CPS Regional Groups & Societies

Alberta Regional Society

CPS-SK and PSSA Sixth Joint Meeting
Oct 30 – Nov 1, 2023

The Sixth Joint Meeting with the Saskatchewan Regional Group of the Canadian Phytopathological Society (CPS-SK) with the 44th Annual Meeting of the Plant Pathology Society of Alberta (PPSA) will be held on Oct. 30–Nov. 1, 2023 in Lloydminster, AB.

Submission deadline:

Abstracts for papers or posters for this meeting (in Microsoft Word) should be sent to Michelle Hubbard by October 12th , 2023.

Registration Fee:

$160   Member
$90     Student member
$180   Non-member
$50     Late fee

Registration on or before October 02nd , 2023 will avoid the late penalty of $50. Also, the block of hotel rooms at a preferred rate (see below) will be released after October 02nd , 2023.

Please register online or send registration and payment forms to:

Merek Wigness
Saskatoon Research and Development Centre, AAFC
107 Science Place, Saskatoon, SK S7N 0X2
E-mail:  merek.wigness@agr.gc.ca
Tel: 1 (306)-385-9430


Border Inns and Suites

5411 – 44 Street, Lloydminster, AB T9V 0A9
Ph. 780-875-4404
Fax 780-875-7210
Toll free: 1-800-658-4404

Hotel rate:  $99 + taxes for a standard room, with the option of upgrading to different room styles at an extra charge (when booking, refer to PPSA/CPS)

For additional information about the PPSA/SK-CPS meeting, please contact any member of the local arrangements committee:

Bruce Gossen (Chair, PPSA)                   Michelle Hubbard (Chair. CPS/SK)

bruce.gossen@agr.gc.ca                            michelle.hubbard@agr.gc.ca

43rd meeting of the Plant Pathology Society of Alberta November 2-4, 2022

Thursday, November 3rd 8:15 – 9:30 Student session – Moderator: Kelly Turkington
Zyre Aubrey-HebertCharacterization of novel races of Pyrenophora tritici-repentis (tan spot of wheat) from durum wheat
Atta Ur RahmanPotato early dying disease comple: Identification of pathogen(s) and assessing disease severity in Alberta’s commercial potato fields
Brad CalderAssessing the variability and fungicide resistance of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum isolates collected from different host crops across Canada
Emilee StorfieEvaluating the effect of foliar application of salicylic acid on clubroot development in Brassica napus
Dilini AdihettyPropiconazole, pyraclostrobin, and fluxapyroxad sensitivity of western Canadian Cochliobolus sativus population
Kun LouRace characterization of Puccinia striiformis f.sp. tritici population in western Canada from 2017 to 2022
10:00am – 12:00pm Paper session I – Moderator: James Calpas
Jorge Cordero ElviaClubroot-induced changes in the root and rhizosphere microbiome of susceptible and resistant canola
Kelly TurkingtonThe impact of row spacing, seeding rate, and fungicide timing on severity of leaf disease, fusarium kernel damage, deoxynivalenol, and productivity of spring wheat
Junye JiangDevelopment of a LAMP method to detect the potato zebra chip pathogen and differentiate haplotypes A and B
11:00 – 12:00 Paper session I, continued
Yoann AiguThe evolution of clubroot spread in Alberta
Jie FengDetection of Xanthomonas translucens pv. translucens and pv. undulosa by qPCR and duplex qPCR
Nora ForoudCharacterization of mitogen-activated protein kinase mutants in Fusarium graminearum
Sajid RehmanVirulence of Rhychosporium commune isolates from Alberta on barley differential genotypes
1:15 – 1:25 Welcome message from CPS President Sheau-Fang Hwang
1:30 – 3:00  Symposium – Moderator: Ron Howard Advances in plant pathology research using novel techniques
Junye JiangUsing rhqPCR for detection of plant pathogens
Syama ChattertonDigital droplet PCR to assess root disease risk for peas/lentils
Liang ZhaoAnalysis of contributing factors of blackleg disease with AI
Lipu WangFast chromatography tandem mass spectrometry for DON quantification in wheat grain
Friday, November 4th Business meeting Crop Disease Surveys – Roundtable Discussion (optional) Heritage

