Tackling Maize Lethal Necrosis (MLN), a complex disease in Eastern Africa
Maize Pathology Lead – Sub Saharan Africa
International Maize and Wheat
Improvement Center (CIMMYT)
World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
United Nations Avenue
Gigiri. P.O. Box 1041–00621, Nairobi, Kenya
L.M. Suresh leads CIMMYT’s maize pathology efforts in sub-Saharan Africa. He regularly contributes to Global Maize Program projects that have strategic significance in maize pathology, disease diagnosis, epidemiology and disease resistance.
Suresh also works on maize lethal necrosis (MLN) phenotyping with public and private partnership at CIMMYT and the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization’s (KALRO) joint research station in Naivasha, Kenya. His team has phenotyped around 200,000 maize germplasm from various partners and 19 MLN resistant/tolerant hybrids have been released in east Africa so far. He has supported the training of more than 5000 researchers, students, extension workers, private seed company executives and farmers in rapid disease diagnosis and his contributions have helped to prevent further MLN spread throughout eastern and southern Africa.
Centre for Horticultural Science
Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
The University of Queensland, Australia
Prof Neena Mitter, Director, Centre for Horticultural Science, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, the University of Queensland has been involved in molecular biology and biotechnology in Australia and India for over 20 years. Her scientific journey began as an agricultural scientist in India, where she learned first-hand the significance of agriculture in shaping the world, economically, socially, environmentally and politically. Her innovations creating change by research at UQ, namely ‘BioClay for crop protection’, ‘Nanovaccines for animal health’, and “Clonal propagation of avocado using plant stem cells” are ground breaking platform technologies impacting agricultural production, environmental sustainability and socio-economic dynamics of farming community. She is at the forefront of increasing UQ’s international presence, to support global collaborations in priority geographies, particularly India. With increased scrutiny on use of chemicals as crop and animal disease control agents; she is focused on developing clean technologies for the horticulture of tomorrow.
The recognition received by Prof Mitter, including Young Scientist Award from the Prime Minister of India, Queensland International Fellowship, Gates Grand Challenges Explorations Award, Women in QAAFI Award, and more recently ‘Women in Technology Outstanding Life Sciences Award’ are testament to her achievements, leadership, and passion to enrich the UQ community. She is actively contributing into UQs vision of diversity and inclusion and is also the Deputy Council member of the Leadership and Diversity Council.
Research Plant Pathologist
Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory
USDA-ARS, 10300 Baltimore Avenue,
Beltsville, MD 20705
Dr. Lakshman is a Senior Research Plant Pathologist with the USDA-ARS Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, Maryland USA. Dr. Lakshman has contributed in diverse fields of Plant Pathology. His research encompassed molecular diagnostics, biology and alternative management of soilborne pathogens, mechanisms of biocontrol, virulence and hypovirulence of fungal plant pathogens, transgenic resistance, and pathogenesis of viral, viroidal, and bacterial plant pathogens. His fundamental and applied research were published in highly reputed journals and cited in many textbooks and reviews.
Novel fungicides to overcome resistance and regulatory challenges in managing plant diseases
Gerd Stammler, Sudhakar Kandru, Kristin Klappach, Nadine Riediger, Martin Semar and Karl-Heinz Lorenz
BASF SE, Agricultural Centre, Speyerer Strasse 2, 67117 Limburgerhof, Germany
The development of fungicide resistance in plant pathogenic fungi is a threat for many modes of action (MoA). This is an important motive driving the development of new fungicides. New fungicides might have new targets and forming new MoA-groups, or they can represent new actives within an existing MoA, which are not or only slight affected by already existing resistance mechanisms for the respective MoA. Recently introduced fungicides representing new MoA are e.g. the oxysterol binding protein inhibitors for control of oomycetes. New representatives from an existing MoA-group have been developed for demethylation inhibitors (DMIs, FRAC group 3), succinate dehydrogenase inhibitors (SDHIs, FRAC group 7) or complex III inhibitors (FRAC group 11, 31, 45). Within the DMIs, mefentrifluconazole has been developed with high efficacy on DMI adapted isolates of various pathogens such as Zymoseptoria tritici or Erysiphe necator. Other interesting candidates are complex III inhibitors like metyltetraprole, which binds in the outer quinone binding site, but is not affected by the main mutation (G143A) causing resistance to commercialised quinone outside inhibitors (QoIs) or inhibitors binding in the inner (matrix) site (QiI) such as fenpicoxamide. In the SDHI class, the development of target site mutations and presence of resistance mechanisms is quite complex; there are cases with complete cross resistance but also cases with an incomplete or lack of cross resistance. The elucidation, knowledge and interpretation of the effects of different resistance mechanisms in various pathogens to the representative fungicides of a particular MoA-group are mandatory for devising efficient resistance management strategies. Another important driving factor for the development of new fungicides are more restrictive regulatory requirements. Since different DMIs are under regulatory pressure, the development of DMIs with favourable regulatory profiles is mandatory to sustain this MoA. This has also played an important role in the development of the new DMI mefentrifluconazole and was achieved by inclusion of special tests which indicate the absence of undesirable side effects.
Emeritus Professor of Botany, University of Peradeniya
Visiting Research Professor,
National Institute of Fundamental Studies, Kandy
13/B2/11/1, Forest Research Road, Hantana,
Kandy 20000, Sri Lanka.
Prof N K B Adikaram has completed his PhD from Queen’s University of Belfast, United Kingdom and postdoctoral studies from Queen’s Univ of Belfast, University of Hull, U.K., Cranfield University, U.K.. He has published more than 25 papers in reputed journals and served as the Editor-in Chief, Ceylon Jornal of Science (Bio. Sci.) for 10 years from 1999
7th International Conference
Phytopathology in Achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals