Unmissable plant science events in 2017

It’s a busy year for plant science! Grab your diaries and mark these key dates:

International Plant & Animal Genome XXV Conference  |  San Diego, USA  |  14-18 January 2017

The Plant and Animal Genome XXV Conference (PAG) is designed to provide a forum on recent developments and future plans for plant and animal genome projects. Consisting of technical presentations, poster sessions, exhibits and workshops, the conference is an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas and applications on this internationally important project.  |  More information

International Frontiers of Potassium Conference |  Rome, Italy  |  25-27 January 2017

Exchange information on how to improve potassium plant nutrition and soil management to better the health of soils, plants, animals, and humans. The 4R Nutrient Stewardship framework is integrated into the conference structure to keep the discussions anchored to the information needs of farmers and those who provide nutrient management guidance.  |  More information

Data Visualisation for Biology:  A practical workshop on design, techniques and tools  |  Cambridge, UK  |  30 January – 3 February 2017

As biological datasets increase in size and complexity, we are moving more and more from an hypothesis-driven research paradigm to a data-driven one. As a result, exploration of that data has become even more crucial than in the past. In this 5-day workshop, we will dive into the topic of biological data visualization and how it can be used to gain insight in and get a “feel” for a dataset, so that targeted analyses can be defined. We will start by covering theoretical questions like: What is data visualization? How do we perceive images? How can we visualise data in the best possible way? As the workshop continues, it will become more and more hands-on and interactive; a large part will be committed to creating visualisations using the P5 javascript library, based on biological data. In the workshop, we will focus on omics (e.g. genomics, transcriptomics) data rather than e.g. imaging data.  |  More information

Agribusiness Australia: Breakfast Event  |  Queensland, Australia  |  6 February 2017

Guest: Dr Beth Woods OAM FTSE, Director-General of the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. Topic: “Future Vision and Strategy for Queensland Food and Agribusiness Industry”.  |  More information

Agribusiness Australia: Luncheon Event  |  Sydney, Australia  |  8 February 2017

Guest: Craig Heraghty, National Agribusiness Leader, Partner – PricewaterhouseCoopers Sydney. Topic: “Playing a bigger game in agribusiness”.  |  More information

Phenome 2017  |  Arizona, USA  |  10-14 February 2017

To build the skills sets and knowledge base necessary to support the bioeconomy as it grows rapidly beyond its traditional products of food, feed, fuel, and fiber we need to implement new paradigms that blur disciplinary lines. The Phenome 2017 conference will bring together a multidisciplinary audience comprising plant biologists, engineers, agronomists, and computer scientists interested in plant phenomics. The goals of Phenome 2017 are to share discoveries, ideas, and connections in order to foster collaboration, innovation, and the initiation of multi-investigator and multi-institution projects. The four day conference will include presentations in plenary sessions entitled Phenomic insights into quantitative traits, Environmental stress biology, Metabolomics, and Plasticity in plant traits.  |  Phenome 2017

Introduction to Genomic Data Analysis using HapMap and 1000 Genomes Projects  |  Barcelona, Spain  |  10-14 February 2017

This course, by Transmitting Science, will teach the main concepts of genomic data analysis using real data from two of the most important international projects describing human genetic variation: The HapMap and the 1000 Genomes Projects. In this course you will become familiar with general results from these two projects, focusing on the genomic information displayed in the Ensemble version of 1000 Genomes Project Browser; but not in the transcriptomic and proteomic applications. You will also learn how to manage and deal with huge genetic datasets and which strategies and analysis are used to answer genetic, demographic and evolutionary questions. The course will alternate theory with practical computer exercises but it will focus on hands-on training. Although examples will be based on single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data in human individuals, most topics covered in this course can be extended to other types of markers and organisms.  |  More information

Agribusiness Australia: Breakfast Event  |  Perth, Australia  |  17 February 2017

Details to be confirmed. Visit the Agribusiness Australia website for more information.  |  Agribusiness Australia events

Plant Nutrition, Growth & Environment Interactions III  |  Vienna, Austria  |  20-21 February 2017

The 3rd International Conference “Plant  Nutrition, Growth & Environment Interactions” will review the latest science in the knowledge of plant growth, plant responses to nutrition and environment, and set research priorities for the next era of research. The two day conference program will cover:  Signaling & Hormones in Plant Growth and Development • Environmental Regulation of Plant Growth & Development • Physiology & Mechanism of Plant Nutrition • Plant Nutrient: Acquisition, Homeostasis • Symbiotic Interactions • Fertilizers and Soil in Plant Nutrition • Plant – Environment Interactions.  |  More information

Hands-on Flow Cytometry Course  |  Heidelberg, Germany  |  20-24 February 2017

Flow Cytometry is one of the most powerful single cell analysis methods used throughout the life sciences and medicine. Utilising Flow Cytometry we can identify and quantify different from heterogeneous samples, analyse the corresponding state of proliferation or simply detect the expression of fluorescent reporters. Improvements in assay technology are now enabling scientist to detect mRNAs in cells using flow cytometry.  This course, by EMBL, will cover the theory of Flow Cytometry and corroborate this information intensively with the practical issues of the most frequent assays as part of their practical course curriculum.  |  More information

