The APS Virology Committee

The Virology Committee of the American Phytopathological Society met during the 2005 Annual Meeting of the Society. Here is what they did and talked about. The Minutes will be approved at the 2006 Annual Meeting.

Intro | Sessions | Nominations | Student Travel | Web | Permits | IUMS | ATCC | Other

Minutes of the APS Virology Committee Meeting

APS Virology Committee Meeting
Saturday, July 30, 2005, 7:00 -8:30 PM
Room 16AB Convention Center, Austin, TX

Current Committee Chair: Scott Adkins (
Immediate Past Chair: Judith Brown (jbrown@ag.arizona. edu)
Current Vice-Chair: Alex Karasev (

Current Committee Members


Serves until

Jeffrey Bradshaw



Saskia Hogenhout



Roy French 08/05/2004 08/01/2007
Rosemarie Hammond 08/05/2004 08/01/2007
Steve Hanson 08/05/2004 08/01/2007
Andrea Harness 08/05/2004 08/01/2007
Ali Idris 08/05/2004 08/01/2007
Dominique Robertson 08/05/2004 08/01/2007
William Schneider 08/05/2004 08/01/2007
New committee members to be appointed immediately following Austin meeting to serve 08/04/2005-07/30/2008:

Anthony Cole, Francisco Assis Filho, Lev Nemchinov, Nancy Robertson, Hanumantha Pappu, Rayapati Naidu, Kai-Shu Ling & Marie Langham

Acknowledgement of members rotating off the committee in 2005:

The committee meeting was officially called to order by Chair Scot Adkins at 7:01 pm. on July 31, 2005.

Old Business

The committee approved the minutes of the previous meeting held in 2004 in Anaheim, CA.

New Business

1. Committee Process Changes

Scott Adkins gave an overview of changes in the Committee business process, some of them are APS-wide, and some are only related to the Virology Committee. Now, there are no restrictions on the number of members serving on the committee (previously, 18 was the limit), the Chair can serve two terms consecutively, if elected, and members may be re-appointed for an unlimited number of 3-year terms. Otherwise, regular procedures stay in place. Drake Stenger, who was elected Vice-Chair-Elect in Charlotte to assume duties of the Vice-Chair at the Anaheim meeting, resigned from the Committee in August 2004 and Alex Karasev, elected Vice-Chair-Elect in Anaheim, assumed responsibility of the Vice-Chair. Consistent with APS policy, the Virology Committee will change its procedure for the Vice-Chair appointment, i.e. the position of Vice-Chair-Elect will be eliminated and an individual elected Vice-Chair from current committee membership will start serving immediately after the corresponding APS meeting. Scott Adkins outlined two APS discussions in which the Virology Committee participated in this past year: a) on formulation of the APS strategic plan; and b) on update of the Sequencing White Paper (with Scott Gold).

2. USDA-APHIS permits.

Sue Tolin provided an update on permit regulations and processes and noted that APS set up a committee on this issue, and conducted an on-line survey in 2005. The main issue is how to balance safety concerns for a specific pathogen and significance of it for the U.S. research. She cited an example of citrus canker organism which was not allowed into California for research at Stanford University. A lively discussion ensued with topics including the status of the widely prevalent pathogens list, what “widely prevalent” means, and the lack of regulatory emphasis on updating names. Gwen Burnett and Jim White provided an update of this issue from the APHIS-PPQ perspective. Described the procedures to streamline the permit issuance, assured that the problem is being tackled. Gwen Burnett cited difficulties with responses from the states. John Hill and Ruth Welliver described how this permit issues are handled at the State level. Rose Hammond commented that the system became more efficient and speedy for the past year. Jim White invited everybody to see him at the PPQ booth in the exhibition hall, and provided his phone number and e-mail address. In addition, Gwen and Jim announced that the permit application process will soon be available on-line at the APHIS website (with proper e-authentication).

3. Special sessions for 2005

Three special sessions were to be held at the current, 2005 APS meeting in Austin:

Support for Virology Committee Sessions in 2005 has been quite healthy, and financial contribution of the sponsors was acknowledged:

APS has introduced a new form of invited state-of-the-art lectures, named Round-up lectures this year; Virology Committee suggested one of the four speakers for this meeting. The four 30-min lectures will be included into regular technical sessions, to attract more attention to these oral presentations. For future meetings the speakers will be suggested by APS subject committees on a rotation basis. As of now, there is no financial support from APS for these new Round-up Lectures, it’s a pilot program. S. Adkins asked the audience to attend and evaluate this new endeavor.

Last year the Committee raised to the APS program committee the issue of different deadlines for oral and poster presentations, which were felt driving many oral presentations into posters. This year the deadline was the same for both types, however the number of total oral presentations was limited to 204.

4. Special sessions for 2006

Two special sessions were proposed and decided upon for the 2006 meeting in Quebec, Canada, July 29-August 2:

Dominique Robertson suggested and agreed to look into the possibility of a special session on symptomatology and virus-host interactions in plants for the next meeting in San Diego, in 2007.

5. Nomination and election of Vice-Chair

Rosemarie Hammond was nominated for Vice-Chair and elected by a unanimous vote.

6. Suggestions for New Members

Dennis Lewandowski and Mary Burrows expressed interest to serve on the committee. Ulrich
Melcher and Ruth Welliver were nominated from the floor. Robert Lartey, Jorge Abad, Rodolfo Acosta-Leal, and Gourgopal Roy put their names on the volunteer form circulated during the meeting.

7. Virology Committee Web Page.

Ulrich Melcher was thanked for continuing to coordinate the committee’s web page. The address is:

8. Virology Committee Poster

The audience was encouraged to see the current Virology Committee Poster on display in the exhibit hall.

9. Virology Student Travel Awards.

James Susaimuthu, the 2004 Virology Student Travel Award winner, from University of Arkansas was acknowledged.

10. International Union for Microbiological Sciences.

Judy Brown, an APS virology committee representative to the International Union for Microbiological Sciences (IUMS), reported on recent meeting in San Francisco – International Congress of Virology, Bacteriology, and Mycology. She questioned the significance of this meeting to the Virology Committee, citing low attendance (only 1,200 attendees), and somewhat narrow focus of the sessions. However, some sessions and presentations were excellent. IUMS will need a liason from the APS Virology Committee to prepare the next Congress in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2008. The requirement is firm commitment to attend.

11. ATCC status

Judy Brown reported on status of virus collections at ATCC. Structure of ATCC has changed, becoming more and more commercial rather than scientific. Collections are maintained, but there are no new acquisitions since the plant virus section generates no profit.

12. Microbial Genomes

Scott Adkins reported on recent updates to APS Microbial Genomic Sequencing White Paper which were posted on the Committee web-page.

13. Brakke Student Travel Fund

Scott Adkins made an announcement about continuing fund raising drive for the Myron Brakke travel fund, with forms available from Karen Scholthof. .

14. Adjournment

After the agenda was completed, meeting adjourned at 8:35 pm.

Minutes from 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001