SEB Antwerp 2021

Plant Biology Sessions

  • Challenges and opportunities in Cannabis research

Organised by:
  • Rainer Melzer
  • Susanne Schillling

  • The chronobiology of plants 

Organised by:
  • Antony Dodd
  • Alex Webb 
Circadian rhythms have an incredibly pervasive impact upon the life of plants, including the crops that we depend upon for our survival. This session will span from molecular aspects of the generation of circadian rhythms to roles for circadian regulation in the adaptation of plants including crops to their fluctuating environments. A particular focus will be new advances that are shaping the field for the future, including crosstalk with other disciplines.
  • Retrograde signalling as a component of environmental sensing

Organised by:
  • Matthew Jones
  • Gabriela Toledo-Ortiz
Plants perceive and respond to environmental change through a network of sensors and metabolic changes. Recent advances have revealed elegant mechanisms through which changes in metabolism stimulate signaling cascades that alter nuclear gene expression. Our programme will highlight the interplay between metabolism, retrograde signaling, and nuclear gene expression.

  • Prof. Matthew Terry (University of Southampton, United Kingdom)
  • Prof. Tatjana Kleine (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen, Germany)
  • Prof. Elena Monte (Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics, Spain)
  • Dr Olivier van Aken (Lund University, Sweden)

  • Plant Phenotyping

Organised by:
  • Roland Pieruschka (Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany)
  • Michela Janni (National Research Council of Italy, Italy)
Phenotypes provide the essential link between genetic information and biological structure and function of a plant dynamically responding to a fluctuating environment. Understanding the plant environment interaction and quantitative assessment of plant phenotype in different environmental scenarios under controlled and field conditions is important for basic plant science and breeding. Within the last decade, genomic data has becoming easily accessible and a number of crops has been sequenced, yet the phenotypic information is not keeping pace with the explosion in available genomic information. The lack of reliable and available phenotypic data may limit the use of methods needed to identify the associations between phenotypic and genotypic data.

Within this session, we will inform about the latest developments in plant phenotyping addressing specifically how plant phenotyping can advance our understanding of plant performance and resilience, and how we can make progress towards identifying the genetics of stress tolerance and breeding higher yielding crops. We will focus on i) the latest technology development, ii) case studies indicating better understanding of plant physiological processes and the growth environment, iii) acquisition and reuse of data to enrich the phenotyping measurement information. The session will be complemented by the need for community integration in projects such as EMPHASIS, EPPN2020, IPPN.

  • Biogenic volatile organic compounds: mediators of inter-organismic interactions

Organised by:
  • Corina Vlot
  • Maaria Rosenkranz
  • Dorothea Tholl (Virginia Tech, Department of Biological Sciences, United States)
  • Birgit Piechulla (University of Rostock, Institute of Biological Science, Rostock, Germany)
  • Paolina Garbeva (Netherlands Institute of Ecology, Wageningen, The Netherlands)
  • Sybille Unsicker (Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Jena, Germany)
  • Michele Perazzolli (University of Trento, Trento, Italy)
  • Matthias Erb (University of Bern, Institute of Plant Sciences, Bern, Switzerland)
  • James Blande (University of Eastern Finland, Department of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Kuopio, Finland)
  • Laure Weißkopf (University of Fribourg, Department of Biology, Fribourg, Switzerland)

  • Exploiting the natural genetic variation in photosynthesis and CO2 assimilation

Organised by:
  • Johannes Kromdijk
  • Alistair McCormick

  • Future crops for changing & sustainable environments

Organised by:
  •  Alison Bentley, Claire Halpin
  • Sharon Zytynska

  • Ambient Temperature Signalling and Response

Organised by:
  •  Ive De Smet
  • Marcel Quint
  • Martijn van Zanten

  • Radial signaling and transport in plant roots

Organised by:
  •  Tom Beeckman
  • Bert De Rybel
  • Kris Vissenberg
Plant roots are characterized by a well-studied longitudinal growth pattern comprising three developmental zones along the axis of growth. Less-well studied are the mechanisms involved in radial patterning, signalling and transport. Radial communication is required to specify a correct radial pattern in root tissues, steer lateral root initiation and formation, influence root branching patterns, determine cell fate decisions in the vascular tissues and control root hair development. This SEB session has the specific aim to unite expertise from these different aspects of root development with the common vision on advancing the emerging field of radial signalling and transport in roots.  



  • Technology Enabled Approaches to Ecophsyiology 

  • Oliver Tills
  • Manuela Truebano
  • Anne Plessis
This session is focussed on the application of both established and emerging technology enabled approaches to understanding ecophysiology.

This session is inclusive of global approaches such as molecular-omics and phenomics through to more focussed technology enabled approaches to research targeted on a particular aspect of ecophysiology.

A key unifying principle of the session is in utilising the large datasets produced by technology enabled approaches to understanding key physiological mechanisms and the intention is that this will encompass a broad range of taxa. Research using large datasets present unique challenges relating to big data, analytical approaches and study design.

Our session will draw on the breadth of experience and research interests within the society and bring together researchers using large datasets, from molecular to organismal, across all sections of the society.
Related sessions:

Animal biology sessions
Cell biology sessions
Sciences across boundaries biology sessions


  • Mechanical Ecology - Taking Biomechanics to the Field    

  • Ulrike Bauer
  • Simon Poppinga
Related sessions:

Animal biology sessions
Sciences across boundaries biology sessions


  • General cell and plant biology

Related sessions:
Cell biology sessions
Sciences across boundaries biology sessions


  • Cellular aspects of plant hormone action

Related sessions:
Cell biology sessions
Sciences across boundaries biology sessions