Bioinformatics for Breeding Course  |  Norwich, UK  |  21-24 February 2017

The increasing number of genomic tools and resources which facilitate large-scale analysis of genotypes and traits are leading to novel, quicker approaches to breeding. This practical course, by the Earlham Institute, will feature a collection of methods and bioinformatics tools fundamental for modern breeding, especially for crops. Next generation sequencing (NGS) has made large collections of open-source diversity genomic data possible, such as SNPs, that can be used as molecular markers for breeding. Combined with phenotypes, genome-wide association studies provide breeders with an understanding of the molecular basis of complex traits.  |  More information

InterDrought-V Conference  |  Hyderabad, India  |  21-25 February 2017

InterDrought conferences serve as a platform for presenting and debating key issues and strategies relevant for improving drought and other stress tolerance in crops. The main mission of the conference is to explore the possibilities of scientific and technological applications in crop improvement.  |  More information

4th International Symposium on Molecular Markers in Horticulture  |  Napier, New Zealand  |  7-10 March 2017

Attend this conference to exchange information on the latest developments in the use of genetic markers in plant research, ranging from germplasm characterisation to genotyping-by-sequencing, marker assisted selection to gene editing. The term ‘Horticulture’ will be applied in its widest sense, exploring molecular marker research in arable and agricultural  crops as well as fruit, nuts, vegetables and flowers.  |  More information

ICRA Course:  Learning, action research and outreach  |  Wageningen, the Netherlands |  13-31 March 2017

As a professional in tertiary agricultural education you are expected to prepare competent graduates for the job market. In addition, you are requested to do action research that contributes to innovation for food security, and provide services for rural communities that support inclusive development. Get ready to make your courses more interactive and interdisciplinary! How do you provide useful services to the surrounding community? How do you make research relevant for farmers and agribusiness so you better can attract funding? Join ICRA’s course to find the answers to those challenges. Brace yourself for three challenging weeks with a range of activities such as trainer-assisted group sessions, role plays, case studies and excursions to education institutes.  |  More information

2nd Agriculture and Climate Change Conference  |  Sitges, Spain  |  26-27 March 2017

Maintaining crop production to feed a growing population during a period of climate change is the greatest challenge we face as a species. The 2nd Agriculture and Climate Change Conference will focus on the likely impact of climate change on crop production and explore approaches to maintain and increase crop productivity into the future. Topic include: Increased agricultural uncertainty • Modelling and its application • Abiotic stress • Effects of CO2 on plant growth • Impacts on nutrition, quality and resource use efficiency • Plant-microbe interactions • Innovative agronomic and breeding practices • New crops for a new climate.  |  More information

3rd COST Meeting / EMPHASIS Workshop  |  Oeiras, Portugal  |  27-29 March 2017

27-28 March 2017 – 3rd General COST Meeting, ‘Field phenotyping technologies from woody perennials to annual crops’ (special attention to field phenotyping but not restricted).
29 March 2017 – EMPHASIS Workshop  |  More information

Agribusiness Australia: Lunch Event  |  Queensland, Australia  |  27 March 2017

Details to be confirmed. Visit the Agribusiness Australia website for more information.  |  Agribusiness Australia events

Global Food Security Symposium 2017  |  Washington DC, USA  |  28-29 March 2017

Convened annually by The Chicago Council, the Global Food Security Symposium discusses the US government’s and international community’s progress on addressing global food and nutrition security. Our 2017 symposium will showcase the best of business, social, and policy innovation early in the next administration. We will bring together top visionaries from every sector to generate productive dialogue and actions necessary to advance global food security.  |  More information

III International Symposium of Bacterial Canker of Kiwifruit  |  Santiago, Chile  |  28-30 March 2017

Bacterial canker of kiwifruit caused by Pseudomonas syringae pv.actinidiae (Psa), is the most important disease for yellow and green-fleshed kiwifruit and has spread worldwide in less than six years. It causes serious economic losses in many countries and in some places has become an impediment to a profitable and growing kiwifruit industry. This serious disease has lead many researches around the world to study different aspects of the disease such as characterisation of the pathogen, ecological interactions, and design of measures for control and prevention of it. The III International Symposium of Bacterial Canker (Psa) of Kiwifruit is an opportunity to share knowledge for a better understanding and management of the bacterial canker.  |  More information

Agribusiness Australia: Lunch Event  |  New South Wales, Australia  |  12 April 2017

Details to be confirmed. Visit the Agribusiness Australia website for more information.  |  Agribusiness Australia events

IWGS 2017  |  Tulln, Austria  |  23-28 April 2017

13th International Wheat Genetics Symposium – At the IWGS 2017 all novel developments in wheat genetics and genomics will be discussed in a series of oral presentations, poster presentations and workshop sessions.  |  iwigs2017.boku.ac.at  |  Satellite Meetings at this conference:  ESFRI project EMPHASIS | 21 April 2017 – pan European infrastructure on phenotyping  •  Wheat Initiative EWG Wheat Phenotyping to Support Wheat Improvement | Vienna, 22 April 2017

Gordon Research Conference: CO2 Assimilation in Plants from Genome to Biome  |  Lucca (Barga), Italy |  30 April – 5 May 2017

