National Plant Diagnostic Network


Opening Statement

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NPDN National Meeting 2007

Opening Statement


Welcome to the proceedings of the first national meeting of the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN). NPDN is a national network of scientists and professionals from land grant universities, federal agencies, state departments of agriculture, and several plant industries.

NPDN was established in 2002 to facilitate the rapid detection and accurate diagnosis of pathogens and pests introduced to the United States as a consequence of global trade, natural weather occurrences, or intentional introductions. The Network is comprised of five regions, Western, Northeast, Great Plains, North Central, and Southern and a National Repository of diagnostics data at Purdue University.

This meeting was the first time all five regions of the NPDN met at once, and it was a terrific experience. More than 220 people whose prime interest is protecting plant systems attended this meeting. They came from all 50 states as well as Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the Virgin Islands.

The meeting offered an impressive array of speakers with an equally impressive array of topics. Speakers included Dr. Gale Buchanan, Undersecretary of Agriculture; Charles Bronson, Florida’s commissioner of agriculture; Mike Seyfert, Legislative Director for U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, Dr. Mark Wilson of the Chemical Biological Sciences Unit at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and a range of veteran diagnosticians discussing the latest plant threats, including UG-99 wheat rust, citrus greening, and potato cyst nematode.

In plant diagnostics, experience is crucial, yet there are hundreds of hosts with thousands of pathogens. No one person can be an expert with all of them. The new collaborations resulting from this meeting will build upon the tremendous accomplishments you have achieved to date. This comprehensive network of knowledge and diagnosticians will enhance national agricultural security by quickly detecting and accurately diagnosing introduced pests and pathogens.

Through NPDN, new diagnosticians are plugged into a network of experience. They are provided with a place to get help as well as a network of people to rely on. Consider these proceedings, which include a diverse range of posters, abstracts, PowerPoint presentations, and other materials from our meeting, both a reference and a source of experience.

These proceedings will be of interest to plant diagnosticians, researchers in basic and applied arenas, government regulators, and policy makers. The work of the plant diagnostician is important. Plant diagnostics occurs at the interface of basic research and practical application, solving problems and identifying the need for new research. Thank you for your interest in and your contributions to plant diagnostics and for making this first national meeting of NPDN a thoroughly enjoyable and meaningful experience.

Jim Stack

Executive Director, NPDN

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