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The 15th Congress of the Spanish Society for Phytopathology, Vitoria, Spain 27th September – 1st October 2010
The Congress of the Spanish Society for Phytopathology has been a great forum of debate of all specialists in phytopathological problems, a meeting place to establish new contacts and to meet old friends, the perfect site for an informal exchange of results, and professional and personal experiences.
Over 350 participants were registered for the conference, sponsored by important agricultural organisations in the Basque Country. The conference had a broad scope, covering various areas of phytopathological research.
The program was divided in 14 sessions compr ising a total of 72 oral presentations and 260 posters dedicated to different subjects like etiology and diagnostics, epidemiology, pathogenesis and resistance. On the first day, I had the opportunity to give my talk ‘the CYP51C, a reliable marker to resolve interspecific phylogenetic relationships within the Fusarium species complex and a novel target for species-specific PCR’.
Internationally distinguished researchers had been invited to give keynote speeches. Dr. Thierry Candresse from INRA Bordeaux- Aquitaine (France) gave a fantastic talk about diversity and variability of vegetable viruses and its consequences on our aptitude to identify detect and control these phytopathogens. Dr. Bart Fraaije from Rothamsted Research (UK) gave an outstanding speech about the use of Rothamsted wheat archived samples to study the adjustment of phytopathogenic fungi and how it can help in the development of correct agronomic practices and in the prediction of climate change. Dr. George Sundin from Michigan State University (USA) informed us about Erwinia amylovora biofilms and its use in the field. Additionally other experts like Miguel Alvarez (Roche Diagnostics), Saskia Hogenhout (John Innes Centre, UK), Pablo Rodriguez Palenzuela (CBGP, Madrid) took part in a round table dedicated to a very interesting genomics symposium carried out for the first time at this conference.
The participants took pleasure in a visit to the city of Vitoria and had the opportunity to discover its history and fantastic gastronomy. An excursion to the Rioja Alavesa allowed us to admire the wonderful Basque landscape and its principal phytopathological agriculture problems. We enjoyed a wonderful visit to the Sollague wine cellar in Labastida, which included an excellent guided wine tasting. Later all the participants were treated to the conference dinner in the Hotel Jardines de Uleta with delicious Spanish wines, food and music.
Different prizes were awarded, two of them for the best poster defences which went to Laura Montesinos (LIPPSO, Girona) and J. A Gutierrez-Barranquero (University of Malaga).
At the closing ceremony the head of the Spanish Phytopathological Society (Maria Milagros Lopez Gonzalez), the Adviser of Environment, Territorial Planning, Agriculture and Fishing (Maria del Pilar Unzalu Perez de Eulate) and the general director of Neiker-Tecnalia (Jakes Aguirrezabal) announced the next congress, which will take place in Torremolinos, Malaga in 2012. Overall, this meeting was a success in terms of representation of the participants and the breadth of the topics.
I would like to thank the BSPP for its financial support and for giving me the opportunity to present my talk and poster at this conference. The conference was very interesting and I was very happy to be able to attend and discuss my research with other experts, being very important for me to keep up contacts with plant pathologists in my home country with a view to advancing in my future career.
Lola Fernandez-Ortuno Rothamsted Research International