The University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), Ege University Faculty of Agriculture, and The International Society for Horticultural Sciences will host the 1st International Symposium on Tomato Diseases and 19th Annual Tomato Disease Workshop at the Grosvenor Resort in Orlando, June 21–24, 2004.

The Symposium, which is new, and the Workshop, will draw over 190 attendees from 28 countries to discuss the various tomato diseases that affect tomato growers worldwide. Attendees will have an opportunity to collaborate and share information about tomato disease research. Some of the topics include, “Emerging Diseases and Detection,” “Disease Resistance,” “Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus,” and “Disease Management.”

“This meeting is going to serve as an international platform for tomato pathologists and related industries to share the latest information on how to protect their crops from tomato diseases, and latest diagnostics to better detect the presence of tomato diseases,” said Tim Momol, Co-Chairman of the organizing committee and a UF/IFAS plant pathologist at the North Florida Research and Education Center in Quincy (NFREC-Quincy).

“We hope this meeting will encourage worldwide collaboration among scientists and related industries. Papers presented here will enhance environmentally friendly tomato production and will strengthen global food security.”

According to the Florida Tomato Committee, from 2000 to 2001, Florida tomatoes accounted for 95 percent of all U.S. grown tomatoes eaten by Americans from October to June and 45 percent of all tomatoes consumed in the U.S. year around.

Also, the farm value of the tomato crop in Florida represents more than 29 percent of the total value of all fresh vegetables produced in Florida each season.

Diseases that affect tomatoes include fungal, bacterial, and viral pathogens (agents that cause diseases). Attendees will have an opportunity to learn about and discuss ways to counter these tomato diseases through disease resistant varieties, disease management, and tomato seed health.

“We hope all participants learn new developments on tomato diseases and exchange ideas, and establish new connections and collaboration for their future research activities,” said Momol.

For more information on the Symposium and Workshop, call NFREC-Quincy at (850) 875-7100.