View the topics and information for the 2020 meeting program by selecting a program type from the list below: ​

Special Session Topics

Special Session Topics

Special sessions take place Sunday-Wednesday of the meeting. Dates and times will be available in ​May 2020.

A Global Survelliance System (GSS) for Crop Diseases and Pests: Networking the Networks

  • Learning Objectives:​
    • ​Introduce broader membership of APS to the GSS concept;
    • How does the U.S. surveillance system fit in the global sand box?
    • How can a GSS link to existing regulatory and diagnostic network systems (NAPPO, EPPO, NPDN, CABI, FAO, etc)? 
    • What are the gaps and opportunities in diagnostics and surveillance?​​
  • Target Audience: Plant pathologists with interest in international agriculture, food security, disease diagnostics, regulatory issues, risk management strategies, etc.​

Arthropod Transmitted New and Emerging Pathogens

  • Learning Objectives:
    1. We aim to educate APS members about these emerging pathogens and provide strategies for the management of the resulting diseases.
    2. Through improved knowledge of these diseases and available resources, provide tools to manage and prevent further spread of these diseases.​
  • Target Audience: Our target audience is broad and includes students, academics and members of industry and government who might come across these diseases in the course of their research and work.​

Balancing the Tradeoff Between Plant Yield and Immunity

  • Learning Objectives: After attending this session, attendees will be able to:
    1. Describe the tradeoff between plant yield and immunity
    2. Describe how plant receptor proteins function to mediate this tradeoff ​
    3. Describe how plants utilize hormones and transcription factors to balance this tradeoff
  • Target Audience: This session targets all plant pathologists interested in plant immune responses to pathogen stress, plant hormone and transcriptional responses, crop yield and the understanding of how plant disease resistance impacts crop yield.​

Cannabis and Hemp: Production, Pathology, and Disease Management

  • Learning Objectives:
    1. Learning about the production practices for hemp and cannabis
    2. Obtaining an overview of the diseases of importance on these crops
    3. Exposure to current research in 5 regions/laboratories in the US and Canada
    4. Discussion of future research initiatives
  • Target Audience: Researchers and producers of hemp and cannabis, as well as industry and extension specialists​

Current Topics in Virus Taxonomy

  • Learning Objectives: The session aims to bring awareness about recent changes in virus taxonomy to plant virology community and evaluate/discus their impact in “real life” (i.e. policy making, plant quarantine lists, certification and movement of plant materials, editorial work, etc.) through an o​pen discussion with attendees of the Plant Health 2020 Meeting of the American Phytopathological Society. ​
  • Target Audience: Plant pathologists that work with risk assessment, disease modeling, epidemiology, diagnosis and detection

Emerging Endemic Pathogens Behaving As Exotic Invasives In Changing Climates In Forest Systems

  • Learning Objectives: Understanding of how climate change and other abiotic factors impact pathogen behavior. Disease management when eradication is not an option. Managing diseases and d​eclines in complex systems.
  • Target Audience: Plant pathologists that work with risk assessment, disease modeling, epidemiology, diagnosis and detection

Evolution of the Concept of a Bacterial Species

  • Learning Objectives: By the end of the session, participants will learn about bacterial taxonomy, relevance, along with previous and current approaches used to determine a bacterial taxa. Participants will learn about importance of developing a consistent approach along with current standards, their limitations and resolutions.
  • Target Audience: Microbiologists and bacteriologists, plant disease diagnosticians, government officials regulating quarantines, graduate students, and anyone who are interested in bacterial taxonomy.​

​Faces of the American Phytopathological Society: Snapshots of the Inner-Workings of our Society and How to Get Involved

  • Learning Objectives: Attendees will gain knowledge of how major parts of APS function. With a better understanding of APS, attendees will be able to seek out volunteer positions that are appropriate for their interests, experience level, and available time. Attendees will be able to more efficiently seek out appropriate arm of society with questions or feedback for change.
  • Target Audience: Graduate students, early career professionals, all newer APS members from every level

GMOs in the Public Discourse: Better Communication for a Better World

  • Learning Objectives: Both inside and outside the walls of our laboratories, APS scientific community has a responsibility to objectively judge a contentious subject such as this and educate our colleagues, family and friends using a language that resonates. This is exactly what we aim to equip everyone attending this panel discussion.
  • Target Audience: All APS attendees will benefit from attending this discussion.​

