The Mediterranean Phytopathological Union (MPU) is a regional Society of plant pathologists founded by the late Professor Antonio Ciccarone in 1962. MPU was founded in response to the invitation of Professor Israel Reichert (“On research and co-operation of Mediterranean Phytopathologists”) published in the first issue of the international journal Phytopathologia Mediterranea.
The aim of the Society is to stimulate the co-operation among plant pathologists working in the Mediterranean area considered as an ecological region; to facilitate the spread of information and news, of scientific material and bibliographical data on plant diseases occurring in the area; to increase contacts among plant pathologists working on similar problems in various parts of the region, and to create opportunities for them to meet; to promote studies and researches on diseases of Mediterranean crops and their control under comparable conditions; to encourage joint research projects, comparative experiments, and exchange of students among different countries; to publish scientific papers dealing with problems related to diseases of Mediterranean crops in a journal specifically devoted to these problems.
Presidents of MPU were in succession A. Ciccarone, G. Viennot-Bourgin, A. Graniti, E.C. Tjamos, F. Lamberti, K.M. Makkouk and presently A. Phillips. They were assisted by Board and Council members from different countries.
General congresses of the MPU were held in Italy (Bari and Naples) in 1966; in France (Montpellier and Avignon) in 1969; in Portugal (Oeiras) in 1972; in Yugoslavia (Zadar) in 1975; in Greece (Patras) in 1980; in Egypt (Cairo) in 1984; in Spain (Granada) in 1987; in Morocco (Agadir) in 1990; in Turkey (Kusadasi) in 1994, in France (Montpellier) in 1997, in Portugal (Evora) in 2001 and in Greece (Rodi Island) in 2006. Several smaller meetings on specific topics were run between general congresses.
MPU presently numbers more than 250 members.
The MPU is a non-profit organisation. It has no sponsors, being funded by membership fees only. The MPU staff and those who are engaged in editing Phytopathologia Mediterranea give their time and work on a voluntary basis.
Despite all these difficulties, which are hard to solve even after an existence of more than 30 years, MPU is proud of having achieved at least a part of its initial resolutions and goals, and is confident that its service in behalf of Mediterranean plant pathologists will continue to be appreciated.