The following Plant Biology sessions will take place at SEB Gothenburg 2017. Further information on the sessions is available below:


DATE: 6 JULY 2017

Dr Simon Poppinga (University of Freiburg, Germany)

  • Prof Aaron Ellison (Harvard Forest, United States) - Carnivorous plants are ideal model systems for experimental research in evolutionary ecology
  • Dr Ulrike Bauer (University of Bristol, UK) - Slip, trip & trap: the biomechanics of pitcher traps, and what we can learn from them
  • Dr Andreas Fleischmann (Botanische Staatssammlung München, Germany) - Evolution of carnivory in angiosperms and diversification of trap types
  • Dr Dagmara Sirová (University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic) - No guts, no glory? Plant-microbe interactions in rootless carnivorous Utricularia

Carnivorous plants mostly grow in nutrient-poor habitats and capture their prey for a substantial nutrient supply via snap traps, pitfall traps, glue traps, lobster traps or suction traps. Already Darwin considered them to be "the most wonderful plants in the world", and his 1875 book Insectivorous Plants is a widely-cited classic and an exemplar of the application of the experimental method to contemporary scientific problems. Until today, we have already a detailed knowledge on how the traps function from mechanical points of view, how these plants sense their prey, how prey is lured, killed and digested, and how and why other organisms can feast on the captured animals, among many other topics. But there also remain many unsolved questions, and current research projects try to find answers. In short, carnivorous plants have been and still are popular model organisms to study a multitude of biological questions. Attendees of this symposium will learn up-to-date insights about this highly specialized plant group that exhibits many convergent traits. The talks will cover the topics in evolution, physiology, physiological ecology, biomechanics, functional morphology, and population & community ecology.


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?


DATES: 3 AND 4 JULY 2017

Dr Wolfgang Busch (Salk Institute, United States)
Dr Chris Topp (Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, United States)

  • Prof Michelle Watt (Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany)
  • Dr David Houle (Florida State University, United States)
  • Prof Jonathan Wendel (Iowa State University, United States) - The wondrous cycles of polyploidy in plants
  • Dr Joost Keurentjes (Wageningen University, Netherlands)
  • Dr Miltos Tsiantis (Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Germany) - Towards understanding development and diverstity of leaf shape
  • Dr Kirsten Bomblies (John Innes Centre, UK)
  • Dr Örjan Carlborg (Uppsala University, Sweden) - The value of modelling epistasis in studies of complex trait genetics
  • Dr Christine Granier (INRA Montpellier, France) - Building a leaf with cells or vice versa? Analysing and modelling the relationships between traits
  • Dr Nathalie Gonzalez (INRA, France) - Arabidopsis leaf growth analysis for the search of growth-promoting genes and gene networks

The genotype to phenotype question is a central challenge of genetics. It is not only a fundamental scientific problem that led to the foundation of the discipline of genetics but it affects a broad and diverse set of practical challenges such as breeding, sustainable agriculture and precision medicine. Recent advances in sequencing and phenotyping have finally enabled biologists to start to efficiently tackle this challenge and to identify not only genomic loci that determine phenotypes but genes and their molecular mechanisms. However, there are numerous largely unsolved issues in the field including the lack of suitable ways to go beyond the level of single genes, the difficulty to integrate complex genetic phenomena such as epistasis into genotype to phenotype models, the lack of knowledge with regard to whether genotype to phenotype mechanisms are species dependent or can be understood beyond species boundaries, and the deficit of strategies to efficiently sample the phenotypic space, which is infinite. In this session, we will bring together biologists from multiple disciplines to provide a comprehensive picture of the current state to approach the genotype to phenotype problem.


DATE: 5 JULY 2017

The General Cell and Plant 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.


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 organising 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 reorganised and regulated across a variety of cellular scales within what have been termed micro- or nanodomains. Membrane organisation streamlines metabolic processes, accelerates signalling, enhances small molecule transport, and coordinates environmental responses. Distinct membrane domains and/or specialised 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 characterisation of nanodomain organising 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.


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.


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 characterisation 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.

  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


Session sponsored by: SweTree Technologies


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) - Molecular machines under tension: How kinesins get to the microtubule end & position the plant cell division plane
  • Prof Takashi Ueda (University of Tokyo, Japan) - Molecular machines under tension: How kinesins get to the microtubule end & position the plant cell division plane
  • 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 welcome to present their work, but are strongly encouraged to let their students and post-docs 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.