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The First International Molecular Plant Protection Congress, was held in Adana, Turkey, on 10th – 13th April 2019. It was organised for the first time by Çukurova University, Ankara University and the Turkish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry with the motto of “Molecular approaches for better plant protection”. Three hundred participants from different parts of the World followed over 200 presentations including 41 key note talks. The opening lecture of the congress, “Quarter century in the labyrinths of immunometabolism” was given by Professor Gokhan Hotamisligil of Harvard University Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases, who also serves as the director of Harvard University Sabri Ülker Center for Nutrient, Genetic and Metabolic Research. Seven scientists from UK, Eric Boa (University of Aberdeen), Robert Edwards (Newcastle University), Angharad Gatehouse (Newcastle University), Robert Jackson (University of Reading), John Jones (James Hutton Institute), Mahmut Tör (University of Worcester) and Miranda Walker (Swansea University) also delivered keynote talks in the congress. The molecular topics related to the diagnosis and control of diseases and pest problems were discussed under 27 sessions during the congress. The plant pathology related sessions included molecular plant mycology, bacteriology, virology and nematology, while the molecular entomology sessions were on insect systematics, immunity, pathology, physiology and toxicology. The weed problems in plant productions were discussed under the sessions of molecular weed sciences. The latest developments on the use of molecular approaches such as genome editing and RNA interference in plant protection have received great attention from the participants. A special editorial session “Perspectives from editors: what editors expect to see?” was also organised during the meeting. The editors shared their experiences with the participants. In particular, publication procedures, hints of getting paper accepted and preparation of rebuttal letters were presented by Francesco Pennacchio (Editor in Chief of Journal of Insect Physiology), Yonggyun Kim (Editor in Chief of Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology) and Marek Jindra (Editor in Chief of Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) and were very helpful in particular for students and early career fellows. Many biotech and pest control companies opened stands in the exhibition hall of the congress and introduced their latest products. In addition, the stands of the Entomological Society of Turkey, Turkish Phytopathological Society, Turkish Weed Science Society, Biological Control Society of Turkey and British Society for Plant Pathology were also visited by many participants. The banquet dinner was also very fun and participants had the chance to watch Turkish traditional dance shows and listen to Turkish folk music while tasting the Turkish cuisine. Plates were presented to the keynote speakers in memory of the congress, and the best oral and poster students awards were also announced during the banquet dinner. The congress was completed by the post-conference tour for Cappadocia, a historical UNESCO World Heritage site characterised by fairy chimneys (pictured opposite) and a cultural heritage in Central Anatolia The congress provided a unique platform for researchers and students to share their latest findings on molecular plant pathology, entomology and weed sciences. Two special issues from the select papers on insect molecular biology, physiology and biochemistry are currently in the process for publication in the “Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology”. The second molecular plant protection is planned to be held in 2021.
Umut Toprak, Ankara University, Turkey Head of the Executive Commitee for Molecular Plant Protection Congress Series IMPPC2019 Congress Co-Chair