SEB Gothenburg 2017 - Programme

Science across Boundaries

The following joint Plant and Cell Biology sessions will take place at SEB Gothenburg 2017. Further information on each sessions can be found below.

Cell Biology


Modelling growth

Other cell and plant biology sessions

Cell biology

Plant cell biology

Session sponsored by: SweTree Technologies

Dates:3 and 4 July 2017


Dr Panagiotis Moschou (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden) 
Dr Stephanie Robert (Umeå Plant Science Centre, Sweden) 
Dr Alyona Minina (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden)

  • Dr Daniel Van Damme (UGent, Belgium) - Towards structural insight into the endocytic TPLATE Adaptor Complex
  • Prof Erik Schäffer (University of Tübingen, Germany) 
  • Prof Takashi Ueda (University of Tokyo, Japan) 
  • Dr Erika Isono (Technical University of Munich, Germany) - Ubiquitin modification in endocytosis and autophagy of plants
  • Prof Diane Bassham (Iowa State University, United States)
  • Prof Magnus Berggren (Linköping University, Sweden)
  • Dr Jürgen Kleine-Vehn (University of National Resources and Life Sciences, Austria) - Cell size determination and differential growth in plants
  • Prof Karin Schumacher (University of Heidelberg, Germany)
  • Prof Savithramma Dinesh-Kumar (UC Davis, United States) - Inter-organellar communication and autophagy during innate immunity

Plant Cell Biology session aims to gather together prominent scientists working on various aspects of plant cell biology. Themes that will be covered are centred on, but are not limited to, endomembrane trafficking machineries, secretion, endocytosis, recycling pathways, cell polarity, autophagy, plasma membrane and cellular nanosciences. The session emphasises on building new interdisciplinary collaborations, by bringing together top-notch scientists with expertise in areas ranging from single molecule biology to organismal biology. Strong emphasis has also been made at the Plant Cell Biology session to give young researchers (PhD students and post-docs) the opportunity to present their work in front of a highly specialised audience. Young group leaders are also welcomed to present their work, but are strongly encouraged to let their students and post-docs to present their own work whenever possible. Plant Cell Biology session will provide an excellent opportunity for scientists interested in plant cell biology from different labs to exchange ideas and to discuss during both the meeting but also in a cordial atmosphere in the evenings around a drink or a restaurant table.

Plant cell cycle and the cytoskeleton

Dates: 4, 5 and 6 July 2017


Prof Jim Murray (Cardiff University, UK)
Prof Patrick Hussey (University of Durham, UK)
Dr Walter Dewitte (Cardiff University, UK)

  • Prof Sergio Moreno (Instituto de Biología Funcional y Genómica, Spain)
  • Prof Arp Schnittger (University of Hamburg, Germany)
  • Dr Sabine Muller (University of Tübingen, Germany)
  • Prof Dominique Bergmann (Stanford University, United States)
  • Dr Katerina Bisova (Czech Academy of Sciences. Czech Republic)
  • Dr Henrik Buschmann (University of Osnabrück, Germany)
  • Prof Patrick Hussey (University of Durham, UK)
  • Dr Ive De Smet (UGent, Belgium) - Small signalling peptide control of (asymmetric) cell division
  • Dr Tijs Ketelaar (Wageningen University, Netherlands)
  • Prof Jim Murray (Cardiff University, UK)

Plants exhibit continuous growth, and so the cell cycle is closely integrated with developmental processes, environmental responses and growth throughout the life cycle. At the cellular level, control of the cell cycle is closely linked to cytoskeletal processes which exhibit both plant specific and conserved aspects. This session will seek to bridge scales between sub-cellar, cellular and organ level mechanisms and controls with a focus on cytoskeleton, coordination of cell cycle programming and phases, developmental patterning and the cell cycle and the links between cell cycle and growth.


Life at the interface: plant membrane-protein dynamics/interactions during environmental change

Session sponsored by: Frontiers

Dates: 5 and 6 July 2017


Prof Angus Murphy (University of Maryland, United States)
Dr Piers Hemsley (University of Dundee, UK)
Dr Wendy Peer (University of Maryland, United States)