Advancing and applying our understanding of CO2 assimilation in plants and algae has never been more important to society than today. The world faces the dual challenges of producing adequate food for mid-century sustainably while adapting and mitigating CO2 -driven climate change. This meeting addresses these challenges from the gene to the globe in discussing emerging advances in our understanding and their application. Topics include: engineering increased photosynthesis for food security and bioenergy, phenomics in accelerating improvement in CO2 assimilation and yield, overcoming oxygenation at Rubisco, the evo-devo of the CO2 assimilation apparatus, inter-compartmental fluxes, kinetic modeling of CO2 assimilation, what is new in carbon concentrating mechanisms, prospects for modifying stomatal responses and mesophyll conductance, adapting to atmospheric change, quantification of global sinks for CO2, and engineering landscapes to offset climate change.  |  More information

ICRA Course:  Linking research to inclusive development for food security – facing rural innovation challenges  |  Wageningen, the Netherlands  |  15 May – 2 June 2017

Researchers must make their work relevant for the inclusive development of involved communities. Agricultural professionals, farmers and their organizations need up to date information on how to most effectively improve food security. This course introduces you to new approaches and tools for designing and managing participation in rural innovation that help to resolve both problems and find complementary solutions. It enables you to create and support effective partnerships, collaboration and dynamic stakeholder networks to co-create new knowledge for better agri-business deals and higher farmer income.  |  More information

Fascination of Plants Day  |  Global event  |  18 May 2017

Everybody is welcome to join this global initiative! Organise a fascinating activity related to plants that attracts and interacts with the public. From one little seed, planted into soil, many green lives can arise – from small herbs up to big trees, or from ornamental flowers to substantial crops which all animals and mankind need to survive on this planet. Through this coordinated activity we hope to plant many virtual and constantly germinating seeds in the collective mind of the world public that plant science is of critical significance to the social and environmental landscape now and into the future.  |  www.plantsday.org

BioVeg 2017 – 11th International Congress on Plant Biotechnology and Agriculture  |  Cayo Guillermo, Cuba  |  22-26 May 2017

At this congress, optimal solutions to problems in the fields of biotechnology and agriculture will be discussed. Sessions include oral presentations, posters and videos. The official languages of the meeting are: Spanish and English. Simultaneous translation will be available.   |  More information  |  The III International Symposium on Plant Cryopreservation will be held during BioVeg 2017 – more information.

Transmitting Science course:  Introduction to R |  Barcelona, Spain  |  22-26 May 2017

The aim of this course is to give an introduction to people who have never used R. By the end of the course, the participants should be able to do the following in R:  Import / export data-bases • Manage data sets • Carry out basic statistical analyses with R • Draw high quality graphs • Program specific functions. Students are encouraged to bring a dataset with them, along with a “previously completed” statistical analysis or graphic.  |  More information

10th International Workshop on Sap Flow 2017 |  California, USA  |  22-26 May 2017

The 10th International Workshop on Sap Flow in 2017 in Fullerton, California, will be the forum for international exchange of new scientific ideas and discoveries related to sap flow and transpiration. All contributions will have a direct link to sap flow, but many will go beyond this topic and address issues ranging from the underlying biology and physics of sap flow to applications in irrigation management. The focus will be on disseminating the latest research and innovative activities within the field of plant vascular functioning, new measurement technologies, and applications in irrigation management. Submissions related to these topics and any other sap flow- and transpiration-related subjects are welcomed, including contributions about individual plants, natural ecosystems, and man-made systems, such as orchards, landscaping, crops, and forest plantations.  |  More information

Rooting 2017 – 8th International Symposium on Root Development |  Umeå, Sweden  |  29 May – 1 June 2017

The 8th International Symposium on Root Development aims to bring together scientists in plant developmental biology, agriculture, horticulture, forestry, ecophysiology and biotechnology, with a common interest in root development. It focuses on the development of adventitious, lateral and primary roots as the outcome of genetic control and the plant’s interaction with the environment. The symposium aims to exchange recent knowledge and ideas on fundamental and applied aspects of root induction and further development. Topics:  Cell cycle regulation and cell identity determination in root development • Genetic control, hormonal regulation and signaling in root development • Role of nutrients, carbohydrates and metabolic control in root development • Root/shoot signaling • Effects of ontogenesis, age and circadian regulation on root development • The effects of environmental control and abiotic stress during root development • Interaction between roots and the soil microbiome • New tools and systems-biology approaches for analyses of root development • Applied research to improve root development.  |  More information

IPG 2017 – Root Biology  |  Missouri, USA  |  7-9 June 2017

The Interdisciplinary Plant Group (IPG) at the University of Missouri will hold its 34th Annual Symposium on “Root Biology”, the fourth in this series, in June this year. This symposium will bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers from across the globe to address recent advances in studies of root growth, development, and function as well as root-rhizosphere interactions.  |  More information

ISAP 2017  |  Nantes, France  |  18-23 June 2017

The 6th Congress of The International Society for Applied Phycology will look at phycological biodiversity and the diversity of its biotechnological applications through the prism of a new and promising industrial sector in full development.  |  More information

