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The 7th International Mycosphaerella and Stagonospora Symposium
As a satellite meeting to the 2008 International Congress of Plant Pathology (ICPP), the 7th International Mycosphaerella and Stagonospora Symposium was held in the Centro Stefano Franscini, the international conference centre of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, on August 18-22, 2008. The center is situated on the fascinating hill called “Hill of Truth” in southern Switzerland at Monte VeritÃ and overlooks the town of Ascona and Lake Maggiore.
The symposium was co-organized by Bruce McDonald (ETH Zur ich, Switzerland), Stephen Goodwin (Purdue Un i v e r s i t y USA ) , Ge r t Kema (Wageningen, The Netherlands), Jean Carlier (Montpellier, France), Amor Yahyaoui (International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, Aleppo, Syria), Alice Churchill (Cornell University, USA), Pedro Crous (Centraal Bureau voor Schimmelcultures, The Netherlands), Richard Oliver (Murdoch University, Australia) and Moncef Harrabi (Institut National Agronomique de Tunis, Tunisia) and focused mainly on the Mycosphaerella and Stagonospora pathogen communities infecting cereals and bananas. The goal of this symposium was to bring together main researchers to discuss the past, present and future of research on these globally important diseases and to stimulate multidisciplinary collaborations to effectively control the diseases.
Nearly 80 scientists from 21 countries (Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Czech, Denmark, France, Germany, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Latvia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tunisia, United Kingdom and United States) attended the symposium. The symposium was started by a welcome remark from Bruce McDonald and an overview of research on these diseases by Gert Kema, followed by eight scientific sections. The scientific program of the symposium emphasized pathogen biology, genetics, genomics, resistance breeding, disease epidemiology, population genetics, evolutionary biology and disease management. Each scientific session was composed of 2-7 presentations contributed by invited speakers. The program also included a general discussion, a field excursion and two poster sections, providing opportunities for colleagues to meet, informally discuss and relax. A total of 40 platform lectures and 26 posters were presented during the five-day symposium.
During the symposium, it was agreed that future International Mycosphaerella and Stagonospora symposia should be held at a 3-year interval and should be separated from other international meetings such as ICPP or the American Phytopathological Society meetings. It was also decided that future symposia should focus on Mycosphaerella and Stagonospora diseases on cereals, but reserve a session for related diseases, including tan spot on wheat or black sigatoka on bananas. The next Mycosphaerella and Stagonospora symposium will be held at the CGIAR research center in CIMMYT Mexico in 2011.
Jiasui Zhan, SCRI