In 2015, the Phytopathological Society of Japan (PSJ) will celebrate its 100th anniversary, and a variety of special activities, including a memorial ceremony, memorial symposium, and invited reviews, are planned to celebrate this milestone. There will be a series of invited reviews published in each issue of the Journal of General Plant Pathology (JGPP) during 2013–2014. This series of invited reviews will collect frontier phytopathological research in Japan. Our goal for these review articles is that they will be viewed as a significant scholarly compilation that educates young phytopathologists, stimulates new ideas in phytopathogenic research, and informs the world’s scientists of Japanese contributions to the field of phytopathology.
In 1940, the 25th anniversary of PSJ was held in the lecture hall of the National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo. In the Chairman’s lecture, by the late Dr. Shunsuke Kusano, mentioned the importance of basic research to address unresolved issues, such as the cultivation of obligate biotrophic fungi, the host specificity and invasive mechanisms of phytopathogens, and plant disease resistance. Over the last 75 years, there has been significant progress in phytopathology and in particular, in our understanding of these issues from a molecular biology perspective. In addition, many phytopathologists are now attempting to elucidate the interactions between plant pathogens and their hosts at the molecular and structural biological levels. Recently, the field of phytopathology has greatly expanded and has been subdivided into many specialized fields according to the range of available research techniques and known plant pathogens. Therefore, it has become more difficult for phytopathologists to cover all of these fields of research. I believe that these review articles will provide the opportunity for many phytopathologists to understand the history and frontier achievements of these fields of phytopathology.
Only 26 themes will be published in the review issues because of space limitations. However, due to the collective efforts of the review committee members, I believe that these issues will cover the range of phytopathological achievements in Japan. I hope that this golden collection contributes to further advances of phytopathology in the future.
I greatly appreciate the contribution of the review committee members, Drs. Tetsuo Okuno, Norio Kondo, Kenichi Tsuchiya, Kazusato Ohshima, and Hisashi Iwai, in planning the content of invited reviews, and also appreciate the efforts of the Associate Editors of JGPP who helped to develop the content, identify authors, and review many papers. The dedication and support of the Editors of JGPP, Drs. Kazusato Ohshima and Hisashi Iwai, in the editing and proofreading of manuscripts has been invaluable. I greatly appreciate the willingness of the contributing authors to devote considerable time to writing these important review papers.
Chair of the Centennial Commemoration Business Executive Committee of the Phytopathological Society of Japan