ICAR 2017  |  Missouri, USA  |  19-23 June 2017

28th International Conference on Arabidopsis Research (ICAR) – an estimated 750 scientists from more than 35 countries are expected to participate in ICAR 2017, organised by the North American Arabidopsis Steering Committee (NAASC). It is the largest annual international scientific conference devoted to Arabidopsis thaliana and its translation to applied plant sciences. The majority of breakthroughs in plant science in the past several decades have relied on development of this reference plant and thousands of researchers around the world use Arabidopsis in their work. The knowledge derived from their research informs nearly all aspects of plant biology. ICAR 2017 will provide a unique platform for presenting cutting-edge research from innovative studies performed throughout the world.  |  More information

International Symposium on Flowering, Fruit Set & Alternate Bearing  |  Palermo, Italy  |  19-23 June 2017

Under the auspices of the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS), the symposium aims to share interdisciplinary knowledge about the combined effects of biotic and abiotic stress on flowering, fruit set and alternate bearing in temperate, tropical and subtropical tree crop species with particular references to breeding, genomics, physiological and horticultural technologies plant science areas. In the context of global climate change, plants will be facing increasing abiotic and biotic constraints. Alternate bearing is a significant economic problem for a number of fruit and nut industries worldwide, often triggered by external factors such as unfavorable weather or poor crop management. A renewed modeling effort is needed in order to provide an integrated understanding of horticultural system function.  |  More information

ASPB Plant Biology 2017  |  Honolulu, Hawaii  |  24-28 June 2017

More than 1,500 scientists from nearly 40 countries will participate in the annual Plant Biology meeting. |  More information   |  iMOSS 2017 will be held during BioVeg 2017 (22-24 June). The International Molecular Moss Science Society (iMOSS) aims to foster research on and scientific exchange about non-seed plants, emphasising a broad interest in “mosses”, including liverworts and hornworts, other non-seed plants such as lycophytes and ferns, and also streptophyte algae because of the rising interest in comparing them to land plants.  |  more information.

ISHS International Symposium:  Smart Horticulture for Sustainable Cities  |  Perth, Australia  |  25-29 June 2017

To reduce the ecological footprint, conserve scarce resources, promote a more food secure world and to enhance and promote the value of public open space and recreational horticulture, this conference will invite papers that discuss any of the following issues: conservation and habitat preservation • community gardens • composting and recycling • direct marketing/farmers markets • good agriculture practice • hydroponics • irrigation and nutrient management • integrated pest control • managing and rehabilitating remnant bushland • organics • peri-urban horticulture • roof top and vertical gardens • sustaining and rehabilitating degraded soils • urban planning and policy • water conservation, mulching and recycling.  |  More information

FV 2017  |  Barcelona, Spain  |  26-29 June 2017

The XXII Meeting of the Spanish Society of Plant Physiology and the XV Hispano-Portuguese Congress of Plant Physiology is one of the major scientific meetings devoted to basic and applied plant research held in the Iberian Peninsula. The Congress will be divided into different sessions that will cover the main areas of Plant Physiology (growth and development, biochemistry and metabolism, nutrition and transportation, plant responses to stress, etc.) at different levels of integration (molecular, cellular, organ, whole plant and environment), and will be attended by renowned speakers on the various topics.  |  More information

6th Global Botanical Gardens Congress  |  Geneva, Switzerland  |  26-30 June 2017

The scientific programme will focus on the role of botanic gardens in solving the major environmental challenges for society – food security, water scarcity, energy, health, loss of biodiversity and climate change. Major topics will include plant conservation, education and outreach, botanic garden management challenges and communicating the big issues via landscaping, with workshops and discussion sessions organised during the course of the meeting to address specific issues. We invite the botanic garden community, its associated horticultural experts, scientists, educators, communicators,  directors and managers to collectively and collaboratively explore and develop different visions of botanic gardens and their core activities for the future.  |  More information

Society for Experimental Biology Annual Meeting:  Scientific Smörgåsbord  |  Gothenberg, Sweden  |  3-6 July 2017

Renowned for creating chemistry through ideas, people and scientific theories, the Society for Experimental Biology’s (SEB) Annual Meeting will challenge your mind and increase your connections. Network with around 800 colleagues from across the globe and choose from a whole host of stimulating sessions. Listen and debate with world-class experimental biologists and take part in the exciting social events that will be on offer.  | More information

SCAR Biology Symposium  |  Leuven, Belgium  |  10-14 July 2017

The main theme for the XIIth SCAR Biology Symposium is “Scale Matters”.  From the small molecular scale, through population and large ecosystem scale, biological processes and diversity span all these levels.  Understanding these processes, as well as past and present patterns of biodiversity, are essential for understanding possible threats to Antarctic biology and their impact.  This Symposium will focus on understanding biological distribution and trends as well as adaptation and processes, both in the marine and terrestrial realm including the human biology.  Special attention will be paid to multidisciplinary research and how combining insight from different fields can help our understanding of biology in this unique region.  An important aspect of this symposium will focus on the societal impact of Antarctic biological sciences and how this can be communicated, not only to the general public, but also to policy makers.  More information

IBC 2017  |  Shenzhen, China  |  23-29 July 2017

XIX International Botanical Conference (IBC) – IBC is a major convention that brings together scientists from around the world to discuss new research in the plant sciences. The IBC is held once every six years. The congresses are particularly notable in that they not only bring together scientists from many countries, but also from many disciplines within the broader research fields related to the plant sciences, including botany, mycology, ecology, horticulture, agriculture, and other related fields. The increasing knowledge about plants—their history, growth, uses, interactions with other organisms, and roles in the ecosystem—is becoming progressively important for the stability and sustainability of the human endeavor and, indeed, of all life on Earth. Registrations are now open. Abstract submission (oral presentations) closes January 15!!  |  More information

