BSPP Presidential Meeting 1996

Unlocking the Future: Information Technology in Plant Pathology

The BSPPs Presidential Meeting in December 1996 was Unlocking the Future: information Technology in Plant Pathology, the President at the time being Dr Peter Scott. The meeting was held with the Systematics Association (President: Stephen Blackmore) at the University of Kent and included computer based species identification to mark the 21st Anniversary of the 1975 Symposium on Biological Identification with Computers. Highlights included an open forum 'Biology and Information Technology - the Road Ahead' with Professor Sir Robert May and Professor Peter Cochrane.

The book of the conference
A book, Information Technology, Plant Pathology and Biodiversity edited by Peter Scott, Paul Bridge, Peter Jeffries and David Morse, based on the Conference is available fromCAB International.

Plenary session 1
Chair: N. Hardwick (President Elect, BSPP)

Presidential Address: The incredible pace of change: Information Technology in support of plant pathology
P. Scott

Systematics Association keynote paper: Development of computer-based systems in systematics
P. Sneath

Plenary session 2 - Handling facts to produce information
Chair: D. Ingram (Vice-President, BSPP)

Handling the information explosion: the challenge of data management
J. Anderson

The biological reference system: specifying, keeping track and accessing data on organisms
F. Bisby

Keeping pathogens in their place: international plant quarantine databases
I. Smith

Informatic and experimental approaches to the elucidation of novel gene functions
S. Oliver

Where from here?
S. Jones

Parallel session 3A: Support for decision making
Chair: G. Norton

PC-Plant Protection - a need-based decision support system for crop protection in Denmark
B. Secher & N.S. Murali

The use of IT in marker-assisted disease resistance breeding
W. Beeversdorf 

Developing a model of expertise for a taxonomic expert system
M. Edward

Where from here?
J. Mumford

Parallel session 3B: Computer-based species identification: Applications I
Chair: P. Sneath

Computer-based keys for botanical identification
R. Pankhurst

Identification of yeasts through computer-based systems
R. Payne

Probabilistic identification systems for bacteria
T. Bryant

A general structure for biological databases
J. Diederich, R. Fortuner, J. Milton

Plenary session 4: Computer-based species identification
Chair: Z.R. Shen 

Systems for computer-based multi-access keys
M. Dallwitz, T. A. Paine & E. J. Zurcher

Archiving biodiversity
P. Schalk

Images as a basis for identification
D. Roberts, G. Novarino, G. Kennaway & S. Hope

Garrett Memorial Lecture: Building models of epidemics to help take decisions
M. Jeger


A plant virus notebook for IBM-compatible computers
J. Antoniw

Automated ribotyping creates a European article numbering system for microorganisms
J. Banks

Dade Microscan 2.5hr system
S. Bascomb

Investigations into the classification of rhododendron powdery mildew using molecular biology and scanning electron microscopy
P. Beales and A.M. Hall

MORPH, an integrated forecasting model launcher
Andrew Binks, Paul Sayers and John Clarkson

Species 2000: indexing the world's known species
F. Bisby

LegumeWeb: access to the world database of legumes
F. Bisby

APPLESCAB: pest management game
P. Blaise

Colour analysis of Lepidoptera for species identification
E.D. Chesmore and S. Flandin

M. J. Dallwitz, T. A. Paine and E. J. Zurcher

A computerized identification system for poisonous plants and fungi
E.A. Dauncey, V.S.G. Murray, T.G.J. Rayner and D.A. Shah-Smith

A.J. Gibbs

DAINet: an extensive information system for food, agriculture and forestry on the Internet
Katja Hasky-Guenther

Identification of trees in Borneo
J.K. Jarvie

Making books interactive: an electronic experiment
P. Jones

The Plant Pathology Internet Guide Book
T. Kraska

The German Phytomedical Society on the Internet - DPG Online
T. Kraska

Image capture, analysis and archiving as an aid to fungal diagnosis
C. Lane

Environmental Management in Agriculture
K. Lewis and A.M. Hall

The pictorial computerized identification system BIKEY as a part of the DIALOBIS biological encyclopaedias on CD-ROM
A. Lobanov, M. Dianov, A. Ryss & W. Schilow

GENCOMEX, a computerized key to identify the genera of Asteraceae of Mexico
M. Murgua, J. Villaseor

Multi-media tools for diagnosing and managing pest and disease problems
G. Norton

Computer-based keys for botanical identification
R. Pankhurst

GENSTAT for Windows
R. Payne

Pl@nteInfo - A WWW-based platform for the dissemination of up-to-date crop protection information
B. Secher, A. Jensen & J. Hansen

