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Agenda 2023



The 68th Annual Conference on Soilborne Plant Pathogens

and The 53rd California Nematology Workshop


March 28-30, 2023


University of California Cooperative Extension Office (Monterey County)

1432 Abbott Street

Salinas, California 93901







Tuesday March 28, 2023


10:00-4:30 pm               Meet at the UCCE extension office at the address above by 9:45 am. Tour of strawberry and leafy vegetable production in Monterey County, including Spence Farm. Separate field trip tickets required, limited to 45, includes box lunch.  FIELD TRIP IS NOW FULL


5:00-7:00 pm                 Meeting  of the California Nematology Workgroup, University of California Cooperative Extension Office, 1432 Abbott Street, Salinas, California 93901


Wednesday March 29, 2023


8:00-8:30 am                  Registration


8:30-8:45 am                  Opening Remarks: Timothy Paulitz, organizer, USDA-ARS Pullman, WA


8:45-9:45 am                  Session Moderator: Timothy Paulitz, USDA-ARS Pullman.


Keynote talk regarding career retrospectives of soilborne pathogens by Steven Koike, TriCal Diagnostics. Art and science and soilborne pathogens: Explaining a career.



9:45-10:15 am               Coffee break



10:15-noon                     Session I. Verticillium, Macrophomina, and Fusarium! Session Chair: Peter Henry, USDA-ARS Salinas. (Seven 15-minute talks below)


Addressing gaps of current fumigants and advancing non-fumigant IPM solutions to manage Verticillium wilt on tomato. Ella Reeves, NC State University.


Geospatial analysis of California strawberry fields reveals regional differences in crop rotation patterns and vulnerability to a warming climate. Gerardo Ramos, USDA-ARS Salinas.


Enhanced detection and modeling of soilborne pathogens of strawberry and leafy greens. Michael Matson, USDA-ARS Salinas.


Steam treatments for control of Macrophomina crown rot in summer-planted strawberry. Jose Jaime, USDA-ARS Salinas.


Airborne dispersal of Fusarium oxysporum. Peter Henry, USDA-ARS Salinas.


Examination of genetic vegetative compatibility among a diverse collection of isolates of the Fusarium wilt pathogen of lettuce, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lactucae. Jim Correll, University of Arkansas.


The impact of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. vasinfectum race 4 and Rhizoctonia solani on cotton production on California. Margaret Ellis, Fresno State University.



Noon-1:00 pm               LunchUniversity of California Cooperative Extension Office



1:00-2:35 pm                 Session II. STUDENT PRESENTATIONS. Shashika Hewavitharana, Cal Poly- San Luis Obispo. (Six 15-minute talks below)


Tim Paulitz and Shashika Hewavitharana announce the winners of the student competition (5 minutes).


Differences between resistance in peppers towards California populations of the peach root-knot and the Southern root-knot nematode, and implications for management. Francisco Franco-Navarro, UC Riverside.


Assessing the frequency of Pythium wilt and INSV co-occurrence in Monterey County’s lettuce production. Karla Jasso, CSU- Monterey Bay.


Soil microbiomes during early soybean development and their relation to Pythium disease outcomes. Michelle Paukett, Penn State University.


Genetic characterization of resistance in lettuce to root pathogens. María Ferrer Ruiz, UC Davis.


Effect of wheat cover crop on Macrophomina root rot and rhizosphere microbiome in strawberry. Mary Steele. Cal Poly- San Luis Obispo.


Black root rot complex and pathogenicity of Pythium spp. in California strawberries. Cooper Calvin. Cal Poly- San Luis Obispo.



2:45-3:15 pm                Coffee break



3:15-5:00 pm                Session III. Nematodes! Session Chair: Andreas Westphal, UC Riverside- Parlier. (seven 15-minute talks below)

Nematode management in low desert vegetable production. Philip Waisen, University of California Cooperative Extension- Riverside County.


Nematodes are not a problem in pistachio – or are they? Zin Thu Zar Maung, UC Riverside- Parlier.


Flood irrigation treatments to reduce severity of ring nematode and bacterial canker on prunes. Becky Westerdahl, Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of California Davis.


Can anaerobic soil disinfestation be economically feasible in perennial crops? Andreas Westphal, UC Riverside- Parlier.


Anaerobic digestates as an alternative for the management of plant parasitic nematodes. Caroline Eberlein, UC Riverside- Parlier.


An unusual root-knot nematode on an unusual plant. Antoon Ploeg & Ole Becker, UC Riverside.


California plans for a quarantine against Guava root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne enterolobii. Heather Scheck, CDFA.


6:30 pm                           Dinner at the Salinas City Center, 1 Main street, Salinas, California 93901 (in Maps it is referred to as CSUMB @ Salinas City Center)



Thursday March 30, 2023


7:45 am                            CSPP Steering Committee board meeting


8:30-9:45 am                  Session IV. Soilborne Potpourri. Session Moderator: Yu-Chen Wang, UCCE Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito counties (five 15-minute talks below)


First report of Thielaviopsis basicola (syn. Berkeleyomyces basicola) causing black shoot rot of raspberry in the U.S and worldwide. Brooke Warres, Driscolls.


Assessing the risk of pathogen contamination in vegetable transplant production in California. Johanna Del Castillo Múnera, UC Davis.


Soil and seed transmission of spinach downy mildew. Steve Klosterman, USDA-ARS Salinas.


Preventing Phytophthora havocs through timely diagnosis. Ruchika Kashyap, UC Davis.


Local Streptomyces isolates as potential biocontrol agents of agriculturally important diseases. Isolde Francis, CSU Bakersfield.



9:45-10:15 am               Coffee break


10:15-11:15 am             Session V. Soilborne pathogen interactions. Session Chair: JP Dundore-Arias, CSU Monterey Bay. (four 15-minute talks)


Managing soil microbiomes to improve soilborne disease suppression. Nick LeBlanc, USDA-ARS Salinas.


Effects of mefenoxam application and Pythium inoculation on fungal diversity in the carrot rhizosphere. Emma Gachomo, UC Riverside.


Use of genomic resources to understand Polymyxa betae population in soil samples. Viviana Camelo, USDA-ARS Salinas.


Avicta seed treatment: two with one blow. Ole Becker, UC Riverside.


The Conference on Soilborne Plant Pathogens would like to thank our corporate sponsors for their support. Their contributions went to cover student scholarships.