IX International Congress on Hazelnut  |  Samsun, Turkey  |  15-19 August 2017

Detailed congress programme will be announced on the website soon. Topics:  Germplasm and Genetic Improvement • Biology and Phsiology • Orchard Management • Pests and Diseases • Post Harvest • Marketing, Economics and Policies • All other topics about Hazelnut.  |  More information

UK CEUG 2017  | Edinburgh, UK  |  tba September 2017

The UK Controlled Environment Users’Group (CEUG) comprises managers of controlled environment facilities, other interested users of controlled environments from university departments, research institutes, companies concerned with research on plants and representatives of manufacturers of controlled environment cabinets, rooms and glasshouses, most of whom are in Europe. Further details to be advised on their website.  More information

4th International Symposium on Genomics of Plant Genetic Resources  |  Giessen, Germany  |  3-7 September 2017

Discuss the future of our most important agricultural asset, our plant genetic resources, with world leaders in crop genetics and genomics. Plant genetic resources represent the fundamental basis for crop improvement. The continuing revolution of genomics technologies provides unprecedented opportunities for detailed genetic characterisation of the vast reservoir of diversity represented by international collections of crop genetic resources. Genomics platforms accelerate knowledge-based management and implementation of plant diversity as a key resource for future agriculture. Your active participation will strengthen our network of international scientists devoted to preservation and utilisation plant genetic resources. More information

14th International Asparagus Symposium  |  Potsdam, Germany  |  4-7 September 2017

The Asparagus Working Group of the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS) and the Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops (IGZ) cordially invite everyone engaged in research, teaching, cultivation, or public services related to asparagus growth and product quality. Expected topics include: General Topics • Genetics and Breeding • Pathology and Replant Problems • Physiology and Biochemistry • Agronomy and Field Research • Post Harvest Processing. More information

First International Conference & 10th National Horticultural Science Congress of Iran  |  Tehran, Iran  |  4-7 September 2017

The theme for IrHC2017 is ‘Productivity of Horticultural Crops in Iran:  Potentials, Production Limitations, Possible Solutions and International Collaborations’. The conference will cover all aspects of Horticultural Science mainly on Pomology and Fruit Culture, Floriculture, Vegetable Crops and Medicinal Plants.  |   More information

IX International Symposium on Kiwifruit  |  Porto, Portugal  |  6-9 September 2017

Kiwifruit is an important grown crop all over the world. The kiwifruit of international trade are selections of Actinidia deliciosa, A. chinensis and more recently A. arguta. The great increase of new cultivars represents a challenge for scientists and producers, in the way to search for the best which fit the different types of producers and markets over the world. The symposium will evolve all the aspects of the kiwifruit industry, from breeding to consumption and will be held at the same time as the International Kiwifruit Organisation (IKO – 2017) 36th Annual Conference, which will take place in the same location on 10-12 September 2017. This represents an excellent opportunity for scientists, producers and traders from all over the world to exchange knowledge and discuss the main issues about kiwifruit industry.  |   More information

International Botanikertagung |  Kiel, Germany  |  17-21 September 2017

The German Society for Plant Sciences (Deutsche Botanische Gesellschaft, DBG) organises an international congress focusing on all plant science disciplines every other year. Further information to come.  |   More information

18th Australian Agronomy Conference 2017  |  Victoria, Australia  |  24-28 September 2017

The theme for the 2017 conference is “Doing more with less”. A central plank of Australia’s productive output is agriculture, worth over AUD $13.6 billion exported annually. Agronomy is key to ensuring that farmland is productive across Australia’s diverse landscapes. Innovation in machinery and precision technologies, plant species and varieties, soil and plant management may allow the agronomist of today to successfully help agricultural producers thrive. These innovations are timely as the world deals with increasingly variable climates, environmental degradation, and a more developed global community that requires more diverse products from agriculture.  |   More information

ComBio 2017 |  Adelaide, Australia  |  2-5 October 2018

Further information to come.  |  More information

PhenoDays 2017 |  Missouri, USA  |  25-26 October 2017

Further updates to be announced on the website. More information

VII International Symposium on Almonds and Pistachios  |  Adelaide, Australia  |  5-9 November 2017

This symposium, under the aegis of the International Society for Horticultural Science, aims to strengthen international cooperation and collaboration in these two important crops for human health and food. Contributions are expected to cover a wide range of reasearch fields including: Biotechnology • Plant protection • Orchard management • Harvesting and processing • Marketing • Pollination and fruit set • Physiology and nutrition • Health benefits • Propagation and root stocks • Breeding and cultivars. More information

