Lucy attends world's first phytoplasma conference 

Lucy Tran-Nguyen with conference attendees

Charles Darwin University PhD candidate Lucy Tran-Nguyen has returned from the world’s first conference dedicated to phytoplasmas.

Lucy, who also is a molecular diagnostician, attended the International Phytoplasmologist Working Group Meeting in Bologna, Italy during November.

In Australia, phytoplasmas are associated with plant diseases such as Australian grapevine yellows, papaya dieback, strawberry lethal yellows and strawberry green petal which continue to threaten Australia’s agricultural industry.

“There were two main objectives for my travel; firstly, to disseminate the results from my PhD research and provide information on Australian phytoplasmas, and secondly to establish international collaborations to increase knowledge of exotic plant pests currently not found in Australia,” she said.

“The conference provided a perfect opportunity to share results from my PhD studies where I examined the extrachromosomal and chromosomal DNA analysis of Candidatus Phytoplasma australiense.”

Lucy said it was great to have the opportunity to participate in a meeting where phytoplasmas were the main topic and researchers from many countries were given the chance to talk about their exciting work.

“Overall, the trip allowed me to establish links with researchers from other countries particularly Germany, Italy, France and Israel that I will be able to draw upon for the rest of my life.