BSPP Outreach go to MBPP!

04 Apr 2014

News image
News image
Indoor rain machine. Credit: William Kay

Written by Odette Wills (BSPP Outreach Internship Student, University of Exeter).

The BSPP Outreach were at the Molecular Biology of Plant Pathogens (MBPP) meeting to man the BSPP publicity stand; telling people about the benefits of BSPP membership and also to recruit volunteers for our outreach events.


Tuesday 25th March

We visited Sygenta, Jealott's Hill  and were given a tour of the laboratories and massive green houses. There was even an indoor rain machine, which is designed to replicate how rain affects the sticking ability of pesticides. Katie (Outreach Officer) was nominated to stand under an umbrella while it rained indoors. We also saw the many high-tech robots involved in testing for new fungicides. It was a fantastic insight into the many different industry careers in applied plant pathology. This trip was organised by Dr Sian Deller (BSPP Industrial Liaison Officer) and Dr James Fountaine (BSPP Education Officer).


Wednesday 26th March 

The second day was an opportunity for PhD students and post-docs to present their talks and posters. We heard some great presentations on a broad range of subjects from; the activation of silent gene clusters in Trichoderma hamatum GD12, to the study of Phytophthora ramorum linages EU1 and EU2. It was inspiring to meet so many early career plant pathologists doing such exciting research. The evening rounded off with Professor Murray Grant’s (University of Exeter) giving a fascinating talk on how New Zealand wines have been shaped by plant pathology. We enjoyed a history of vineyards accompanied by lots of very tasty wine tasting!


Thursday 27th March 

Day three was hosted in collaboration with the Monogram 2014 conference. It kicked off with Professor Sir David Baulcombe (University of Cambridge) giving a fascinating talk on enhancing natural disease resistance in crops. Other presentations included Dr Graham McGrann (SRUC) talking about host response to Ramularia leaf spot and Dr Phil Poole (University of Oxford) on the use of bacterial biosensors to create maps. We live tweeted during this event, read the Storify story here.


Thank you! 

MBPP 2014 was an exciting insight into the plant pathology research currently being undertaken in the UK and a great opportunity for the BSPP to recruit new members and volunteers to take part in our outreach activities. We would like to say thank you to the conference organizers at the University of Reading, Dr Robert Jackson and Dr Tiffany Taylor, for running such a great event.