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; in Greece (Rodi Island) in 2006; in Italy (Rome) in 2010; in Turkey (Istanbul) in 2014; in Spain (Cordoba) in 2017. 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.