Tuesday, 5 July 2011
The Conference Jacques Monod meeting on 'Emerging Infectious Fungi' at Roscoff, Bretagne, has just occurred. Organised by Mat Fisher & Tatiana Giraud, the meeting focused on gathering the 'state of the art' together to identify common themes between the 'red' (animal) and 'green' (plant) emerging fungi. Much of what was discussed focused on the role of transcontinental vectoring of pathogens and lack of coherent biosecurity worldwide. Presentations also focused on the mechanisms that generate lineages with enhanced virulence, and ability to switch to new hosts. Ecological mechanisms allowing penetrance of novel fungi into new environments were discussed and genomic tools to track rapidly evolving lineages were detailed. From the meeting, it was clear that we have a proactive and highly knowlegeable community with the ability to speak with one voice. To prevent the further attrition of biodiversity worldwide we need to use this skill to influence those with the power to leverage changes to current practice.