  • Dr Pedro Rodriguez (Instituto de Biologia Molecular y Celular de Plantas, Spain) - CAR proteins facilitate the approach of ABA receptors to plasma membrane to cope with drought stress
  • Prof Rainer Hedrich (University of Würzburg, Germany) - Molecular mechanism of touch sensing and signalling
  • Dr John Runions (Oxford Brookes University, UK) - Single molecule tracking of plasma membrane proteins reveals changes in movement and clustering in response to environmental stimuli
  • Dr Roger Innes (Indiana University, United States) - The role extracellular vesicles in plant-microbe interactions  
  • Prof Angus Murphy (University of Maryland, United States) - Unique lipid environments characterize epidermal and vascular ABC transporter activity and function
  • Dr Wendy Peer (University of Maryland, United States) - Abscisic acid and salt induces rapid turnover of the Arabidopsis ABCB4 auxin transporter by a saposin B aspartic protease
  • Dr Piers Hemsley (University of Dundee, UK) - Greasing membrane protein function – the role of S-acylation in regulating plant signalling pathways
  • Dr Emmanuelle Bayer  (University of Bordeaux, France) - Looking from the other side: plasmodesmata specialised membrane organisation and its relevance to cell-to-cell connectivity in plants
  • Prof Thomas Ott (University of Freiburg, Germany) - Molecular dynamics of plant cell surface receptors
  • Dr Ines Kreuzer (University of Würzburg, Germany) - The anion channel SLAH3 and its multiple modes of regulation

Membranes are the fundamental organizing principal in every eukaryotic cell and define the frontier between an organism and its environment. As such they are the primary barrier and architecture for signalling and transport between cellular compartments and the outside world. To achieve this membranes and their complement of proteins are continually reorganized and regulated across a variety of cellular scales within what have been termed micro- or nanodomains. Membrane organization streamlines metabolic processes, accelerates signalling, enhances small molecule transport, and coordinates environmental responses. Distinct membrane domains and/or specialized membrane structures are associated with secondary metabolite production, pathogen infection and perception, abiotic stress responses, chloroplast thylakoid transport, and protein sorting/trafficking within the endomembrane system. Micro/nanodomains vary in lipid and protein composition, size and lifetime according to as yet not fully understood principles. However, the effects of lipid modifications of proteins, elucidation of protein-lipid interactions, tracking of membrane dynamics, identification of signal specific nanodomain complexes, and characterization of nanodomain organizing proteins are increasingly reported in plants. This session aims to bring researchers in all aspects of plant membrane protein biology together to address the questions behind the composition, regulation and dynamics of membrane domains, trafficking of proteins to and from these domains, membrane protein function, and the kinetics of protein complex interactions within membrane domains. We aim to bring participants together to further our understanding of these processes and develop understanding of how plants perceive and respond to environmental stress.

Membrane dynamics: Signalling and polarity

Date: 3 July 2017

  • Prof Nick Monk (University of Sheffield, UK)
  • Dr Katie Fisher (University of Sheffield, UK)
  • Dr Martin Baron (University of Manchester, UK)
  • Dr Natasha Savage (University of Liverpool, UK) - Molecular mechanisms underpinning polarised growth
  • Dr Katie Fisher (University of Sheffield, UK) - Molecular mechanisms of coordinated cell polarisation in the Drosophila wing
  • Dr Linda Nemetschke (MPI-CBG, Germany)

The plasma membrane provides the primary barrier between a eukaryotic cell and the outside world. This dynamic entity is host to a multitude of proteins which carry out a range of functions including signalling, transport and adhesion as well as forming links to the cytoskeleton providing cellular structure and motility. Early models such as a the fluid mosaic model  (Singer and Nicholson 1972) describes free movement of components around the membrane, however more recent work suggests that membrane proteins can be dynamically organised into microdomains and substructures, such as lipid rafts and signalosomes. These domains, as well as trafficking of proteins into and out of these domains, play an essential role in regulating protein function. 

The asymmetric distribution of proteins around the membrane plays further fundamental roles in cell function including directed migration, segregation of determinants or asymmetric cell division. This polarisation allows cells in a tissue to coordinate with one another to produce external structures such as hairs or cilia and during morphogenesis where cells intercalate and reorganise with respect to one another. Key questions involve initial steps of breaking symmetry by extrinsic cues or stochastic processes, amplification of polarity by feedback mechanisms and organisation of proteins into microdomains.

In this session we aim to bring together researchers with interests in all areas of membrane dynamics and organisation and particularly those with theoretical insights or developing mathematical models. Talks will address exciting new developments in how signalling pathways are regulated by endocytic pathways or cell polarity components, as well as fundamental questions about cell polarity establishment. 

Modelling growth

Crop models improvement with biological knowledge: which, why and how?

