CPS Regional Groups & Societies

Saskatchewan Regional Group

Report on the 2022 CPS Saskatchewan Regional Meeting

Report in PDF format.

An in-person CPS SK regional meeting took place for the first time since 2019. The event was held at Boffins Event Centre, Main Floor, The Atrium in Innovation Place at 106-111 Research Drive, Saskatoon on Tuesday November 29th. Five undergraduate and graduate students gave oral presentations as part of the student competition. Teagan Parkin, an undergraduate co-op student, supervised by Dr. Michelle Hubbard, was awarded first place for a talk entitled “Assessing the capacity of various strains of Fusarium avenaceum to cause root rot in lentils”. Edgar Mangwende and Kun Lou, MSc candidates supervised by Dr. Yangdou Wei and Dr. Randy Kutcher, respectively, tied for second place. Their presentations were titled “Glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) modification contributes to plant resistance against fungal pathogens” and “Race characterization of Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici population in western Canada from 2017 to 2022″, respectively. Eight additional scientific presentations, on topics including ascochyta blight of chickpea, Fusarium head blight, diseases of quinoa, as a well as clubroot and blackleg of canola, were delivered and sparked constructive discussion. Dr. Sheau-Fang Hwang delivered a presidential address remotely. Meagan Reed, agronomy manager with the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, outlined the activities of the Root Rot Task Force. The Saskatchewan Plant Disease Committee (SPDC) meeting was held in the afternoon in the same venue. The meeting was organized by Michelle Hubbard (lead), Linda McGregor (venue and food), Merek Wigness (food and venue), Coreen Franke (financial), and Jonathon Durkin (scientific program), as well as Maria Constanza Fleitas and Rebecca Tweidt, the organizers of the SPDC. Nicolas Larkan, Hao Hu and Karim Masud judged the student presentations. Sponsorship for the meeting was generously provided by Insight Plant Health, BASF, Bayer and SaskCanola.

Submitted by Michelle Hubbard, CPS Saskatchewan Regional representative

Report on the 2019 CPS Saskatchewan Regional Meeting

Report in PDF format.

The annual meeting of the Saskatchewan Regional Group of the Canadian Phytopathological Society (CPS) was held at the Saskatoon Agriculture and Agri-Food (AAFC) Research and Development Centre on the morning of Tuesday November 26, 2019. The meeting provided an opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students of plant pathology to present their work and learn about plant pathology research in Saskatchewan, while also facilitating an exchange of ideas between researchers, agronomists and provincial specialists. The Saskatchewan Plant Disease Committee meeting was held in the afternoon of the same day in the same location.

Gursahib Singh, a Ph.D. candidate, was awarded $300 for his first place graduate presentation entitled “Effect of fungicide application timing on Fusarium Head Blight in durum wheat”. M.Sc. candidate Alejandro Ledena delivered a presentation titled “Crop sequence study of Fusarium Head Blight on wheat and barley” for which she received a second place award of $200. Two undergraduate students, Eliza Mae Acode and Weston Bohachewsk, delivered oral presentations on “Characterization of resistance to stripe rust in wheat accessions from Plant Gene Resources of Canada (PGRC) gene bank” and “Mining Plant Gene Resources of Canada (PGRC) gene bank wheat accessions and spelt wheat elite breeding lines for resistance to leaf and stem rust”, respectively. Both undergraduate students were awarded $150 for participation. Graduate student Seon Hwa Kim presented a poster entitled “Scaled-up BCA mycoparasite fermentation for SASK biocontrol product efficacy against FHB”. All student oral and poster presenters received a copy of “Diseases of Field Crops”. Student presentations were judged by Myrtle Harrington (AAFC), Lipu Wang (University of Saskatchewan) and Yu Chen (Cargill).

CPS Saskatchewan student presenters and CPS Saskatchewan representative

Student presenters Eliza Mae Acode (far left), Weston Bohachewsk (next from left), Gursahib Singh (centre left), Alejandro Ledena (second from right) and Seon Hwa Kim (far right) with CPS-SK representative Michelle Hubbard (behind sign).

Contributed presentations were delivered by Jiangying Tu on “Synchrotron-based fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and focal plane array imaging reveal unique changes of cell-wall components in barley non host resistance to powdery-mildew fungus”, Rui Wen on “Quantification of Plasmodiophora brassicae resting spores in soils using Droplet Digital PCR (ddPCR)”, Zakir Hossain on “Biocontrol of Aphanomyces root rot in pea: a potential approach” and Michelle Hubbard on “Ascochyta rabiei in monocropped and intercropped chickpea in Saskatchewan”.

SaskCanola, SaskFlax, SaskWheat and Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) sponsored the meeting.

The meeting was organized by Michelle Hubbard (chair), Linda McGregor, Fengqun Yu, Coreen Franke and Melissa Kehler. Qilin Chen contributed to setting up the room. Tyler Wist provided a projector.

Respectfully submitted by Michelle Hubbard, CPS-SK Regional Representative.