PPSA 2022 full program and abstracts

PPSA 2022 attendees
Group photograph of PPSA 2022 attendees

42nd (2021) meeting of the Plant Pathology Society of Alberta November 4–5, 2021

Thursday, November 4th 2021

Welcome by 2021 PPSA president Dr. Rudolph Fredua-Agyeman

Keynote Speaker:

Dr. Lone Buchwaldt, Research Scientist, AAFC, Saskatoon and President of Canada Phytopathological Society-“Development of resistance to Sclerotinia sclerotiorum in canola”

Session I: Technicians Oral Presentations

Chair: Dr. Gary Peng, Research Scientist, AAFC, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

  • Chelsi Harvey – “A genetic approach for improving wheat resilience to emerging stripe rust isolates using novel R gene sequences from Thinopyrum intermedium
  • Ryan Gourlie -“The pangenome of Pyrenophora tritici-repentis reveals high plasticity and the association of virulence factors with mobile elements”

Featured speaker: Dr. Yoann Aigu, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta“The occurrence and spread of clubroot in Alberta”

Session II: Students Oral Presentations

Chair: Dr. Reem Aboukhaddour, Research Scientist, AAFC, Lethbridge, Alberta

  • Marla Roth-“Identifying pH insensitive pathotypes of Plasmodiophora brassicae
  • Keisha Hollman-“The virulence of Plasmodiophora brassicae on canola with 2nd generation clubroot resistance”
  • Zhiyu Yu -“Greenhouse and field evaluation of precipitated calcium carbonate for clubroot management”
  • Emilee Storfie- “Identification and functional investigation into Plasmodiophora brassicae effector candidates during infection of Brassica napus genotypes”
  • Hui Liu – “Transcriptome analysis of rutabaga (Brassica napus) cultivars indicates glucosinolate-derived nitriles may play a role inducing plant defense against clubroot disease”

Session III: Students Oral Presentations

Chair: Autumn Barnes, Canola Council of Canada

  • Ilakkiya Thirungnasambandam-“Validation of polyclonal antibodies against tan spot and fusarium head blight spore, fungal pathogens of wheat”
  • Dilini Adihetty-“Screening of barley cultivars for resistance to Bipolaris sorokiniana isolates from the prairies”
  • Yixiao Wang -“Understanding Verticillium stripe-blackleg interactions”

Featured speaker: Dr. Kelly Turkington, Research Scientist, AAFC, Lacombe, Alberta“Fungicide timing for sclerotinia stem rot of canola”

Friday, November 5th 2021

Session IV: Students oral presentations

Chair: Dr. Andrea Botero, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Alberta, Edmonton

  • Kyle Biscaglia-Horvat-“Effects of soil moisture and temperature on the pathogen dynamics of root rot complex in field pea
  • Longfei Wu -“Detection and validation of partial resistance to Aphanomyces root rot in field pea cultivar ‘00-2067’ via bulked segregant RNA-Seq (BSRSeq)”

Award Ceremony

Business Meeting

PPSA 2021 full program and abstracts




Report on the 2018 Plant Pathology Society of Alberta’s Annual Meeting / Fifth joint meeting of PPSA and the Saskatchewan Regional Group of CPS

Report in PDF format

Proceedings of the 2018 PPSA-CPS-SK meeting

The 39th Annual Meeting of the Plant Pathology Society of Alberta (PPSA) was held together with the annual meeting of the Saskatchewan Regional Group of the Canadian Phytopathological Society (CPS) from October 15-17, 2018, at the Days Inn and Suites, Lloydminster, Alberta. This was the fifth such joint meeting, held at roughly 5-year intervals. These joint meetings provide an opportunity to meet and exchange information with colleagues across the provincial border, especially for technical staff who are not often able to attend national or international meetings, and provide graduate students with an opportunity to present their work at a large meeting in a year when the CPS meeting is too far away for most students to be able to attend.

