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Priorities for Research, Education, and Extension in Plant and Pest Biology

NIFA sponsored a stakeholders’ workshop for Plant and Pest Biology on November 16, 2005, in Alexandria, VA. The American Society for Plant Biology (ASPB) organized the event. Approximately 50 members of scientific societies, groups representing growers and producers, and federal program managers participated. The American Phytopathological Society, the American Society for Microbiology, the Tri-Societies (Crop, Agronomy and Soil Science), the American Society for Horticultural Science, the Weed Science Society, ASPB, and other scientific societies made presentations. Representatives for growers and producers of corn, apples, sorghum, wheat, cotton, almonds, potatoes, and other plants of economic importance also made presentations.

The agenda included a question and answer session with a panel of federal program managers including NIFA, USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Energy. Stakeholders emphasized the importance of multi-disciplinary, long term research and were particularly interested in translational research that will solve real world problems and enhance our economic competitiveness in world markets. Research on biomass for energy, resistance of plants to drought and disease, and development of a project to sequence the wheat genome were also of special interest. A publication is being prepared in collaboration with the ASPB; it will be available both in print form and on the NIFA and ASPB Web sites this spring.

Contact Gail McLean, NIFA national program leader for more information.


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