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)

2016 CPS-SK Regional Group Annual Meeting
December 5, 2016

2016 CPS-SK Regional Group Annual Meeting will be held on December 5, 2016 from 8:00 – 4:30, in the 2nd floor conference room, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Saskatoon Research Center.

Call for Abstracts:

Please prepare your abstract and submit it by email to Yu Chen (yu_chen1@cargill.com) using the Abstract Submission Form. Please indicate oral presentation and/or posters or you want it to be published in the Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology (CJPP). This meeting is a great venue for graduate students to present their work, and we encourage all those interested to participate. There will be a graduate student competition for posters and oral presentations.

*Abstract submission deadline has been extended to Nov. 25th*

Registration: No registration fee is required for attending the meeting. All CPS members and those interested in plant pathology are welcome to attend.

The meeting agenda will be sent to you at the end of November.


Yu Chen
CPS, Saskatchewan Regional Representative
Cargill Limited
701 Central Avenue
Aberdeen, SK S0K 0A0
Phone: (306) 253-3455
Email: yu_chen1@cargill.com


CPS Regional Meeting Report – Saskatchewan

January 12, 2015

The CPS-Saskatchewan Regional Annual Meeting was held on December 11, 2014 at AAFC Saskatoon Research Center, Saskatoon. The meeting was attended with over 60 attendees including students, plant pathologists, research scientists, technicians, and industry members. Twenty-seven abstracts were submitted while 17 abstracts were for oral presentations and 10 abstracts for poster presentations.

The meeting was started with opening remarks from Dr. Jianwei Zhao, the representative of CPS-SK, by welcoming the attendees, and then followed by two featured speakers. Dr. Lyndon Porter from the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, presented “Resistance in pea to the root rot pathogen Fusarium avenaceum”, and Dr. Randy Kutcher from the University of Saskatchewan presented to us a historical review of evolutionary change in wheat diseases in Saskatchewan titled “A review of wheat diseases in Saskatchewan over the last century”.

CPS President Deena Errampalli addressed her greetings to the meeting via video teleconference. She also  brought updates from the CPS Board on transition of the CPS to Canada NPF Act, CPS website re-design, the Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology, the Code of Practice, the reduced meeting registration fees for CPS student members, the reduced CPS membership fee for technicians, and the fostering collaboration with international plant pathology societies and plant protection societies.  Deena’s enthusiasm for plant pathology was very inspiring to the audience and she extended her warm invitation to the audience for the upcoming the “Botany 2015” meeting in Edmonton, Alberta, 2015.

The topics presented at the meeting covered key areas in significant diseases such as blackleg, sclerotinia stem rot, and clubroot in canola, Fusarium head blight and strip rust in wheat, Fusarium root rot and Ascochyta blight in pea, net blotch of barley, and late blight in potato. In each of the crop diseases, in-depth research was presented from pathogenic fungi identification, genetic diversity of pathogenic fungi, phytoalexins as antifungal metabolites, host resistance, and disease management via fungicide and bio-control.

We were extremely pleased to see the active participation from research scientists where presentations were made on up-to-date research on bio-control of potato blight, identification of pathogenic fungi associated with root rot of field peas, molecular marker development and management of clubroot disease in canola, and the application of FTIR technology in dissecting host resistance mechanism in wheat Fusarium head blight. We were very happy to welcome participants from University of Alberta, AAFC Lethbridge Research Center, and Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, and  presentations were made on research from root rot of field pea to barley diseases including net blotch.

Another highlight of this meeting ascribes to the enthusiastic contribution of graduate students. Eleven graduate students delivered fantastic oral presentations in this meeting. Seven students competed for student awards in the oral presentation category, and two for poster presentation awards. All of the presentations were of high quality and it was difficult to separate them apart. After some debate, we decided to give two awards for the oral presentation and one for the poster presentation.  Huy To, a PhD candidate from Department of Chemistry, University of Saskatchewan was awarded first place in the oral presentation category for his talk titled “Novel phytoalexins from crucifers: structure, biosynthesis and antifungal activity”. The second place winner of the oral presentation went to Pree Edirisinghe, Department of Plant Science, University of Saskatchewan, for her presentation “Evaluation of Fusarium wilt resistance in a flax germplasm”. The poster presentation award was given to Gurcharn Brar, Department of Plant Science, University of Saskatchewan, for his poster presentation titled “Races of Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici in western Canada”. Congratulations to all!

One new thing we tried at this meeting was to request feedback from the participants. Thanks to those who provided their feedback. This information is of great value for improvements in future meetings.

We thank AAFC Saskatoon Research Center for providing the venue for this meeting. Thanks to BASF, CPS, and Dow AgroSciences for their financial support to this meeting.  Thanks to Lone Buchwaldt and Coreen Franke who worked together with Jianwei Zhao as a local arrangements committee to organize this meeting. Thanks to the judges Faye Bouchard, Diana Bekkaoui, and Godfrey Chongo for their help evaluate students’ presentations.


Jianwei Zhao, CPS regional representative for Saskatchewan

CPS-SK paper prize winner Huy To

Huy To (above) is presented with the Best Student Oral Presentation Prize
by Prof. Robin Morrall at the CPS-SK Regional Meeting