To that end, there is a strong emphasis on presentations by students and technical staff. In 2018, there were separate Student and Technician presentation competitions. All of the presentation award recipients received a copy of the book History of Plant Pathology in Canada. First place award winners also received a cheque for $150 and second place winners received a cheque for $50. The judges for both competitions were Barb Ziesman, Yu Chen and Dilantha Fernando.

In the Student Competition, all three winners were M.Sc. students at the University of Alberta working with Drs. S. E. Strelkov and S. F. Hwang: First place went to Nicole Fox, Second place to Keisha Hollman, and Third place to Yixiao Wang. In the Technician Competition, First place went to Daniel McDougall (University of Regina, supervisor Dr. J. Stavrinides), Second place to Linda McGregor (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Saskatoon, supervisor Dr. G. Peng), and Third place to Blake Hill (Alberta Agriculture and Forestry Brooks, supervisor Dr. M. Harding). Congratulations to all of the winners!

In addition to the Student and Technician presentations, Dr. Tim Murray from the Washington State University provided an invited seminar entitled ‘Climate change and its impact on diseases of winter wheat’, Dr. Yantai Gan from AAFC at Swift Current made an invited presentation entitled ‘Adapting agronomic practices to changing climates through system integration’, Dr. Gary Peng from AAFC at Saskatoon gave an invited presentation on ‘Managing blackleg of canola in western Canada – An integrated approach’ and the CPS President, Dr. Dilantha Fernando from the University of Manitoba, provided greetings from CPS and outlined some of the recent initiatives and issues arising in the society.

There were 67 attendees at the meeting, which consisted of an opening reception, two days of meetings with 23 presentations and 17 posters, a business meeting for PPSA and a formal banquet.

The LAC for the joint meeting consisted of Bruce Gossen – Chair, Michelle Hubbard – Scientific Program, Yu Chen – sponsors, Merek Wigness – registration, Gary Peng – Finance, plus Noryne Rauhala (PPSA Treasurer) who handled the banking and invoices. Thanks to everyone who participated and special thanks to our sponsors for their generous support!

Drs. Sheau-Fang Hwang and Kan-Fa Chang were nominated and accepted as honorary life members of the PPSA in recognition of their long service to and involvement in the PPSA.

Also, the Swanson Award for 2018 from the PPSA went to Ms. Yifan Yan at the University of British Columbia. Ms. Yan’s project examines the impact of climate change on grape production and her supervisor is Dr. S. Castellarin.

Respectfully submitted,
Bruce Gossen (Chair, LAC)

Report on the 2017 Plant Pathology Society of Alberta’s Annual Meeting

Proceedings of the 2017 PPSA meeting

During November 6-8, 2017, the Annual Meeting of the Plant Pathology Society of Alberta was held in Drumheller, Alberta. The meetings and social activities were held at the Badlands Community Centre, a remarkable building that has both conference facilities and a fieldhouse for sports and physical activities. A total of 41 registrants presented 11 scientific papers and 22 posters. Two oral and three poster student presentations and three oral and seven poster technician presentations competed for awards. Winners in the technician competition were G. Daniels (Evaluation of species composition and fungicide resistance in Fusarium populations causing dry rot in Alberta potato storages) for best oral presentation and E. Amundson (Prevalence and virulence of stripe rust in southern Alberta) for best poster presentation. The best student presentations were N. Fox (Evaluation of lime products as a clubroot management tool) for best oral presentation and Y. Wang (Baseline sensitivity of Leptosphareia maculans isolates from Alberta to pyraclostrobin) for best poster presentation. Homa Askarian Khananan was awarded both the Terry Swanson Memorial Scholarship and the PPSA Student Scholarship. The 2018 meetings will be held in October in Lloydminster with President Bruce Gossen presiding.

Report on the 35th Annual Meeting of the Plant Pathology Society of Alberta, Canmore, Alberta, October 27-29, 2014

This past fall, Plant Pathology Society of Alberta (PPSA) members from the Lacombe Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lacombe, AB, and Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (AARD) organized the 35th Annual Meeting of the Plant Pathology Society of Alberta, Canmore, Alberta, October 27-29, 2014. The meeting was held at the Best Western Plus, Pocaterra Inn, an excellent location and opportunity for attendees to enjoy some scenic mountain vistas.