Dates: 4 and 5 July 2017


Dr Bertrand Muller (INRA, France)
Pierre Martre (INRA SupAgro, France)

  • Prof Graeme Hammer (University of Queensland, Australia) - Biological reality and parsimony in crop models – why we need both!
  • Prof Frank Ewert (University of Bonn, Germany) - Integrating and accounting for multiple stresses and extreme events
  • Dr Xavier Draye (Université Catholique de Louvain, France) - How to represent below ground processes in crop models?’
  • Prof Christian Körner (University of Basel, Switzerland) - Hierarchies in plant growth control
  • Pierre Martre (INRA SupAgro, France) - Errors and uncertainties in crop models - where biological mechanisms could help?
  • Prof Andrew Millar (University of Edinburgh, UK) - Applying the Arabidopsis framework model to link SNPs to clines

Crop models have a central role to orientate breeding and innovation towards more efficient varieties and cropping systems to cope with global climate change. However, recent crop models intercomparison studies have shown that they suffer from large uncertainties and biases, in particular under conditions of stress combinations such as those associated with climate change (high temperature, drought, elevated CO2). Moreover, most current models are based on more than 30 years old physiological knowledge and do not incorporate the latest knowledge about how crops respond to a changing climate. A renewed discussion is thus urgent between crop modellers and (eco)physiologists recalling how models are built, highlighting weaknesses and overlooked processes, and discussing which recent discoveries could be formalised and incorporated into models.

The session will be organised around the following items: (1) Development and architecture; (2) C and N management in the plant; and (3) Integrating and accounting for multiple stresses. Here are examples of questions that will be addressed during this session:

With which details above and below ground architecture should be modelled? How to account for both source- and sink-limitations in crop models? Is thermal time a valid concept to capture the impact of extreme weather events? How to account for the acclimation of processes to environmental factors? Are fertility and grain set properly formalised? Should crop models pay more attention to below ground processes? Are data acquired under steady-state conditions relevant for modelling in the field? How to make data available to the community for model improvement?

Molecular control of plant growth during abiotic stress

Session sponsored by: CLF PlantClimatics GmbH and Journal of Experimental Botany

Dates: 3 and 4 July 2017


Dr Ulrike Bechtold (University of Essex, UK)
Dr Ben Field (CNRS Marseille, France)

  • Prof Philip Mullineaux (University of Essex, UK) - Master regulator HSFs in Arabidopsis: Are they molecular switches between growth and defence?
  • Dr Elena Baena Gonzalez (Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Portugal) - Carbon availability and growth – SNRK1 signaling
  • Prof Paul Jarvis (University of Oxford, UK) - Regulation of chloroplast protein import by the Ubiquitin E3 Ligase SP1 is important for stress tolerance in plants
  • Olivier Loudet (INRA Versailles, France) - High-throughput phenotyping to decode the complexity of natural variation for response to the environment in Arabidopsis
  • Prof Christine Foyer (University of Leeds, UK) - Redox cycling in the cell cycle in the embryonic root meristem and its disruption by mild oxidation
  • Dr Christian Meyer (INRA Versailles, France) - The role of the TOR kinase in the regulation of plant nutrient and stress signalling
  • Prof Åsa Strand (Umeå University, Sweden) - The role of retrograde signals during plant stress response
  • Prof Ari Sadanandom (University of Durham, UK) - Understanding hormone bypass pathways

Abiotic stresses are a major constraint on the physiology, growth, development and productivity of plants. While the use of protective mechanisms is essential for plant survival, activation of stress defences generally comes at the expense of plant growth. Processes such as germination, seedling growth, optimal timing of flowering and inflorescence development are important traits essential in determining plant yield, and these can vary greatly in response to stress. Recent developments in molecular genetics have contributed to our understanding of the biochemical and genetic basis of abiotic stress tolerance, but little is understood about how plant development changes in response to stress and how changes in plant development may affect the plant’s ability to respond and grow during stress. 

Molecular mechanisms linking plant development, growth and abiotic stress defences are beginning to emerge, yet the timing and mechanism of this switch between optimal growth and development and stress defences is still largely unknown. This session seeks to bring together researchers from the fields of abiotic stress signalling and plant development alike, in a bid to improve our understanding of the mechanisms used by plants to maintain the balancing act between growth and stress responses.

