Bugwood Images: Submitting Plant Pathogen and Microbial Culture Images

Joe LaForest, Bugwood and Margaret Moll, University of Idaho
The Bugwood Image Database was created to provide an easily accessible source of images for Extension and education. Although it started with 3,500 images from the Southern Forest Work Conference, it has expanded to contain more than 313,000 images including all taxonomic groups, abiotic disorders, crop production practices, pesticide safety, forestry and natural areas, urban environments, household pests, biological controls, biosecurity, and medical entomology. As additional areas of need have been noted by users, the system continues to expand by both recruiting additional images and improving the site navigation to improve use of the resource.
In 2016, it was noted that there were many images of field signs and symptoms caused by pathogens, but there were few images that covered what a diagnostician in a lab might encounter. This included images of pathogens growing on different media. From this a new section of IPM Images was added called the Plant Pathogen and Microbe Culture Images. Images from University of Florida provided the foundation for the collection. Similar to how a host was listed for field images, the media used or test performed was listed. This provided an easy way for the images to be included alongside field images of the pathogen while enabling convenient navigation by the media or test. 

While this resource has been valuable, it has been limited and languished as one of the lesser-known resources supporting diagnosticians. We are hoping to revitalize and grow this resource, and we could use your help. If you are willing to share images of media, tests, and pathogens, please consider uploading them. As a photographer, you retain all rights to the images but allow them to be used for non-commercial uses if the images are cited. If anyone makes a commercial request, those details are forwarded for you to handle as you see fit.
To streamline this process, we have included simple instructions for uploading images. First, visit the website https://images.bugwood.org. If you are not currently a member, please create a free account and login. Then navigate to the home page which has an icon for “Upload Images.”  Fields to the left can be used to indicate the pathogen and media (or host) featured in the images. For larger sets of images, some prefer to use the Excel spreadsheet to provide information and include that with the images. After upload, Bugwood staff will review the images and finalize data entry. An email is sent when they are done to allow you one final chance to review the images and information before they are publicly available. This review step helps us eliminate any issues with data entry that could detract from the usefulness of the resource.

While the satisfaction of knowing you have helped build a resource for diagnosticians can be its own reward, most people prefer some feedback to know that their efforts had some impact. Photographers can access statistics on https://images.bugwood.org for how often their images have been viewed, downloaded, or requested for use. Image requests include not only the number of requests and images, but also details of the request which can show the impact of having this resource available to support education and outreach. 

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Joe LaForest (laforest@uga.edu)