professor John Mansfield for his dedicated work as President for the year 2000. She also thanked, on behalf of the Society, all Board members for their efforts.

4) Treasurer's Report
Dr Simon Archer presented his report to the meeting. The Society is in a healthy position financially, but whilst there was overspend in some areas there appeared to be underspend in others. There will be considerable investment by the Society in Molecular Plant Pathology. It was predicted that expenditure would rise in the future, particularly with respect to the extra edition of the Newsletter (published 3 times a year from 2001) and the launch of Molecular Plant Pathology. In addition, Board expenses are rising as Officers of the Society need some paid assistance.

5) Programme Secretary's Report 
Dr Mark Hocart spoke on the programme of meetings. Professor Mike Jeger's Presidential Meeting in December 1999 at Oxford, Biotic Interactions in Plant Pathogen Associations had been a successful and well attended meeting.This meeting was a joint one with the AAB Virology group and, in addition to the main papers, 9 postgraduates entered for the P.H Gregory competion and a further 10 entered for the AAB sponsored poster competion. A report and pictures from the meeting also appeared on the web.

In 2000 the BSPP supported 5 meetings, ranging from the Scottish Mycology and Plant Pathology Club meeting in Edinburgh to the EFPP meeting in Taormina, Italy. These show the committment of the BSPP to support a range of meetings, from local to international, and from large conferences to local workshops. The year ended with the Presidential Meeting of President ProfessorJohn Mansfield at Imperial College at Wye, with a record attendance. Finally Dr Hocart outlined the programme as known for 2001.

6) Membership Secretary's Report
The Society reached a membership of 800 just prior to the AGM, a record membership in the history of the Society. In addition, with the advent of Molecular Plant Pathology members now have a choice of journals and there is also a 'newsletter only' subscription available. Over 500 members continue to take Plant Pathology, and there are over 200 members taking Molecular Plant Pathology, which is very encouraging. A new database for members is under development.

7) Plant Pathology 
Dr Roy Johnson retired as Editor during 2000. The handover to the new Senior Editor, Dr Richard Shattock, went smoothly in the spring and early summer of 2000. All editorial activity is now carried out from Bangor. Approximately the same number of original papers have been published in Volume 49 as in volumes 48 and 47. However, there is a slight overall decline in papers submitted though the rejection rate remains the same at 50%. Over 70% of the papers are from overseas. There has been a slight decline in the sales of Plant Pathology, though this parallels the decline in sales of all other Blackwells journals. This is a contributing factor to the modest rise in subscription prices. Dr Shattock thanked the 7 retiring members of the Editorial Board and welcomed 2 new members. He also thanked Dr Roy Johnson for his continued support and recorded thanks to the 2 proof readers and his Editorial Assistant.

8) Molecular Plant Pathology
The Senior Editor, Dr Gary Foster, reported that the first year of Molecular Plant Pathology had been very succesful, with all 6 issues of Volume 1 being published, page number targets met and circulation targets for the journal had already been exceeded. Dr Foster thanked the whole editorial team at Blackwells and Bristol, and the Editors.

9) Newsletter
The Editor of BSPP News, Dr James Brown, reported on the Newsletter. In 2000 there were two
editions of BSPP News, which were sent out in April and October. He reported that in 2001 the newsletter would be published 3 times a year. Dr Brown reported that he would particularly like to see more contributions under the 'People and Places' heading.

10) New Disease Reports
The Senior Editor, Dr Claire Sansford, reported on the first year of this new web-based venture. There were 23 reports in 2000, a very encouraging number.The first 11 to be published in Plant Pathology were in the December issue, and Dr Sansford reported that from now on, New Disease Reports would be published twice a year in Plant Pathology. There had been requests that nematodes be included in this publication. There had been more mycology papers submitted than expected, and so more editors would have to be appointed in this area. Dr Sansford congratulated all those involved in NDR and hoped that it would rise in popularity. Professor Mansfield thanked Dr Sansford and said that the successful launch of NDR had been a highlight of the year for the society.

11) BSPP Webmanager's Report
Dr John Clarkson commented on the popularity of the BSPP web pages, with up to 14,000 hits a week. He also reported that the web pages would be relaunched in the new year when the Internet Service Provider would also be changed. Dr Clarkson also drew the attention of members to the possibility of having Special Interest Group pages on the web.This is a facility which he urged members to consider for future developments.

12) Publicity report
Dr Toth outlined the exciting new developments in both the image of, and the publicity for, the Society. In particular, he reported a change of colour from blue to green and a far greater use of coloured images. The new publicity material was in use throughout the December 2000 meeting at Wye and was very well received.

13) Electronic Communications Committee
There was no report from the Electronic Communications Committee as this has now been disbanded. However, the 'fruit' of this committee lives on in the new, upgraded web site and the launch of New Disease Reports and Molecular Plant Pathology. The President particularly thanked Peter Mills for all his hard work over the years in bringing these initiatives to fruition. He also thanked the other members of 
this committee for their hard work.

14) The Fellowship Committee
Professor Chris Gilligan reported that there had only been one application to the committee this year.

15) Education Committee 
The paper written by Dr Cooke was presented and Professor Mansfield commented that one of the strengths of the Society was in its support for members and undergraduates via the Bursary scheme. He thanked David and his committee for the work that they had done in managing the scheme.

16) Travel Committee
The paper from Professor Plumb was presented to the meeting. It was reported that this was a particularly popular service offered by the Society and that 48 applications were made in 2000. Most applicants have received a contribution towards their travel, but concern was expressed that a minority of applicants were "off-hand in meeting the very modest obligations the Society imposes on grantees". It was pointed out that those who failed to meet their obligations would find themselves disadvantaged when they sought to use the service again.

17) Chairman's Remarks 
Professor Mansfield told the members that 2000 was the year in which Dr Roy Johnson had been awarded Honorary Membership of the Society. Also two BSPP members had been nominated for, and received, the BCPC medal. Other highlights included New Disease Reports and  Molecular Plant Pathology, the success of the Undergraduate Bursary scheme and the launch of the new style guide. He also welcomed Professor John Lucas as the first Elected president of the Society. He then thanked all Board members particularly the Officers of the Society for their work throughout the year.

18) Open discussion
Professor John Lucas thanked Professor Mansfield for his hard work for the Society in his year in office, and commented that the great success of the Wye meeting was a tribute to him. It had been a very interesting, stimulating and truly international meeting.

BSPP Questionnaire

Thank you for your great response to the Questionnaire.  We had 150 responses, with 145 from members (nearly 20%).  We haven't had chance to analyse all the responses in detail yet, but will produce a complete report in the next newsletter.

Looking quickly through the replies, we found:

  • 96 responses were via the web site (64%)
  • 5 non-members responded via the web site - we will analyse their views also
  • 70% of BSPP members that responded were from the UK 
  • 2 people replied anonymously
  • Members responded that they were: researchers (35%), team leaders (28%), public sector pathologists (23%), students (21%), lecturers (21%) commercial pathologists (7%).  4% were "other".

The winner of the £50 cheque is Dr Sabine Banniza, from the University of Saskatchewan.  We value your responses and we will ensure that BSPP considers your views.  Thanks again.

Jane Chard and Ian Toth
(Publicity Team)