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The symposium was hosted by Prof. Giorgio M. Balestra, University of Tuscia, Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie e Forestali (DAFNE) in collaboration with FAO. The meeting was attended by 240 participants from more than 40 countries, and the scientific program included 9 sessions.
July 9 Session I: Interaction between Plants and Microbiomes was chaired by Steve Lindow and opened by Linda Kinkel of the University of Minnesota (USA), it included 5 presentations. Session II: Genetics and Genomics basis for innovative control strategies was opened by Boris Vinatzer, Virginia Tech (USA) and included 6 presentations. Session III: Epidemiology and Forecasting Models was opened by Emilio Montesinos, University of Girona (Spain) and included 4 presentations. It was followed by a poster session allowing the participants to view the 62 posters presented and talk with their authors. The afternoon was concluded by a interesting visit of a medieval neighbourhood in the historic city of Viterbo followed by a social diner near lake Bolsena which included white wine testing.
July 10 Session IV Biocontrol of Bacterial Diseases, chaired by Jeff Jones (USA), was opened by Aleksa Obradovic, University of Belgrade (Serbia) and included 10 presentations. The talk presented by S.
Lindow and C. Baccari on biological control of Pierce’s disease on grape by an endophytic bacterium was very interesting for me. Session V: Fire Blight Control: Innovation from Science to Field Applications was opened by Antonet Svircev, Agriculture and Agri-Food (Gov. of Canada) and included 5 presentations. Session VI: Improvements in Bacterial Wilt Control was opened by Nevein A. S. Messiha (Egypt) and included 3 presentations. Session VII: Sustainable Strategies for the Control of Fastidious Bacteria and their Insects Vectors was opened by Maria Saponari (Italy) and included 6 presentations. The day was concluded by an enjoyable and relaxing bath in the natural hot spring at the “Terme del Papi”.
July 11 Session VIII: Production, Safety and Regulation of Biocontrol agents was opened by Nico Horn, EPPO director general and included 4 presentations.
Session IX: Science and Politics meet Industry was opened by Faina Kamilova (NL) and included 6 presentations. The scientific meeting ended with conclusions and closing remarks. In the afternoon a boat excursion on Lake Bolsena was a very enjoyable experience. The 2019 Biocontrol Meeting in Viterbo brought a perfect balance of very interesting scientific talks and enjoyable relaxing social events in a beautiful area of Italy. I want to thank the BSPP for the travel award allowing me to participate in this symposium.