The major fields of plant pathology under the discussion were Climate change and plant diseases, Host-Pathogen Interaction, Molecular Plant Pathology, Biosecurity and Plant Quarantine, Plant Disease Management, Disease Resistance, Seed and Post-harvest Pathology, Disease Modeling and Epidemiology, Taxonomy and systematics of Plant Pathogens, Bioinformatics, Ecology of Plant Pathogens, Mycotoxins, Natural and Chemical Pesticides, Insect in relation to Plant Disease and Beneficial Microorganisms.
The formal inauguration of the 6th ICPPS was conducted at 9:00 am, 20th of November 2017 in Jinnah Auditorium, BZU. Federal Minister of State for Textile and Commerce, Haji Muhammad Akram, chaired the inaugural session along with the acting Vice-Chancellor of BZU, Prof. Dr. Bashir Ahmed, President of Pakistan Phytopathological Society, Prof. Dr. Saleem Haider, Focal Person of the conference, Prof. Dr. Rashida Atiq, the convener of the conference, Dr. Zahid Mehmood and CEO, Allah Din Group of Companies, Haji Atta ur Rehman and Mr. Atiq ur Rehman, COO, Mezan Group. The welcome address was delivered by the focal person, Prof. Dr. Rashida Atiq. Keynote speaker Prof. Dr. Wasantha Kumara from Srilanka presented his scientific findings during the inauguration session. A colossal number of participants from the university as well as from research institutes graced the inaugural session. The honorable chief guest and the worthy vice chancellor of BZU addressed the audience about the importance of Plant Pathology and its impact on the domestic economy. The president of PPS, Prof. Dr. Saleem Haider delivered the vote of thanks and highlighted the history of PPS. At the end of the session, the Chief Guest and the Vice-chancellor distributed the souvenirs among the distinguished participants.
On the first day of the conference, two parallel technical sessions were arranged in Jinnah Auditorium and Executive Hall, Institute of Management Sciences (IMS) and the rest of the two days, all the technical sessions were organized by CCRI, Multan. A number of pathological issues of national interest had been the focus of discussion during these sessions by well-known presenters.
Throughout the conference, parallel technical sessions were conducted in BZU and CCRI, where major topics under discussion were diseases of cotton, mango, vegetables, field crops and their management. Well-known scientists from Canada, Dr. Mumtaz A Cheema discussed the utilization of nutrients for management of disease, Dr. Mounir A. Haider talked about RNA silencing for the control of pathogens followed by Dr. Herpindar Singh Randhawa who talked about Breeding of wheat for pathogen resistance. From China, Dr. Wang Xifeng discussed the mechanisms of virus-vector relationships. Dr. M. Arshad Javed from Malaysia discussed his findings of the genetic potential for resistance against Bacterial Blight of Rice. From the University of Karachi, Prof Dr. Shahina Fayyaz discussed the Root-knot nematode as a threat to sustainable agriculture. Also, Dr. Anjum Munir, an invited national speaker talked about quarantine issues emerging in Pakistan followed by Prof. Dr. Ch. Abdul Rauf who presented the Scenario of Lentil Anthracnose in the Punjab, Pakistan.
Chair and co-chair of technical sessions included of Prof. Dr. Saleem Haider, Prof. Dr. Rashida Atiq, Prof. Dr. Tariq Mukhtar, Dr. Rauf Bhutta, Prof. Dr. Abdul Rauf, Prof. Dr. Manzoor Ali Abro, Dr. Zahoor Ahmed, Prof. Dr. Sultan Mahmood Khan, Prof. Dr. Wasantha Kumara, Prof. Dr. Wang Xifeng, Prof. Dr. Mounir A. Haider, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Ashraf Randhawa, Prof. Dr. Mumtaz A Cheema, Dr. Arshad Javed, Prof. Dr. Nazir Javed, Dr. Anjum Munir, Prof. Dr. Shahina Fayyaz, and Dr. Zahid Mahmood.
The cultural night was arranged by Department of Plant Pathology, BZU to present the core culture of different regions of Pakistan. Students of Department of Plant Pathology and Faculty of Agricultural Science and Technology organized and presented their talent with decency and perfection under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Rashia Atiq. Tribute to the natural composition of the landscapes of Pakistan, its heritage and culture was presented in very details with the aim of projecting true colors of Pakistan to foreign participants. CCRI arranged a musical night on the second day where professional artists performed their talent to entertain the onlookers.
Visit to City Center:
A visit to the city center was organized by Dr. Ateeq ur Rehman for local and international participants on the last day of the conference. The visit included the important historical places like Dam Damma and the Shrines of Hazrat Bahauddin Zakariya Multani R.A. and Hazrat Shah Rukn-e-Alam R.A in the City of Saints, Multan.
Elections of the PPS committee were conducted, and all participants anonymously agreed to continue the previous cabinet for next tenure. The newly elected cabinet also decided the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad as the host for 7th ICPPS, 2019.
The event was sponsored by the Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Higher Education Commission, Punjab Agriculture research Board, Mezan Beverages, Allah Din Group of Companies, Auriga Chemicals, Sun Crop Chemicals, Rays Technologies, Sayban Chemicals, JS-Agro, ICI chemicals, Arysta Life Sciences, Well-Wisher Group.
On the last day of the conference, the sessions were officially concluded before lunch. The concluding session was chaired by the Vice-Chancellor of Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan Prof. Dr. Tahir Amin along with the guests of honor, Vice-chancellor of Nishter Medical University, Multan Prof. Dr. Zafar Tanvir and Vice Chancellor of NFC University of Science and Technology, Prof. Dr. Akhtar Ali Kalroo. Dr. Zahid Mehmood delivered the vote of thanks and The Vice-Chancellor and guests of honor along with Prof. Dr. Rashida Atiq and Dr. Zahid Mehmood, distributed the souvenirs and certificates among the organizing committee of the conference. At the end the Vice-Chancellor, BZU shared his pleasant feelings and appreciated the organization of the event. The President of PPS concluded the conference officially.
We believe that our diverse and dynamic speakers and presenters provided in-depth insight in diverse topics related to plant pathology. The fruitful discussions helped us to think about actionable and practical tools to use and encouraged us to develop effective models, methods, and mechanisms to manage the Plant Health for Sustainable Agriculture.