4th National Meeting   •   March 8-12, 2016   •   Washington, DC


Workshop Materials:

Morphological Identification of Microfungi - a Primer

Identification of Common and Important Bark and Ambrosia Beetles

Virus Diagnostics



Participants have a choice of four (4) concurrent workshops on Saturday, March 12. Each of them takes place at the University of Maryland in College Park, 9am to 4pm. (The bus will leave the hotel at 8am and return at 5pm.)

Workshop Fee: $50

Option 1

Morphological Identification of Microfungi - a Primer

Instructor: Dr. Megan K. Romberg, National Mycologist/Plant Pathologist, USDA APHIS PPQ NIS

(limit 25)

In this age of molecular biology and DNA sequencing, the traditional skills and knowledge that are the foundation of fungal identification are sometimes forgotten. However, these skills are essential for consulting mycological references, and help us to utilize the basic diagnostic instrument—the microscope —to its fullest potential. Through discussion and hands-on examination of specimens, participants in this workshop will develop a set of tools to provide them with more confidence in making identifications of fungi based on morphological characters. The focus will be on directly identifying fungi from natural substrates and will cover asexual states (Coelomycetes and Hyphomycetes) and sexual states of fungi on their hosts. Discussions will include relevant references, keys and other resources, including understanding nomenclature and deciphering original descriptions.

Option 2

Identification of Common and Important Bark and Ambrosia Beetles

Instructor: Dr. Robert Rabaglia, National Entomologist, USDA Forest Service, Forest Health Protection, Washington, DC.

(limit 25)

From pine beetles in Colorado and New York to redbay ambrosia beetles in Florida and shot hole borers in California, bark and ambrosia beetles are impacting forest and shade trees across the US. There are more than 60 non-native bark and ambrosia beetles established in the US and some of these are commonly found in survey traps while others are significant pests on the landscape. Native bark beetles are also important and have killed millions of acres of pines in the west, south and now northeast. This session will mix presentations on impacts of these beetles with identification techniques and tools. References to keys and online resources will be provided. Attendees are encouraged to bring dead specimens from their labs for identification.

Option 3 - Canceled

Phytophthora Identification

Instructors: Dr. Gloria Abad and Dr. John Bienapfl, USDA- APHIS- PPQ- S&T- CPHST

(limit 25)

Phytophthora species are among the most damaging plant pathogens worldwide. While some species are well characterized and easy to identify, there are many species that are difficult to identify, including those in species “complexes”. Additionally, new species are described each year, which adds to the complexity of species identification. Participants in this workshop will learn the basics of morphological and molecular identification of Phytophthora species by using the “Online Identification Tools of Phytophthora: Lucid Key, Tabular Key and Sequencing Analysis” developed by the Instructors and collaborators and based on the ex-type cultures. Workshop activities will include presentations on taxonomy/phylogeny and other topics related to the correct identification of Phytophthora species, microscopic examination of Phytophthora specimens showing key morphological characteristics for identification of species, identification of unknown specimens using the Lucid Key, and exercises using DNA sequence analysis for species identification. Information for the correct identification of species of concern for the USA will be also provided.

Option 4

Virus Diagnostics

Instructors: Dr. John Hammond, Dr. Dimitre Mollov, and Dr. Ramon Jordan, USDA-ARS.

(limit 55)

Plant viruses can be some of the most difficult pathogens to identify in the typical plant diagnostic laboratory. In this workshop, participants will learn the strengths and weaknesses of a variety of virus detection methods. This workshop will give an overview of virus diagnostics including useful lecture/demonstrations, with some hands-on and practical demonstrations of Bioassay/indicator plants (including grafting, and potentially insect transmission), ELISA – different formats, broad-spectrum and high-specificity assays, Lateral flow assays/Immunostrips (and use of these for PCR confirmation), Light microscopy – inclusion body staining, Tissue printing – for both serology and PCR, Transmission electron microscopy – leaf dips, epidermal peels, partial purifications, ISEM, thin sections, DsRNA, Dotblots/Nucleic acid spot hybridization, PCR/RT-PCR – primer design, cloning, sequencing, broad-spectrum PCR, immunocapture, multiplex, internal controls, positive and negative controls, Macroarrays/Microarrays, and next generation sequencing and analysis.