Australasian Plant Pathology Society  
8th Australasian Plant Virology Workshop, Rotorua, New Zealand
Organisers: Robin MacDiarmid, Mike Pearson and Franciso Ochoa-Cornoa.
The 8th Australasian Plant Virology workshop was held at Okataina Lodge situated on the shores of Lake Okataina, Rotorua, New Zealand. This was the first time we held one of the plant virus workshop series in New Zealand and it was well attended with over 60 plant virologists from NZ and Australia and invited speakers from USA, Netherlands and Spain. 
Dr Marilyn Roossinck, Noble Foundation, OK, USA, delivered the plenary R.E.F. Matthews Memorial Lecture (sponsored by University of Auckland) on plant viruses she and her team have identified in native species in Oklahoma, USA and Costa Rico.


Dr Ricardo Flores (sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Biosecurity New Zealand) from the Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas (UPV-CSIC), Campus Universidad Politécnica, Valencia, Spain reviewed viroid biology in the session on Virus-Like Organisms. This session also provided an opportunity for presentations on phytoplasma and liberibacter research.
Dr Rene van der Vlugt, Dutch Ministry of Agriculture and the director of the RIPO plant virus collection was sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Biosecurity New Zealand, to speak in the Virus Detection and Technologies session of the workshop. Rene also provided valuable input into a presentation and brainstorm session on plant virus collections.
During the Plant Virus Workshop we decided formally to become a working group of the Australasian Plant Pathogen Society with Brendan Rodoni (Victoria DPI), Colleen Higgins (Auckland University of Technology) and Robin MacDiarmid (HortResearch, now Plant and Food Research) stepping forward to formalise this new status and to establish a website for Australasian Plant Virology.
Congratulations! Elaine Chan (Characterisation of plant protein kinase R, HortResearch and the University of Auckland) and Scott Harper (Citrus tristeza virus resistance-breaking strain in New Zealand and the South Pacific, the Universtiy of Auckland) won the two “Best Student Presentation” prizes offered by the Bio-Protection CORE. The presentations were impartially judged by Assoc. Prof Paul Guy (University of Otago) and Prof. John Randles (Adelaide University).
During the four day workshop there was lots of learning and laughter. The atmosphere was relaxed, the science was hot - only out-done by the tour around Hell’s Gate (a geothermal wonderland).