The ‘Plant Pathology’ Best Student Paper prize for 2019 has been awarded to Kwame Ogero from the International Potato Center (CIP), c/o Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) for his paper entitled ‘Efficiency of insect-proof net tunnels in reducing virus-related seed degeneration in sweet potato’ (vol. 68, 1472–1480).
This work was a collaboration between the International Potato Center (CIP) (Tanzania, Kenya and Peru), Plant Research International, Wageningen University and Research (WUR), Netherlands, the University of Florida, Gainesville, USA and the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, USA. The manuscript details the results of experiments designed to test the ability of net tunnels to reduce virus-related degeneration in sweet potato seed production under farmer-multiplier management, and concludes that multiplication within net tunnels significantly reduces the rate of degeneration compared to multiplication in open fields. The recommendation to farmer-multipliers is that by adopting the technology they will increase the availability of clean seed, particularly in high virus pressure areas, which has the potential to have a significant impact in reducing the losses caused by virus infections in sweet potato.
The ‘Molecular Plant Pathology’ Best Student Paper prize for 2019 has been awarded to Xue Ding from the Shanghai Center for Plant Stress Biology for her paper entitled ‘Chloroplast clustering around the nucleus is a general response to pathogen perception in Nicotiana benthamiana’ (vol. 20, 1298–1306).
This submission was a collaborative effort from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing and the Leibniz Institute, Braunschweig, Germany. Chloroplasts are commonly associated with nuclei in plant cells during effector-triggered immunity (ETI). This work provides compelling evidence that chloroplast clustering around the nucleus in both pattern-triggered immunity (PTI) and ETI responses suggesting a fundamental role in plant defence. The work also identifies ROS as a key signal in invoking this response.