Invitation letter from the Organizing Committee

It is with great pleasure that we warmly invite you and colleagues of your institution to attend this practical workshop on the diagnosis of Phytophthora diseases to be held in Catania during May 17-18, 2018.

Plant pathogens produce a large number of diseases on crops worldwide and estimated losses can be as high as $40 billion per year. Phytophthora diseases have increased in recent years and the risk of accidental introduction of invasive Phytophthora species with trade into Italy requires continued monitoring and improved diagnostic capabilities.

The overall goal of this practical workshop is to train students, PhD students, post-docs and southern EU and Mediterranean area researchers,  farmer advisors,   practitioners to use a platform of tools to detect, identify, and ultimately prevent spread of novel species of Phytophthora. We will explain and use in practical labs a series of technologies including: Phytophthora diagnostics protocols, a lucid key for morphological and molecular diagnostics, and molecular diagnostic identification systems including quick PCR, immunoassays and isothermal LAMP assays to identify Phytophthora species.  Training will improve the diagnostic capabilities for important plant disease clinics, students, universities and practitioners in the region. The accurate identification of Phytophthora has important implications for management of disease by growers in the region.  This workshop will offer to farmer advisors and practitioners the opportunity for meeting Phytophthora researchers and gain knowledge on the recent advances of molecular tools applied in situ for the diagnosis of Phytophthora diseases.

Participants will be offered the opportunity to join a Global Phytophthora Diagnostic Network ( to share knowledge.

The workshop will take place in Catania, a baroque town located among wonderful beaches, mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe, and citrus groves of the Simeto river valley, expressing perfectly the soul and culture of Sicily, “Island of the Sun” and characterized by a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters. In Catania you will have the opportunity to experience the warmth of Sicilian hospitality and to taste some typical dishes of the Sicilian cuisine and wines produced on the slopes of Mount Etna.

We look forward to meeting you in Catania in May 2018.

Rapid Diagnostic Tools for Phytophthora


Catania, 17 _ 18 May  2018