Hormonal Signaling in Plant Defense Responses and Disease Resistance

  • Learning Objectives:
    1. Describe how phytohormones influence plant defense responses and resistance.
    2. Describe at least one example of how a plant pathogen manipulates phytohormone signaling to affect plant defense
    3. Become acquainted with the complexity of crosstalk between hormonal signaling in plant-pathogen interaction
    4. Describe how knowledge gleaned from these studies may be useful in field applications for novel means of disease control
  • Target Audience: The target audience includes those interested in developing and applying host resistance, and those interested in an emerging area of molecular and cellular phytopathology.​

In the International Year of Plant Health: Postharvest Technologies at the Forefront of Combatting Food Loss and Food Insecurity

  • Learning Objectives:
    1. Have a comprehensive understanding of food loss and waste worldwide in industrial and developing countries
    2. Learn about challenges facing overall food preservation in multiple situations and under variable conditions
    3. Learn about past, ongoing and future research in pre and postharvest pathology to reduce food loss -The attendees will be presented with a cross-disciplinary approach to curve food loss
  • Target Audience: The target audience includes scientists, postdocs and students from national and international universities working in Plant Pathology including but not limited to those doing research at both aisles of the food chain, production and conservation, to learn the challenges and state of the art of ongoing and needed research. The target audience also includes Scientists and Representative of the Private industry investing in the area of plant pathology, postharvest pathology/technologies and food preservation. Decision makers and staff of regulatory and trade agencies are also a very good target of this session.​​

Let's Work Together and Get Things Done: Pathogen Synergism During the Infection of Plants

  • Learning Objectives: Attendees will gain increased knowledge on:
    1. How different bacterial species work together to cause disease
    2. How bacterial species form subpopulation functional units and each unit has a distinct task
    3. How bacteria compete for resources and space
  • Target Audience: Researchers in molecular plant microbe interactions, plant bacteriology, disease etiology and management​​

Management Thresholds: Risks, Challenges, And Solutions

  • Learning Objectives: Attendees will learn how different thresholds are developed, how they are linked with economics of the target crop, and how these thresholds meld with a full integrated disease management program
  • Target Audience: The target audience will be epidemiologists and applied plant pathologists who are involved in mitigating disease while minimizing the costs of disease control.

Molecular Mechanism of Temperature Modulation of Plant Immunity

  • Learning Objectives: Understand the effect of resistance genes is governed by temperature. Protecting crop plants under temperature extremes requires a better understanding of molecular mechanisms. The cost of temperature extremes for crop protection and production
  • Target Audience: Professionals in crop protection and production including students and faculty, industry professionals working on pesticide development, scientists working on basic research on plant immunity, and concerned citizens

New Products & Services

  • Learning Objectives: To inform and educate APS members of the newest products available to them in both technology and disease control and to provide a platform to answer any questions about these products that might arise
  • Target Audience: Anyone using the products being described in this session, particularly extension faculty and industry representatives.

Plant Pathologists of the Future: Showcasing Graduate Student Presentation Winners from APS Division Meetings​

  • Learning Objectives: Attendees will learn about a diversity of award-winning research that is being conducted and presented by our top graduate students competing in the APS Division meetings. Many previous Division graduate competition winners have gone on to have very successful careers in plant pathology and have been engaged with APS
  • Target Audience: Anyone interested in hearing award-winning graduate students present their research at the national meeting

Plant-Pathogen Evolution in a Rapidly Changing World

  • Learning Objectives:
    1. Explore how pathogens and plants co-evolve in complex or changing environments
    2. Bring different perspectives on plant-pathogen evolution to Plant Health attendees
  • Target Audience:  APS members who study evolution, ecology, genomics and microbiomes.​​

Technology Transfer: From The Lab To The Diagnostician's Bench

  • Learning Objectives:
    1. To become aware of the different environments in which diagnostic essays are performed
    2. To gain a better understanding of the implementation challenges across different plant pathology diagnostic sectors
    3. To assess opportunities for collaboration for verification and validation
    4. To develop sustainable technology transfer by incorporating the knowledge gained in the session when developing new diagnostics tools
  • Target Audience: Researchers (faculty and students) developing diagnostic methods or interested in diagnostics, researchers and diagnosticians in various sectors (government, academia, industry), regulatory plant pathologists.