The meeting started off with a reception at the Best Western Plus, Pocaterra Inn, during the evening of October 27, 2014. A key feature of the reception was a wide-selection of craft beers from select breweries in Canada and the USA, and made with malt produced by Rahr Malting, Co. of Alix, Alberta. The reception was a chance for attendees to renew acquaintances and to discuss ongoing research in plant pathology in a relaxed informal setting.

The scientific program for the 2014 PPSA covered oral and poster presentations on Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Tuesday morning started with welcoming addresses from Kelly Turkington, Chair of the Local Organizing Committee, and Dr. Deena Errampalli, CPS-SCP President. Next we had keynote presentations from Drs. Ron Howard, AARD Brooks, and Mary Burrows, Montana State University. Ron presented an overview of plant pathology in Alberta during his 40-year career, while Mary presented an outline of research, education, and outreach efforts in Montana regarding the wheat streak mosaic virus. The keynote presentations were then followed by oral and poster presentations by students, technical staff and scientists. In total there were 13 oral presentations, including the keynote  presentations by Ron and Mary, while the poster session on Tuesday afternoon featured a total of 16 posters.

Tuesday’s oral and poster sessions were followed by a banquet and awards ceremony at the Gaucho Brazilian Barbecue, on Main Street, in Canmore, AB. PPSA attendees enjoyed a vast array of Brazilian food including a large selection of barbequed meat. Some attendees also enjoyed a Caipirinha or two, which is Brazil’s national cocktail made with cachaça (sugar cane hard liquor), sugar, and muddled lime. The awards ceremony featured recognition of recipients of the PPSA Scholarship, and presentations for the best student and technician oral presentations and the best technician poster presentation. The awards were as follows: PPSA Scholarship of $1000.00 was awarded to Samira Safarieskandari, University of Alberta; Best Student Oral Presentation $100.00 was awarded to Krista Zuzak, University of Alberta; Best Technician Oral Presentation $100.00 was awarded to Michele Frick, Lethbridge Research Centre, AAFC; Best Technician Poster Presentation $100.00 was awarded to Michael Holtz, AARD Lacombe. The student and technical staff award recipients also received copies of the History of Plant Pathology in Canada. Not presented at the awards ceremony in Canmore, but done at a later date was the T. Swanson Scholarship $1000.00 awarded to Barbara Ziesman, University of Alberta.

On Wednesday morning the 2014 PPSA meeting wrapped up with the final oral paper session and
the annual PPSA business meeting.

The Local Organizing Committee would like to graciously thank the sponsors of the 2014 Annual
PPSA meeting including: Alberta Barley, Alberta Canola Commission, Alberta Wheat Commission, Rahr Malting Co. Inc., BASF, Bayer CropScience, Syngenta, 20/20 Seed Labs Inc., and BioVision Seed Labs, Inc., for their generous support. The organizers would also like to thank the attendees of the 2014 PPSA meeting for helping to create a stimulating scientific program on plant pathology research and for their camaraderie during the meeting.

The local arrangements committee for the 2014 PPSA meeting included:

Kelly Turkington (Chair)
Deb Clark (Meeting venue, accommodation and meals)
Noryne Rauhala (Registration and reception)
Jackie Busaan (Reception and general meeting arrangements)
Krishan Kumar (Abstracts)
Kequan Xi (Scientific program)
Michael Holtz (A/V and technology)
Linda Vandermaar (General meeting arrangements and posters)
Robyne Bowness (Posters)

The local arrangements committee would like to extend a special thank you to Deb Clark. Deb was
instrumental in arranging for the meeting venue, accommodations, and the banquet. The 2014 PPSA meeting was Deb’s final meeting as she is now retired from AAFC. Deb’s meeting and banquet organizational skills and expertise will be greatly missed by her colleagues at Lacombe.

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the 2014 PPSA meeting Local Organizing Committe,
T. Kelly Turkington


Above: View of the Rocky Mountains from the Best Western Plus,
Pocaterra Inn, October 2014

PPSA 2014 attendees

Above: PPSA Attendees 2014