Sustainable Intensification Conference  |  Harpenden, UK  |  28-30 November 2017

The global food supply system faces an unprecedented challenge to feed a growing population and food security is firmly on the political agenda. The challenge for the agricultural sector is therefore one of sustainable intensification. This means increasing food production while simultaneously reducing environmental impacts. The UK Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has sought to address this challenge by investing £4 million of research through the Sustainable Intensification Research Platform (SIP) which is due to be concluded in November 2017. This conference, held at Rothamsted Research, will explore the outcomes of SIP and other relevant research. International contributions will be very welcome. Topics will include: • Management practices for sustainable intensification at farm and landscape scale • Landscape typology: identifying opportunities and risks for agricultural land use • Indicators and metrics for sustainable intensification • Assessing and benchmarking the economic and environmental performance of farms • Decision support for Integrated Farm Management • Knowledge exchange and communication • Collaboration and cooperation • Supply chains and consumer demand • What’s next for Sustainable Intensification? More information


Looking further ahead to 2018…

12th African Crop Science Society Conference  |  Cape Town, South Africa  |  15-18 January 2018

The Council of the African Crop Science Society (ACSS) invites all researchers, students, farmers and partners in agricultural development in Africa and in other continents to join them in Cape Town in 2018. As in previous ACSS Conferences, the 12th Conference will provide an enriching and engaging environment to foster and promote crop science research towards new and improved livelihood opportunities and sustainable food and nutrition security for farmers in Africa.  |  More information to come.

ICAR 2018  |  Turku, Finland  |  25-29 June 2018

The annual International Conference on Arabidopsis Research (ICAR) is centered on all aspects of modern plant biology using thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana) as a model system. The conference regularly brings together over 800 scientists from all corners of the world for five days to discuss all aspects of molecular plant science from research on plant growth and development to improving plant tolerance to adverse environmental conditions.  |  More information

ASPB Plant Biology 2018  |  Montreal, Canada  |  14-18 July 2018

The American Society of Plant Biologists’s (ASPB) annual plant biology meeting has been held for over eight decades and has been dedicated to the fostering of plant scientists in their research and careers. Today the meeting attracts more than 1,300 scientists from 40 countries.  |  More information

ICPP 2018:  Plant Health in a Global Economy  |  Boston, USA  |  14-18 July 2018

The International Congress of Plant Pathology (ICPP) attracts leading experts from around the world to present the latest advances and innovations, celebrate progress, and set a vision for assuring plant health in a global economy. The vision of the Congress – an engaged world community of plant health scientists advancing knowledge for a safe, affordable, secure supply of food, feed, and fiber for a growing population – reflects the broad and unique position plant pathology holds within the international community of scientists. Topics will include: Trade regulations • Sustainable production • The global spread of pathogens • Innovations in pathogen detection • Environmental protection for a growing population • Agricultural systems for the future • The impact of plant industries on the world economy.  |   More information

IPPS 2018  |  Adelaide, Australia  |  3-4 days, Sept/Oct 2018

5th International Plant Phenomics Symposium. More detail will be announced later in 2017.  |   Host

ComBio 2018 |  Sydney, Australia  | 23-26 September 2018

Further information to come.  |   More information

More salad please!

With indoor-vertical farming on the rise, lettuce production can be customised more than ever, by choosing the right varieties, temperature, lighting and nutrient supply to produce the leaves consumers want. Achieving this goal requires optimisation of numerous components and a recent collaborative study between the USA and Australia, published in Frontiers in Plant Science, has proven optical sensors can be used to evaluate lettuce growth, color and health non-destructively.

The research team, Ivan Simko and Ryan Hayes from the US Department of Agriculture and Robert Furbank from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis and formerly Australian Plant Phenomics Facility – High Resolution Plant Phenomics Centre, designed the study to test the feasibility of using optical sensors for physiological evaluation of lettuce plants in early stages of their development. The method developed can help in breeding programs and optimising farming practices to meet the requirements of an increasingly demanding market.

Read the full study, Non-destructive phenotyping of lettuce plants in early stages of development with optical sensors, published in Frontiers in Plant Science, here.

Or read the abstract here:


Rapid development of plants is important for the production of ‘baby-leaf’ lettuce that is harvested when plants reach the four- to eight-leaf stage of growth. However, environmental factors, such as high or low temperature, or elevated concentrations of salt, inhibit lettuce growth. Therefore, non-destructive evaluations of plants can provide valuable information to breeders and growers. The objective of the present study was to test the feasibility of using non-destructive phenotyping with optical sensors for the evaluations of lettuce plants in early stages of development. We performed the series of experiments to determine if hyperspectral imaging and chlorophyll fluorescence imaging can determine phenotypic changes manifested on lettuce plants subjected to the extreme temperature and salinity stress treatments. Our results indicate that top view optical sensors alone can accurately determine plant size to approximately 7 g fresh weight.


Comparison of the size and the colour of plants cultivated at optimal (OPT), low (COLD) and high (HOT) temperatures (experiment 3). Plants were initially grown at OPT for 10 days and the either continuously kept in OPT or transferred to COLD or HOT for 8 days. Sides of the square pots are 68mm long.

Hyperspectral imaging analysis was able to detect changes in the total chlorophyll (RCC) and anthocyanin (RAC) content, while chlorophyll fluorescence imaging revealed photoinhibition and reduction of plant growth caused by the extreme growing temperatures (3 and 39°C) and salinity (100 mM NaCl). Though no significant correlation was found between Fv/Fm and decrease in plant growth due to stress when comparisons were made across multiple accessions, our results indicate that lettuce plants have a high adaptability to both low (3°C) and high (39°C) temperatures, with no permanent damage to photosynthetic apparatus and fast recovery of plants after moving them to the optimal (21°C) temperature. We have also detected a strong relationship between visual rating of the green- and red-leaf color intensity and RCC and RAC, respectively. Differences in RAC among accessions suggest that the selection for intense red color may be easier to perform at somewhat lower than the optimal temperature.


