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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Detection and Management of Pathogens in Strawberry and Vegetable Production Systems

Location: Crop Improvement and Protection Research

Title: In memoriam - John M. Young (1942-2013)

item Bull, Carolee
item Coutinho, Teresa
item Denny, T.
item Firrao, G.
item Fischer-le Sau, M.
item Li, Xiang
item Saddler, G.
item Scortichini, M.
item Stead, D.
item Takikawa, Y.

Submitted to: International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/7/2014
Publication Date: 7/1/2014
Citation: Bull, C.T., Coutinho, T.A., Denny, T.P., Firrao, G., Fischer-Le Saux, M., Li, X., Saddler, G.S., Scortichini, M., Stead, D.E., Takikawa, Y. 2014. In memoriam - John M. Young (1942-2013). International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 64:2183.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: It is with sadness that friends and colleagues of John Young learnt of his death at home in Auckland, New Zealand on 30th September 2013. John began his scientific career at the Plant Diseases Division (PDD) of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), New Zealand after completing an MSc at the University of Canterbury. He went onto study for a PhD at the Department of Agriculture, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, where he worked on phytopathogenic Pseudomonas spp. affecting beans. This research was to spark his life-long fascination with plant pathogenic bacteria and on completion of his PhD he returned to New Zealand where he curated the International Collection of Microorganisms from Plants (ICMP). John was engaged in the debate leading up to the publication of the Bacteriological Code in 1975 and the subsequent publication of the Approved List of Bacterial Names in 1980. The impact of these events sent shockwaves through the field of phytobacteriology because the names of many pathogens, particularly those belonging to the genera Pseudomonas and Xanthomonas ceased to be recognized as a result. The ultimate solution, devised jointly by John and Doug Dye, was to generate a system of nomenclature for pathogens at the infrasubspecific level, the ‘pathovar system’. Much of John’s career can be viewed through the prism of his involvement with the International Society of Plant Pathology’s Committee on Taxonomy of Plant Pathogenic Bacteria (ISPP-CTPPB). He was elected onto the committee in 1983 and retired from it in June 2008. John astutely led the committee for 25 years as it’s convener and was the driving force behind much of its work; most notably the publication of the first comprehensive list of names for bacterial plant pathogens. John never shied away from controversy and was the driving force behind the taxonomic revision of the genera Agrobacterium. The public debate concerning his approach to this intractable problem raged throughout much of the subsequent. Those who knew John well will know that he revelled in this type of controversy. John is survived by his partner Philippa and their children, Eloise and Nick. The ISPP-CTPPB would like to extend their deepest sympathies to John’s family. He was a great and true colleague, and he will be sadly missed.

Last Modified: 10/17/2017
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