Plant diseases have historically threatened sustainable and secure food, feed, and fiber supplies, whether due to pathogens, unfavorable environmental conditions, or both. Therefore, the scientific discipline of phytopathology or plant pathology, focused on plant disease research, has become an important field of study. 

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Source: Mizzou CAFNR from Flickr

The one-day phytopathology research event saw participation from hundreds of experts in the field, where they exchanged knowledge on the latest research updates in plant diseases and disease control.

Frequent knowledge exchange events are essential for disseminating research findings and facilitating their real-world applications. The Phytopathology Research Forum is one such event that successfully concluded its spring edition on 26 March 2024.  

Hosted at the Institute of Plant Protection at China Agricultural University, Beijing, China, the forum attracted around 200 participants on-site and garnered more than 17,000 views online. The Chinese Society of Plant Pathology facilitated the one-day event attended by phytopathology enthusiasts and experts from academic institutions all over China, including Shandong Agricultural University, the Institute of Zoology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Sun Yat-sen University. 

Cutting-edge research

The event was chaired by Professor You-Liang Peng, the Editor-in-Chief of Phytopathology Research. Dr. Qian Qian, a leading researcher and deputy director of the Yazhouwan National Laboratory, China, and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, delivered a speech on ‘Promoting biological breeding and taking proactive measures for germplasm safety.’

The speech emphasized the molecular breeding technology and its progress in China, driven by cutting-edge gene editing technology. Dr. Qian also discussed future development trends and potential challenges in the field.

Furthermore, Dr. Qian highlighted the importance of adopting and developing provenance security—measures for ensuring the integrity, safety, and reliability of the origin or source of agricultural products—on a global scale. Professor Jun Liu from China Agricultural University and one of the Executive Editors-in-Chief of Phytopathology Research delivered the concluding speech at the event.

Phytopathology Research initiated the very first international Phytopathology Research Forum in December 2023. Our aim was to facilitate discussions about cutting-edge developments in plant pathology research, phytopathology research innovations, and domestic and foreign academic exchanges,” states Prof. Liu. Notably, this open access journal, published by BioMed Central (part of Springer Nature), covers the newest findings in the fields of plant disease and disease control, bringing phytopathology research in China to the forefront globally since its launch in 2019. 

Next event

The Chinese Society of Plant Pathology, the forum organizer, intends to follow up with the Asian Conference on Plant Pathology 2024 (ACPP 2024), scheduled from 3–7 August 2024 at Holiday Inn Changchun Jingyue Hotel, Changchun City, Jilin Province, China.

Jilin Agricultural University, Jilin University, Jilin Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Jilin Provincial Agro-Tech Extension Center, and Jilin Society for Plant Pathology will jointly host this seventh edition of ACPP. The theme of ACPP 2024 is “Crop Health in Modern Agriculture,” covering broad phytopathology research areas from disease diagnosis and management to emerging plant diseases.

When asked about the significance of ACPP 2024, Prof. Peng says: “ACPP 2024 is a prestigious international event that brings together renowned scientists, researchers, and industry professionals in the field of plant pathology. It aims to assess the current state and advancements in plant pathology, as well as foster communication and collaboration among all participants.”