The APS Virology Committee

The Virology Committee of the American Phytopathological Society met during the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Society. Here is what they did and talked about. The Minutes were approved at the 2012 Annual Meeting.

APS Virology Committee Meeting
Sunday, August 7th, 2011, 8:30 – 10:00 AM
Hawaii Convention Center, Waikiki, Hawaii
Chair: Rosemarie Hammond (
Acting: John Hammond (
Vice-chair: Lucy Stewart (
Acting: Fiorella Cisneros (

Copies of the meeting agenda and the APS visioning Forum Request were distributed by email before the meeting and among attendants on the day of the meeting. Copies of the 2010 APS meeting minutes (Charlotte, NC) were also distributed on the same day.

  1. The committee meeting was officially called to order by John Hammond at 8:30 am. It was noted that neither the committee Chair nor the Vice-chair were able to attend, and thanks were extended to Fiorella Cisneros for agreeing to substitute for the Vice-chair. Thanks were also extended to Ulrich Melcher for maintaining the Virology Committee web page. A student travel award to Bindu Poudel, of the University of Arkansas, was also recognized.
  2. The 2010 APS meeting minutes were unanimously approved by the members present in the meeting.
  3. The members present at the meeting signed the attendance list and new participants were encouraged to become members.
  4. Astri Wayandande talked about the first meeting held by the new Vector-Pathogen Complex Committee on Saturday, August 6th, 2011. They had a good number of attendants and 2 special session proposals to be presented to the 2012 Program Planning Session Committee.
  5. Special Sessions sponsored by the Virology Committee at the 2011 APS meeting were announced in the agenda and included:
    1. Management of Insect-transmitted Plant Virus Diseases in the Tropics.
    2. Biology and Molecular Biology of Closteroviruses

Naidu Rayapati presented a short summary of each of the two sessions and John Hammond encouraged attendance to the Special Sessions.

  1. Acknowledgement of funding support for the special sessions from:
    1. Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation
    2. APS/APHIS Virology Working Group
  2. Technical Sessions that have virology-related talks were announced in the agenda and included:
    1. Molecular Biology of Plant Viruses
    2. Entomology and Insect Vectors

John Hammond encouraged attendance to the Technical Sessions.

  1. A discussion of the Special Session proposals submitted for the 2012 APS meeting was held. The Special Session proposals were announced in the agenda and included:
    1. Bioenergy crops and disease
    2. Potato virus Y – an old virus and a new problem in potato
    3. Genetics, genomics and proteomics approaches to elucidate arthropod-vector specificity (to be organized by the Vector-Pathogen Complex Committee)

A representative of the organizers of each Special Session presented their proposals. Recommendations on putting each session under different categories were made, with ‘Bioenergy crops and disease’ suggested under the topic Diseases of Plants; ‘Potato virus Y’ under Epidemiology/Ecology/Environmental Biology of Pathogens; and ‘Genetics, genomic, and proteomic approaches’ under the topic of Molecular/Cellular/Plant Microbe Interactions. Each of the proposer were encouraged to obtain the support of other subject committees.

  1. Astri Wayandande presented a new Special Session proposed by the Vector-Pathogen Complex Committee, on the broad topic of behavioral changes resulting from effects of the host on the vector, and the vector on the host, and integrating discussion of both plant and animal viruses. Commonality of the genes and proteins involved in circulation of viruses through their vectors would also be considered. The Virology committee unanimously approved co-sponsoring.
  2. The APS Visioning Forum Request to committees was announced in the agenda. John Hammond encouraged members to send their inputs on issues that may impact the direction of plant pathology and APS.
  3. Members of the Virology Committee were encouraged to participate in public comment on the revised Select Agent List, when the Proposed Rule is published for public comment (expected to be in October or November of 2011). The Proposed Rule is expected to include tiering of the List into 3 levels, with no plant pathogens expected to be in either the first or second tiers; the Proposed Rule is also expected to include biennial review of the List.
  4. A discussion of the current USDA-AFRI grants program and impact on plant virology was lead by James Schoelz. The necessity to develop a White Paper on plant virology was discussed, to cover major accomplishments and the number of publications on plant viruses in top-ranked journals. Naidu Rayapati, John Hammond, Sue Tolin, Ed Anderson, Stephen Mullis, Zhongguo Xiong volunteered to help James Schoelz on this effort.
  5. APS Councilor-at-Large Walt Mahaffee attended the meeting and discussed committee issues, such as: I) Development of webinar proposals. This is a new effort by the Committee of Committees. Three proposals will be granted with $1,000.00 each to be used by the committees at their convenience. Proposals should be submitted by September 20th, 2011. II) The development of a White Paper by the Virology committee was well received and will be extended to the APS council; other committees will be encouraged to develop similar White Papers. Councilor-at Large Mahaffee noted that the Public Policy Board has spent considerable effort trying to influence AFRI funding decisions, and that White Papers would be very useful in this effort.
  6. Jorge Abad, USDA APHIS Beltsville, MD was nominated from the floor and was elected Vice-Chair by unanimous vote. He will serve as Vice-Chair in 2012 and as Chair in 2013.
  7. Items from the floor were discussed, such as: I) Updating the Virology Section on the APS website, including a good SOP. II) The status of Microbial Collections was discussed, including that the ATCC Plant Virology Collection is no longer an active collection, and the need for a National Microbial Collection or at least an informal listing of personal collections through the Virology Committee web site. Coordination with the Microbial Collections Committee was recommended. III) A compendium on invasive pathogens and emerging diseases will be developed and funded by CABI; interested individuals were encouraged to submit data sheets on their favorite pathogens. IV) A workshop on microarrays and next-generation sequencing for virus identification to be held in Beltsville was announced by John Hammond. V) It was noted that Tom German and Judy Brown were to receive APS Fellow awards, and they were congratulated by the Committee.
  8. The meeting was adjourned at 10:00 AM.



Minutes from 2010, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001. Others not available.