Genomic position of the quantitative trail locus (QTL) for light green colour (qLG4) on linkage group 4. Visual rating of the green colour intensity was performed on adult plants in field, while the relative chlorophyll content (RCC) was determined from hyperspectral reflectance measured on cotyledons of seedlings cultivated in plastic boxes (experiment 7). The orange line parallel with the linkage map shows the significance threshold (a = 0.05). The allele for light green colour and low RCC originates from cv. La Brilliante. Detailed description of the linkage map for this population and its construction was published previously (Hayes et al., 2014; Simko et al., 2015b). Distance in cM is shown on the right site of the linkage map. LOD, logarithm of odds.

This study serves as a proof of concept that optical sensors can be successfully used as tools for breeders when evaluating young lettuce plants. Moreover, we were able to identify the locus for light green leaf color (qLG4), and position this locus on the molecular linkage map of lettuce, which shows that these techniques have sufficient resolution to be used in a genetic context in lettuce.


Simko I, Hayes RJ and Furbank RT (2016) Non-destructive Phenotyping of Lettuce Plants in Early Stages of Development with Optical Sensors. Front. Plant Sci. 7:1985. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2016.01985



Accurate field canopy temperature measured in seconds

A method for cost-effective, reliable and scalable airborne thermography has been developed, resolving a number of challenges surrounding accurate high-throughput phenotyping of canopy temperature (CT) in the field, such as weather changes and their influence on more time consuming measurement methods. Utilising a manned helicopter carrying a radiometrically-calibrated thermal camera, thermal image data is captured in seconds and processed within minutes using custom-developed software; an invaluable advantage for large forward genetic studies or plant breeding programs.

The method and research results, by a collaboration between CSIRO Agriculture and Food, the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility – High Resolution Plant Phenomics Centre, CSIRO Information Management and Technology, and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis were published recently in Frontiers in Plant Science.

Read the full study“Methodology for high-throughput field phenotyping of canopy temperature using airborne thermography”, here or the abstract below.


Airborne thermography image acquisition and processing pipeline. Total time to acquire and process images for an experiment comprising 1,000 plots of size 2 x 6 m is ca. 25 min. (A) Image acquisition with helicopter. The images are recorded on a laptop and the passenger, left, provides real time assessment of the images and feedback to the pilot. This step takes < 10 s for an experiment comprising 1,000 plots of size 2 x 6 m. (B) Screenshot of custom-developed software called ChopIt. ChopIt is used for plot segmentation and extraction of CT from each individual plot for statistical analysis. This step takes ca. 20 min for an experiment comprising 1,000 plots of size 2 x 6 m.


Airborne thermography image acquisition system comprising a helicopter cargo pod with thermal camera and acquisition kit mounted on the skid of a Robinson R44 Ravel helicopter. Photo insert shows the inside of the helicopter cargo pod with arrow denoting FLR® SC645 thermal camera: ±2°C or ±2% of reading; < 0.05°C pixel sensitivity; 640×480 pixels; 0.7 kg without lens.


Lower canopy temperature (CT), resulting from increased stomatal conductance, has been associated with increased yield in wheat. Historically, CT has been measured with hand-held infrared thermometers. Using the hand-held CT method on large field trials is problematic, mostly because measurements are confounded by temporal weather changes during the time required to measure all plots. The hand-held CT method is laborious and yet the resulting heritability low, thereby reducing confidence in selection in large scale breeding endeavors. We have developed a reliable and scalable crop phenotyping method for assessing CT in large field experiments. The method involves airborne thermography from a manned helicopter using a radiometrically-calibrated thermal camera. Thermal image data is acquired from large experiments in the order of seconds, thereby enabling simultaneous measurement of CT on potentially 1000s of plots. Effects of temporal weather variation when phenotyping large experiments using hand-held infrared thermometers are therefore reduced. The method is designed for cost-effective and large-scale use by the non-technical user and includes custom-developed software for data processing to obtain CT data on a single-plot basis for analysis. Broad-sense heritability was routinely >0.50, and as high as 0.79, for airborne thermography CT measured near anthesis on a wheat experiment comprising 768 plots of size 2 × 6 m. Image analysis based on the frequency distribution of temperature pixels to remove the possible influence of background soil did not improve broad-sense heritability. Total image acquisition and processing time was ca. 25 min and required only one person (excluding the helicopter pilot). The results indicate the potential to phenotype CT on large populations in genetics studies or for selection within a plant breeding program.

Citation:  Deery DM, Rebetzke GJ, Jimenez-Berni JA, James RA, Condon AG, Bovill WD, Hutchinson P, Scarrow J, Davy R and Furbank RT (2016) Methodology for High-Throughput Field Phenotyping of Canopy Temperature Using Airborne Thermography. Front. Plant Sci. 7:1808. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2016.01808



Adelaide to host 5th International Plant Phenotyping Symposium

The Australian Plant Phenomics Facility is thrilled to announce the city of Adelaide, South Australia will host the 5th International Plant Phenotyping Symposium in 2018!


