Marusa Pompe-Novak (Meeting organiser)
Adrian Fox (Section Chair)
This year was the 16th meeting of the Virology section of the EAPR, which also incorporated the annual meeting of the PVYwide network, a global initiative on understanding Potato virus Y (PVY) the most damaging potato virus worldwide. The 2016 meeting was held in Ljubljana, Slovenia and attracted 81 delegates from 20 countries representing Academic research, seed potato certification and international development. There were 43 plenary presentations, including 2 key note talks and a further 24 posters. The international invited speaker was Marilyn Roossinck a key player, and early pioneer of Next-Generation Sequencing. Marilyn spoke on work carried out in Costa Rica on Potyvirus detection and the role of weed hosts in virus population cycles in that pathosystem. The Slovenian invited speaker was Kristina Gruden, one of the leading scientists in the field of the development of methodologies that support systems biology approach towards the understanding of molecular mechanisms of plant pathology. Included are the methods of quantitative molecular biology and also methods that integrate the life sciences with statistic, computer science and mathematics. Plenary talks were divided into thematic sessions including Diagnosis and Plant Health, Detection technologies, PVY strains, Epidemiology, and Control and covered a diverse range of subjects ranging from cutting edge diagnostic techniques through to low-technology virus management solutions.
The meeting included a laboratory visit to the Slovenian National Institute of Biology (NIB) to see the facilities and meet the virology staff at the institute, and also a visit to the virus field trials run by Agricultural Institute of Slovenia (KIS). Alongside the formal conference sessions, delegates had plenty of opportunities for networking during the social activities which included a walking tour of Ljubljana, dinner beside Lake Bled and a visit to the stunning Postojna caves.