SEB Conference 2021

Plant Biology Sessions

The following Plant biology sessions will take place at SEB annual Conference 2021.

PLANT BIOLOGY 

SCIENCE ACROSS BOUNDARIES 

ANIMAL, CELL & PLANT BIOLOGY 

CELL & PLANT BIOLOGY 



PLANT BIOLOGY

Challenges and opportunities in Cannabis research

Organised by:

Rainer Melzer
Susanne Schillling

Challenges and opportunties in cannabis research

Cannabis, also known as both, marijuana  and hemp, is an extraordinarily versatile plant – it has been used for millennia as a source of fibre, oil and for medicinal, spiritual and recreational purposes. However, because Cannabis has psychoactive effects, it had been widely banned throughout the last century. Evidence of its medicinal properties is leading to the relaxation of banning legislation in many of the major western economies; consequently Cannabis is the subject of renewed attention from an economic, medicinal and scientific perspective.

In this session, we will bring together researchers working on Cannabis from a genetic, biochemical, ecological and pharmacological perspective. We aim to discuss recent progress in Cannabis breeding and genomics.

Speakers:

  • Christopher Grassa (Harvard University, United States) - Genomic basis of Cannabis adaptation to human laws and economics
  • Djivan Prentout (Universite Lyon I, France) - Identification and characterization of the sex chromosomes of Cannabis sativa
  • Federica Pellati (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia) - Chemistry, analysis and biological activity of non-psychoactive cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa L.
  • Louisa Trindade (Wageningen University, Netherlands) - Genetics of biobased crops: developing tools for hemp breeding

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.
Speakers:
Related sessions:
Exploiting the natural genetic variation in photosynthesis and CO2 assimilation

Plant Phenotyping

Organised by:

Roland Pieruschka 
Michela Janni

P4 Session Image - plant phenotyping

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.
Related sessions:
Exploiting the natural genetic variation in photosynthesis and CO2 assimilation

Biogenic volatile organic compounds: mediators of inter-organismic interactions

Organised by:

Corina Vlot
Maaria Rosenkranz

Session biogenic session

Plants interact with their environment by chemical cues, which often are volatile in nature. Such volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are well known to mediate plant-insect interactions. Emerging evidence demonstrates that VOCs also are important, reciprocal signaling cues in plant interactions with microbes and other plants.  Until now,  most studies have focused on investigating VOCs in aboveground interactions, while their significance in belowground interactions and soil ecology has recently also raised attention. Although the means by which plants perceive volatile cues from other organisms has remained vague so far, the subsequent reprogramming  of plant internal signaling has been shown to lead to priming and upregulation of immune responses.

This adds an additional layer of complexity to the system and requires a considerably more dynamic view on plant-associated interorganismic interactions. Therefore, this session aims to bring together specialists on plant-insect, plant-microbe, and tritrophic interactions for an in-depth exploration of dynamic interorganismic interactions and their regulation by VOCs.

To this end, we will start from VOC-mediated bitrophic interactions and induced VOC emissions, and will further explore the role of biogenic VOCs  above- and belowground in plants interacting with their biotic environment, including tritrophic interactions

Speakers:
  • 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

Exploiting the natural genetic  variation in photosynthesis and CO2 assimilation

The light-dependent and light-independent processes of photosynthesis are common to species across the Green Lineage. But substantial variations exist, including differences in light capture, carboxylation, and developmental strategies. A deeper appreciation of the diversity of photosynthetic processes in the natural world is important, given that photosynthetic inefficiency is a key factor limiting crop productivity. We aim to bring together researchers focused on the fundamental and applied aspects of photosynthesis to explore how natural diversity might be exploited to develop new ways to improve crop productivity, sustainability and resilience in the face of climate change over the coming decades. We particularly welcome submissions in two broad areas: variations in photosynthesis in model organisms and crops, and variations in Calvin cycle regulation and CO2-concentrating mechanisms.

Speakers:
Related sessions:
Retrograde signalling as a component of environmental sensing Future crops for changing & sustainable environments
Ambient Temperature Signalling and Response
Plant Phenotyping  

Ambient Temperature Signalling and Response

Organisers:

Ive De Smet
Marcel Quint
Martijn van Zanten

ambient

Plant production is severely hampered by high temperatures and to avoid a future food security crisis the need of producing thermotolerant crops that can withstand global warming is urgent. This session aims to showcase and evaluate  recent breakthrough findings on the high ambient temperature signalling networks and responses in plants. Such knowledge is not only critical to develop climate-ready crops, but it also has several parallels with animal temperature signalling mechanisms. 

Speakers:
Related sessions:

Exploiting the natural genetic variation in photosynthesis and CO2 assimilation


Radial signaling and transport in plant roots

Organised by:

Tom Beeckman
Bert De Rybel
Kris Vissenberg

Radial signalling and transport in plant roots

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.  
Speakers:
Related sessions:

Cellular Aspects of Plant Hormone Action

SCIENCE ACROSS BOUNDARIES 

ANIMAL, CELL & PLANT BIOLOGY 

Technology Enabled Approaches to Ecophsyiology

Organisers:

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.

Speakers:
Related sessions:

Animal biology sessions
Cell biology sessions
Sciences across boundaries biology sessions 

CELL & PLANT BIOLOGY

General cell and plant biology 

Related sessions:
Cell biology sessions
Sciences across boundaries biology sessions


Cellular aspects of plant hormone action

Organisers:

Alexander Jones
Sabrina Sabatini

Celullar aspect

Plant hormones serve as signal integrators and master regulators of physiology and development. In multicellular organisms, these functions are crucial for the coordination of the activities of individual cells – each having an independently tuneable hormone level and hormone response – into an ensemble behaviour appropriate for the organism as a whole given the developmental stage and environmental condition. Because plant cells do not move in relation to each other, intercellular movement and patterning of hormones serves a crucial role in plant biology and thus is of long-standing interest.

Speakers:
  • Eva Benkova (Institute of Science and Technology Austria, Autria) - Hormonal regulation of root adaptive responses to environmental signals
  • Bert de Rybel (Ghent University , Belgium) - Vascular transcription factors guide plant epidermal responses to limiting phosphate conditions
  • Laura Ragni (University of Tübingen, Germany) - Specificity in auxin-mediated pericycle growth outputs
  • Niko Geldner (University of Lausanne, Switzerland) - The endodermis - a central hub in root biology
  • Kirsten ten Tusscher (Utrecht University, Netherlands) - The key role of growth and division in root developmental patterning
  • Anna Stepanova (North Carolina State University, United States) - Building a SynBio toolbox to monitor and control plant hormone activity
  • George Coupland (Max Planck Society, Germany) - Regulation of shoot meristem shape during floral induction of Arabidopsis
  • Dolf Weijers (Wageningen University & Research, Netherlands) - Old and swift - A widespread auxin response system built on rapid protein phosphorylation

Related sessions:
Radial signaling and transport in plant roots
Cell biology sessions
Sciences across boundaries biology sessions