The Future of Agricultural Antibiotics in the Face of Bacterial Resistance in Agricultural and Medical Settings​

  • Learning Objectives: Obtain broader knowledge regarding the potential spread of antibiotic resistance across industries and how this may impact the future of antibiotic usage in plant agriculture
  • Target Audience: Plant pathologists from academia or industry who focus on bacterial plant pathogens. Regulators interested in the interplay between pathogen resistance and pesticide registration.

Special Session: Schroth

Special Session: Melhus



Workshops take place on Saturday ​of the meeting. Times and ticket prices will be available when registration opens.

An Introduction to R for Plant Pathologists

  • ​Learning Objectives: Find, download, and load necessary packages for analysis load tabular data into R understand the basics of data manipulation in R. Know what a data frame, vector, and function are summarize data visualize data troubleshoot common problems.
  • Target Audience: Individuals who are completely new to R.

Basic Bioinformatics and Command-Line Tools for phytopathologists: How to Handle, Explore, and Organize Big Biological Data.

  • ​Learning Objectives: The participants will learn command line tools for bioinformatic analyses commonly used in microbial genomics studies.
  • Target Audience: Plant pathologists interested to apply computational tools for analyzing high-throughput sequencing data using cluster computers. Participants are expected to have some idea about genomic data, sequencing platforms, and general terminologies commonly used in bioinformatics such as assembly, annotation, sequencing platforms, fastq, fasta, etc. No technical proficiency is expected. Participants should bring their computers (Windows, Mac, or Unix). Windows user are requested to bring computers with administrative access. We will share extensive pre- and post- meeting support materials including the codes, coding references, datasets, reading materials, and respective examples to the participants via a github webpage that can be accessed at any time after the conference also.​

Biocontrol Products for the Management of Fungicide Resistance and Reduction of Fungicide Residues

  • Learning Objectives: The workshop will cover a variety of topics ranging from chemical control, biocontrol and fungicide residue levels. The target learnings of the workshop for the attendees are: • To have a better understanding of the principals and concepts of effective management of plant diseases with the integration of fungicides and biological control products. • To determine the advantages and limitations that biological control products could have in the management of fungicide resistance and in the reduction of fungicide residues.
  • Target Audience: • Plant Pathologists in the areas of disease management, extension, fungal diseases, chemical and biological control of plant diseases • Industry Plant Pathologists • Consultants • Personnel from government and non-government institutions, such as EPA, CropLife America, FRAC.

Data visualization in R

  • ​Learning Objectives: Learn to use R packages relevant to graphing and mapping • Work through several common plant-pathology related datasets • Create publication ready graphs and maps in r
  • Target Audience: All attendees

Know your roots: Introduction to Root Phenotyping for Plant Pathologists

  • ​Learning Objectives: By the end of the workshop, students will know how to: -Identify different root types in different types of plants (primary, lateral, brace, etc). -Properly excavate roots from the field and prepare them for imaging -Scan roots using a flatbed scanner or Rhizovision platform -Measure basic root traits from a scanned image in Rhizovision, compare data from images of roots with different microbial/pathogen treatments -Compare and contrast different methods to measure and image roots (i.e., the benefits and drawbacks of using potted plants, rhizoboxes, agar plates, and field-grown plants) -Discuss ways to incorporate root identification and phenotyping into their own pathology or phytobiomes research -Access further resources for training and discussion of root phenotypes​
  • Target Audience: This is targeted to anyone studying, interested in studying, or teaching about microorganisms that affect roots, including pathogens, symbionts, and rhizosphere flora.​

Plant and Soil Microbiomes: From Sampling to Understanding

  • Learning Objectives: Teach data processing and analysis pipelines and provide experience in the use of computational tools for amplicon sequencing data from agricultural microbiomes.; Stimulate thoughtful consideration of key challenges in microbiome research, including sampling strategies, addressing technical bias, and managing complex datasets.; Enhance participants capacities to link microbiome analyses to core scientific questions, and encourage communication, collaboration, and community-building within the agricultural microbiomes research community.
  • Target Audience: The target audiences for this workshop are scientists interested in integrating microbiome analyses into their research programs. The workshop will be beneficial to participants ranging from students to mid-career and established faculty. Participants will be required to bring a laptop computer (WIFI-capable) loaded with RStudio and have a very basic understanding of the R coding language. Prior to the workshop, we will give registered participants resources that introduce R (including free online tutorials), which will suffice to provide the basic familiarity to R required. Beyond these two requirements, we ask that participants bring an eagerness to engage with other researchers and willingness to learn and apply new computational techniques.

