Hot Topics

Hot Topic: Everything You Need to Know about CRISPRs

Organizer/Moderator: Shaun Curtin, USDA-ARS Cereal Disease Laboratory

The development of the CRISPR/Cas9 reagent has been an important break-through discovery in the field of genome engineering. It has allowed the researcher with minimal molecular biology specialization to perform targeted mutagenesis and gene editing on any plant or pathogen host amenable to transformation. These developments will undoubtedly benefit future plant pathology research as recent reports of engineered pathogen resistant plants have indicated. In this session we hope to encourage both APS early-career scientists and established researchers to initiate their own genome engineering project by demonstrating the ease of use and remarkable efficiency of the CRISPR/Cas9 reagent.

Presentations and speakers:

  • Introduction and overview of site-directed mutagenesis platforms: Shaun Curtin, USDA-ARS Cereal Disease Laboratory
  • Optimizing gene editing using a multi-purpose cloning system for plant genome engineering :Tomas Cermak, Center for Genome Engineering, University of Minnesota
  • Characterization of a unique secreted peptide family in Medicago by multiplex genome editing: Diana Trujillo, Department of Plant Biology, University of Minnesota
  • TBD Speaker
  • Panel discussion Q&A session


Hot Topic: Pest Permitting in the Phytobiome Age

Organizer:  Mary E. Palm, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
Moderator:  Kathryn Kromroy, Minnesota Department of Agriculture

Research on the phytobiome and tools developed as a result of that research often intersect with federal and state pest permitting requirements.   In this interactive session you will find out when you need to apply for a pest permit and hear from researchers with experience in the connection between phytobiome research and pest permitting.  Just as importantly, you can contribute to the discussion about future permitting challenges so that all parties have communicated and are prepared when those needs arise.  This is a unique opportunity to identify challenges and consider solutions proactively.


  • Jorge Abad, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
  • Caroline Roper, Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, University of California
  • Philip Hammer, AgBiome, Research Triangle Park, NC



Hot Topic: The Future of Florida Citrus

Organizer: Mary E. Palm, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
Moderator: Laurene Levy, USDA APHIS, Plant Protection and Quarantine

Citrus diseases and pests have led at least 40% higher grower production costs in Florida.  Huanglongbing (HLB, citrus greening) poses a particular threat because there is no cure, sufficient resistant or tolerant rootstock is not yet commercially available, and costs of managing the psyllid vector are high.  What will the Florida citrus industry look like in the next 5-10 years?  What steps are necessary for the industry to survive?  Come listen to perspectives from researchers and industry “in the trenches” and join in the discussion.


  • Tim Gottwald, USDA Agricultural Research Service
  • Jim Graham, Citrus Research and Education Center, University of Florida
  • Peter McClure, Double K Groves, Inc.
  • Pete Timmer, Citrus Research and Education Center, University of Florida, (retired)


Hot Topic: Intro to Phytobiome Competitive Grants

Organizers: JP Dundore-Arias, University of Minnesota and APS-PPB Early Career Intern;
Steve Lindow, University of California-Berkeley; Linda Kinkel, University of Minnesota
Moderator: JP Dundore-Arias, University of Minnesota and APS-PPB Early Career Intern

The Phytobiome Initiative has captured major scientific interest among APS members and spawned a rapidly growing community of scientists interested in incorporating phytobiome-based knowledge and approaches into their own research.  However, new phytobiome researchers can have trouble securing funding to support their research.  This session has the goal to inform APS early-career scientists and established researchers about agencies and funding programs that welcome phytobiome related proposals, and to provide insights into strategies for developing competitive grant proposals from the perspectives of experienced grant review panelists and National Program Directors.

Presentations and speakers:

  • How to develop competitive hypothesis-driven Phytobiome proposals: Steve Lindow, University of California-Berkeley
  • Opportunities for Phytobiome related projects in the new dual agency Plant-Biotic Interactions Program: Ann Lichens-Park, USDA-NIFA
  • Competitive funding opportunities for Early Career Scientists in Phytobiome related fields: Diane Okamuro, NSF
  • Panel discussion Q&A session


Get ALL the Latest Updates for ICPP2018: PLANT HEALTH IN A GLOBAL ECONOMY. Follow APS!

Join us on Facebook Join us on LinkedIn Join us on Twitter Join us on YouTube Follow Me on Pinterest Join APS
© 2018 The American Phytopathological Society. All rights reserved.

Contact Us - Report a Bad Link