These reports are written by the beneficiaries of our event organisation fund.
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11th – 13th May 2022
As current member of the BSPP and together with Dr. Sarrah Ben M’Barek (Chair of LOC), we applied for BSPP conference-funding to support the ‘International Symposium of Cereal Leaf Blights’. Initially, the International symposium on Cereal Leaf Blights conference was planned in 2020 and due to COVID, it has been postponed to 2022 in the form of a hybrid conference with both in-person and online attendance options. The Symposium took place in Hotel Résidence Gammarth (Tunisia) and lasted for four days; three-full days for conference and one day as an optional field tour during which participants had the opportunity to visit a farmer’s field in Béja, the National Institute of Field Crops and the Septoria Phenotyping Platform (CIMMYT/IRESA) followed with a visit to the historical site of Dougga, located in the North-West region of Tunisia.
Around 120 participants attended the conference (80 in-person and 40 virtual). Several stakeholders were present from academica, research, seed and chemical companies, agency partners and commercial breeding. More than 23 different countries were represented (Europe, UK, US, South-America, Asia and North-Africa).
The conference focused on Septoria-like diseases, predominantly Zymoseptoria, Parastagonospora, Pyrenophora but other related diseases of wheat and barley were also considered. The theme of the conference was very important for the international community but also for Tunisia and for North-Africa in general where Septoria disease is a major threat to wheat production. Hence, the conference provided a premier interdisciplinary platform for researchers from national institutes as well as private companies, breeders, students to present and discuss the most recent results, trends, and concerns as well as practical challenges encountered and solutions adopted in the field of Cereal pathology.
At the end of the first day, we had a panel discussion on ‘Innovative approaches in Management of Cereal leaf Blight Diseases’ that had the main objective to highlight a wide range of experiences on managing Septoria, offering alternatives to farmers, and surely addressed farmers’ questions. Tunisian farmers, researchers, pathologists as well as breeders and the chemical companies have also taken part to the discussion.
A twitter account @ISCLB2022 for the event was created and all the relevant information are available on the website (www.isclb2022.com).
Greatly appreciate the funding from the BSPP, that allowed us wave registration for six post graduate students. In addition, BSPP partially sponsored the event (venue hire, technical assistance for zoom etc…). At the end of the conference, the recorded videos were sent to all the participants. Participant feedback was overwhelmingly positive about the venue, the organisation and the content of the conference, and emphasised the breadth of topics.
Dr Sophien Kamoun and Dr Sarrah Ben M’Barek