A year on from International Year of Plant Health 2020 and 10 months after the first Plant Health Week, the UK is celebrating its second National Plant Health Week. The world has recognised the power of plants and the intrinsic connectedness of plant health with our own wellbeing. The US, Canada and Mexico lit up monuments across the continent in green. 2021 has been marked as the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables #IYFV and, in 2022, the first International Day of Plant Health will be celebrated.
Plant pathologists play a vital part in understanding and protecting the health of plants around us. How did you get into Plant Pathology? Were you an early starter, interested in plants from an early age like the Plant Defenders?
Influence the name of Izzy the Inspector’s wee pal with a vote today. Introduced during last #NationalPlantHealthWeek, Izzy takes children through the life of a Plant Health Inspector with games, cartoons and stories. What will her new pal be called? Keep an eye out on her homepage and look out for more information on @APHAgovuk Twitter poll.
Next week is national #PlantHealthWeek, why not get the kids involved by checking out our very own Izzy the Inspector activity book. A fun and engaging way to learn more about plant health! #IYPH @DefraGovUK @plantchief https://t.co/A1KLssiYrO pic.twitter.com/sTGpjpAtoi
— APHA (@APHAgovuk) May 6, 2021
Learning about plant health
Did you find your way through school and university? Are you a BSPP Undergraduate alumnus? Or perhaps you came to plant pathology from another discipline? Watch these videos from our IYPH2020 BSPP Summer lockdown students to see how plant pathology can span multiple disciplines, from field, lab and greenhouse to maths, modelling and satellites.
Celebrating 40 years of supporting plant pathology
This year, BSPP celebrate 40 years of supporting plant pathology education. We communicate our science through three international journals and, for 40 years, we have supported travel across the globe through bursaries to encourage exploration and discovery. This year, we want to support early plant pathologists through a new MSc at Harper Adams University, in addition to our usual BSPP MSc/MRes Bursary Scheme – BSPP which supports Masters at their chosen university, for example, the new The Sainsbury Laboratory Masters of Science degree in Global Plant Health.
Taking it to the next step; doing a PhD allows you to hone in and become a specialist in one disease, or a particular issue in plant health. Many students have faced challenges after the Covid pandemic, with multiple lockdowns and disruptions, which is why we are offering extra support this year with BSPP COVID-19 support to PhD students – BSPP.
Sharing science – meeting up
We look forward to hearing from you this plant health week. Like the title of our next Plant Health Club, this is ‘Living Science’ and regularly sharing our science progresses as a community, builds our collective knowledge.
Thursday will be THE day to post on plant health science online and join the Bacterial Plant Diseases group who will be hosting a free workshop at 2pm:
Followed by a live webinar hosted by The Tree Council at 6pm (Sign up here) with Jon Stokes, The Tree Council’s Director of Trees, Science & Research and special guest Andrew Gaunt, Plant Health & Seeds Inspector.
Watch out for our fantastic BSPP Student Infographics on social media. It’s a rusty week with a Special Virtual Issue on Wheat Rusts in Plant Pathology Journal, focussing on Puccinia diseases of Wheat.
Hear our President Nicola Spence on this fantastic podcast and watch out for her video with Adam Frost on social media!
Just like the first UK Plant Health Week, the greatest way to discover is to get involved. The RHS are highlighting the importance of tree health all week with their Check-a-Sweet-Chestnut citizen science project. Click the link above and join in by identifying Sweet Chestnut trees (Castanea sativa) and looking out for the invasive pest – Oriental chestnut gall wasp (Dryocosmus kuriphilus).
Just like EPPO Beastie Bug, BSPP New Disease Reports publish records of new plant disease across the world. Chestnut Blight (Cryphonectria parasitica) was first reported in Europe in the 1930s. It was recorded in Iran (2005) and Azerbaijan (2007), before being first discovered in the UK (2011) and reported in New Disease Reports by Forest Research here. Spread of the disease has been associated with the oriental gall wasp and last year Forest Research published this New Disease Report linking galls with blight symptoms. Watch out for social media posts on Thursday 13th May, highlighting BSPP New Disease Reports on Chestnut Blight.
Join us on social media with the hashtag: #PlantHealthWeek
#IYPH #PlantHealth #HealthyPlantsHealthyMinds #TogetherForOurPlanet
TITLE IMAGE: Rust on Oxford Ragwort. Credit: Eric Boa.