The Crop Protection Compendium
A. Sweetmore, C.Y.L. Schotman, Bin-Cheng Zhang, S.A. Rudgard and P.R. Scott

ADEM - an integrated disease warning system for apple
XiangMing XU

Parallel session 5A:  Passing on information in education and training

Electronic teaching aids for students and practitioners
G. Schumann

Making books interactive: an electronic experiment
P. Jones

Crop protection: information technology and ecosystem health
Z.R. Shen

Computer games and other tricks to train field pathologists
T. Stewart

Where from here?
P. Schalk

Parallel session 5B: Computer-based species identification: Applications II
Chair: R. Pankhurst

Computerized insect identification: a comparison of differing approaches and problems
I. White & G. Sandlant

Modelling taxonomic descriptions for identification
J. Lebb

GENCOMEX, a computerized key to identify the genera of Asteraceae of Mexico
M. Murgua, J. Villaseor

The BEG Expert System - A multimedia identification system for arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi
J. C. Dodd & S Rosendahl

Session 6: P.H. Gregory paper-reading competition for young researchers

The genetics and pathogenicity of pigment mutants of the take-all fungus Gaeumannomyces graminis
C.P. Kelly, A.E. Obsourne and C.E. Caten

Identification of species of Pestalotiopsis using artificial neural networks based on spore morphometric data
A. Morgan

Cloning a gene which encodes a glycoprotein present at the fungal-plant interface formed in the Colletotrichum - bean interaction
S. Perfect, R. O'Connel and J. Green

Effect of cultivar resistance and metalaxyl treatment on oospore formation in potato late blight (Phytophthora infestans)
K. Hanson

Stem tip dieback of cassava: identification and virulence of the causal organism
E. Moses

Plenary session 7 Knowledge dissemination
Chair: A. Mangstl

Multi-media tools for diagnosing and managing pest and disease problems
G. Norton

CD-ROM as a dissemination medium in practice: crop protection case studies in Africa
S. M'Boob

Networked communications in extension
R. Ausher

Modern communication needs in agriculture for developing countries
S. Nagarajan

Electronic publishing in plant pathology: predicting the unpredictable
R. Campbell

Parallel session 8A: Interpreting information to produce knowledge

Making sense of variation: taxonomic information systems
R. Allkin

Building an information system to interpret diversity in Colletotrichum
J. Bailey, C. Nash, L. Morgan, F. Malweygo, G. Rivera & M. Dron

Keeping track of where pathogens are: Geographic Information Systems
P. Blaise

Integrated information management: a multimedia system for crop protection
A. Sweetmore, C.Y.L. Schotman, Bin-Cheng Zhang, S.A. Rudgard and P.R. Scott

Where from here?
A. Newton

Parallel session 8B: Computer-based species identification: Novel developments
Chair: R. Payne

Development of neural networks for identification
L. Boddy, C. Morris and A. Morgan

Automated analysis of insect sounds using TESPAR and expert systems - a new method for species identification
E.D. Chesmore, M.D. Swarbrick and O.P. Femminella

Mixing elements from different identification systems
P. Bridge

The role of the user in computer-based species identification
G. Tardivel & D. Morse

Chair: The Vice-Chancellor, University of Kent at Canterbury

Biological science and Information Technology
PROFESSOR SIR ROBERT MAY (Chief Scientific Advisor, UK Office of Science and Technology)

The IT revolution: how it may support or disturb biology
PROFESSOR PETER COCHRANE (Head of Advanced Applications and Technology, British Telecom Laboratories, Martlesham Heath)

Practical and tutorial sessions

Everything you always wanted to know about IT but were afraid to ask
David Morse and Gill Tardivel (Computing Laboratory, University of Kent, Canterbury)


  • The Internet and the World Wide Web - led by John Dodd (Research School of Biosciences, University of Kent at Canterbury) and Adrian Newton (Scottish Crop Research Institute, Dundee)
  • Multi-access keys - led by Ian White (CABI International Institute of Entomology, London)
  • Neural networks - led by Colin Morris (University of Glamorgan)
  • Crop Protection Compendium - led by Anne Sweetmore & Helen Crowson (CAB INTERNATIONAL)
  • Databases for the innocent - led by Richard White (University of Southampton)
  • Java: Just Another Vague Acronym? - led by Andrew Peel (University of Kent, Canterbury)
  • DELTA: User's perspectives. Keys to trees of Borneo - led by J. Jarvie (Arnold Arboretum, Harvard)
  • Surfing the Net - led by Jerry Cooper (CABI International Mycological Institute, Egham), Adrian Newton (Scottish Crop Research Institute, Dundee), Bob Carling (Chapman & Hall) and Terry Stewart (Massey University, New Zealand)