Scientific Communication in the Year of Plant Health: Let's Talk/Text/Tweet about it!

  • Learning Objectives: - Spoken: No matter the time limit or format, learn how to pitch your science in an exciting and effective way. - Digital: Faced with a shelf-life of 7 seconds or less, how can your science make a cyber-impression that lasts? - Gain confidence in your scientific communication, whether it is in public speaking, or tweeting.
  • Target Audience: Students and early career professionals, and all attendees are welcome to participate in the workshop

Soilborne Disease Data Collection and Analysis

  • Learning Objectives: • Develop Experimental Designs for Soilborne Diseases • Evaluate Benefits and Shortcomings of Sampling Strategies • Data Analysis for Experimental Designs and Sampling Strategies Discussed
  • Target Audience: Students, Post-Docs, and Professionals looking to expand current understanding of soilborne disease data capture

   Taking MPMI Discoveries to the Field​​
  • In celebration of the 2020 International Year of Plant Health, the International Society for Molecular Plant Microbe Interactions (IS-MPMI) is hosting this satellite meeting to bring together scientists who are taking molecular advances in plant science and translating these discoveries to develop disease resistant crops that will impact global food security. The meeting will highlight technical advances, progress in the field, and challenges for bridging the foundational research – translation gap. The goal of this meeting is to capitalize on the expertise of the IS-MPMI and APS communities to exchange ideas and strategies to bridge this gap to promote plant health around the world. The format will include presentations by MPMI scientists that are successfully bridging this gap (see program) and round table discussions. We encourage broad participation of students, post-doctoral scholars, principle investigators and policy makers to provide diverse perspectives.​ More information

Visualizing Effectors During Plant-Pathogen Interactions: Intuitive Teaching and Research Tools

  • Learning Objectives: After attending this workshop, attendees will be able to: (1.) Visualize pathogen effector activity with a fluorescent microscope, (2.) Ada​pt and implement visualization techniques in their pathosystems of interest, and (3.) Use visualization techniques to teach about pathogen effectors in an intuitive way
  • Target Audience: This workshop targets researchers and educators from all backgrounds and experiences.
Field Trips

Field Trips

Field Trips take place on Saturday and Wednesday of the meeting. Times and ticket prices will be available when registration opens.

Adventures in Seedbanks and S​eed Health Testing: Tour of the USDA NCGRP and Eurofins BioDiagnostics

  • Participants will visit sites that emphasize the preservation and distribution of healthy seed. Participants will visit the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation in Fort Collins. This facility provides long-term preservation of plant and microbial resources. Participants will learn about seedbanks and germplasm and microbial conservation. Participants will visit Eurofins BioDiagnostics Inc. in Longmont to see seed health testing methods. These methods are developed and validated by international organizations with a goal of robust, reliable methods and are implemented in industry and commercial labs to provide confidence that healthy seed is being sold. This is a great opportunity for students and early career professionals to learn about germplasm conservation and seed health and the roles that seed pathologists fill in facilitating production and trade of healthy seed.

Diseases, Pests, and Fire, Oh My! Forest Health Issues in Alpine Forests of the Southern Rockies

  • The Southern Rockies is home to forests that encompass a diverse array of coniferous forests, including Ponderosa pine forests, limber - lodgepole - bristlecone pine forests, and spruce - fir forests. In addition, Aspen forests are important in these landscapes. The field trip attendees will head to different forest stands in the Rocky Mountain National Park. Pathogen threats to these forests include native canker and root rot pathogens, especially important in aspen stands. We also find native and invasive rust diseases including comandra rust, western gall rust and white pine blister rust and a range of mistletoe species that are also important factors in these forests. Further, bark beetles and fire will be discussed as these significantly impact these forests.​

​Mile High Fungi: A Fungal and Plant Pathology Foray​

  • ​APS fungal forays are a great way to learn more about fungal (both macro and micro) identification and foraging. In this field trip, we will travel to a field site to collect and identify fungi. Participants will then return to identify what they collect, have lunch, and enjoy the company of fellow mycologists.​​