Photosynthetic response to a changing environment - Towards sustainable energy production

Session sponsored by: International Society of Photosynthesis Research and Gothenburg Centre for Advanced Studies in Science and Technology

Dates: 5 and 6 July 2017


Prof Cornelia Spetea Wiklund (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)
Prof Peter Nixon (Imperial College London, UK)
Prof Wolfgang Schröder (Umeå University, Sweden)

  • Prof Eva-Mari Aro (University of Turku, Finland) - Maintenance of the photosynthetic apparatus in changing environments
  • Prof Roberta Croce (VU Amsterdam, Netherlands) - Molecular switches in the thylakoid membrane
  • Prof David Kramer (Michigan State University, United States) - The triple-edged sword of the thylakoid proton motive force: Energy, protoprotection and photodamage
  • Prof Toshiharu Shikanai (Kyoto University, Japan) - Regulation of proton motive force by alternative electron transport
  • Dr Roman Sobotka (Algatech Center, Czech Republic) - Remodelling of a cyanobacterial chlorophyll-synthase complex by High-light inducible proteins
  • Prof Stefan Jannson (Umeå University, Sweden) - How can spruce needles be green in the winter?
  • Prof Christiane Funk (Umeå University, Sweden) - Deg proteases – survival at abiotic stress
  • Prof Anja Krieger (CEA Saclay, France) - Biochemical characterization and physiological role of the plastid terminal oxidase PTOX

There is currently world-wide interest in enhancing natural photosynthesis to improve crop yields particularly under conditions of abiotic stress such as high light, extremes of temperature and drought. Whilst much is known about the major protein complexes involved in the light reactions of photosynthesis, much less is known about how the light reactions are regulated and how the photosynthetic apparatus is assembled and maintained under stress conditions. This symposium aims to bring together researchers studying various molecular aspects of the photosynthetic apparatus to help identify new targets for enhancing photosynthesis. This symposium will also be of interest to those interested in using cyanobacteria and chloroplasts for synthetic biology. The program consists of four half-day sessions, eight talks given by leading international scientists and 18 talks chosen from the submitted abstracts.

Half day sessions:
  1. Assembly and maintenance of the photosynthetic apparatus
  2. Light harvesting and photo-protective mechanisms
  3. Response to abiotic stress
  4. Alternative electron transfer pathways

Other cell and plant biology sessions

General cell and plant biology

Date: 5 July 2017

The General Plant and Cell Biology session comprises talks and posters on all the aspects of plant and cell biology that are not catered for in the specific section sessions. As such, the session is an important element of the scientific programme, with high-quality presentations on a wide spectrum of subjects. The general session takes place over one day and the programme of short talks will be selected from the abstracts and organised (as far as possible, but this is not a prerequisite) into the subject areas of the special interest groups of the Plant and Cell Sections. We particularly encourage presentations from PhD students and early career scientists. 

Imaging plant pathogenesis

Dates: 3 and 4 July 2017


Dr George Littlejohn (Plymouth University, UK)
Dr Michael Deeks (University of Exeter, UK)

  • Prof Silke Robatzek (The Sainsbury Laboratory, UK) - How endocytosis regulates immunity
  • Prof Murray Grant (University of Warwick, UK)  - Visualising the dynamics of disease and defence against Pseudomonas syringae – from whole plants to sub-cellular perturbations
  • Prof Katherine Denby (University of York, UK) - The impact of environment on plant defence
  • Dr Petra Boevink (The James Hutton Institute, UK) - How does Phytophthora deliver effectors to host plant cells?
  • Dr Miriam Oses-Ruiz (University of Exeter, UK) - Investigating appressorium-mediated plant infection by the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae

For three decades the bioimaging of live cells has provided ‘snapshots’ of molecular dynamics surrounding the infection of plant tissues and the processes driving invading pathogens. The wider availability of high-quality instrumentation and perfection of mounting techniques is leading to a new age of prolonged bioimaging that captures the molecular progression of pathogenesis. Such approaches promise to capture the subtle tipping points between successful host defence and virulence. This one and a half day session intends to promote these advances and will focus on resolving and prioritising the future challenges for biologists and instrument developers pioneering phytopathology imaging. Moreover it is becoming clear that pathogenesis in plants is entangled with the perception and response to abiotic stresses. This is true from the level of hormonal control to the sub-cellular scale and the sharing of receptors between these two classes of stimuli. The co-processing of abiotic and biotic information sensitises the bioimaging of pathogenesis to the physiological status of the sample. Factors such as the influence of unnaturally high photon flux and gas exchange should be considered during experiment design. The final half-day of the session will be a workshop aiming to establish guidelines for standardising abiotic factors likely to influence the molecular dynamics of phytopathology under the microscope.

Plant leaf

Cell and Plant sessions

Find out more about the other Cell and Plant Biology taking place at the Annual Meeting in Gothenburg

Plant Biology
Cell Biology