2018 Host City, Adelaide, South Australia   (Image source: South Australian Tourism Commission)

The International Plant Phenotyping Network (IPPN) voted during its general assembly, held alongside the 4th International Plant Phenotyping Symposium in Mexico recently.

We look forward to welcoming the international plant phenotyping community to Adelaide in 2018!



Hello, ni hau, hola, guten tag, marhaba, bonjour… knowledge sharing the key to plant science success

The Australian Plant Phenomics Facility (APPF) is a national facility, available to all plant scientists, offering access to infrastructure that is not available at this scale or breadth in the public sectors anywhere else in the world.

Our three nodes in Adelaide and Canberra frequently welcome international research, industry and government guests to tour facilities and share knowledge in plant phenomics. Encouraging and supporting a global community focused on providing better nutrition and food security is key to the APPF vision we uphold.

Recently the CSIRO based HRPPC node of the APPF hosted a VIP visit by the Secretary of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Glenys Beauchamp, CSIRO CEO, Larry Marshall, and the Canadian High Commissioner, His Excellency Paul Maddison.


Larry Marshall (CEO, CSIRO), Glenys Beauchamp (Secretary, Department of Industry, Innovation and Science) and His Excellency Paul Maddison (Canadian High Commissioner) in front of a Phenomobile Lite at the APPF HRPPC           (Image courtesy of the CSIRO)

Hosted by Drs Xavier Sirault and Jose Jimenez-Berni, the visitors observed aspects of the work done by the APPF’s HRPPC in the controlled environment and had the opportunity to see first-hand one of the centre’s purpose built and designed Phenomobile Lite buggies which are used in the field for capturing plant traits.

The group discussed an overview of the range of research and development activities and issues facing Australia in science and technology and the Canadian High Commissioner shared his interested in areas of existing and potential collaboration between Australia and Canada.

We welcome and encourage engagement with the international plant science community. If you would like to visit one of our sites, discuss your plant phenomics research or book one of our facilities, please contact us – we love plant science!



What the experts are saying about plant phenotyping and food security

‘It takes a village to raise a child’ states the age-old saying, but now it will take a village to feed the child as well – if we’re smart.

“Agriculture’s critical challenges of providing food security and better nutrition in the face of climate change can only be met through global communities that share knowledge and outputs; looking inward will not lead to results,” said Ulrich Schurr, Director of the Institute of Bio- and Geosciences of the Forschungszentrum Jülich and Chair of the International Plant Phenotyping Network (IPPN), speaking at the 4th International Plant Phenotyping Symposium in Mexico recently.


Dr Jose Jimenez-Berni (keynote speaker), Dr Xavier Sirault (Co-Chair IPPN), Dr Trevor Garnett and Dr Bettina Berger from the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility at the symposium

200 world-class scientists from over 20 countries gathered from 13 to 15 December 2016 to share knowledge and technology at the symposium, co-hosted by IPPN and the Mexico-based International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, known by its Spanish acronym, CIMMYT.

The symposium was attended by Dr Bettina Berger, Dr Trevor Garnett, Dr Xavier Sirault and Dr Jose Jimenez-Berni from the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility (APPF). Dr Sirault is also Co-Chair of the IPPN and Dr Jimenez-Berni gave a keynote lecture on field phenotyping techniques developed at the High Resolution Plant Phenomics Facility (HRPPC) node of the APPF and how they can be applied to screen for plant development including biomass and canopy architecture in the field.


Dr Jimenez-Berni (APPF) delivering his keynote lecture at the symposium

The symposium focused on three themes:

  • Advances in Plant Phenotyping Technologies to explore the frontiers of what can be sensed remotely and other technological breakthroughs.
  • Phenotyping for Crop Improvement to consider the application of phenotyping technologies for crop improvement (breeding, crop husbandry, and estimating the productivity of agro-ecosystems).
  • Adding Value to Phenotypic Data to review how phenomics and genomics can combine to improve crop simulation models and breeding methodologies (e.g., genomic selection).

Read the full article ‘Harnessing medical technology and global partnerships to drive gains in food crop productivity’ written by Mike Listman on CIMMYT’s website.

Read more excellent plant science articles by Mike Listman here.



Getting to the root of the problem wins


Congratulations to Olivia Cousins, one of the Adelaide-Nottingham PhD students, who won the student poster prize at a joint conference between Soil Science Australia and New Zealand Soil Science Society, held in Queenstown, NZ recently.

Olivia’s poster, which included co-authors from The University of Adelaide, The University of Nottingham and The Plant Accelerator® at the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility, was one of approximately 100 posters presented at the conference. The award also includes a cash prize for Olivia.

We announced Olivia’s study here in our blog in May. The aim of her study was to quantify the impact of different soil moisture regimes and increasing levels of soil nitrogen supply on shoot and root response in wheat plants. Olivia’s experiment utilised the DroughtSpotter, a precision irrigation platform allowing accurate and reproducible water application for drought stress or related experiments. She also used the facility’s PlantEye laser scanner to non-destructively measure plant growth.

Olivia plans an exciting move to Nottingham in 2018 to continue her research including root traits and responses across different wheat species.

To view Olivia’s poster… soilecology.org/conference-posters.

The Australian Plant Phenomics Facility is available to all researchers and/or industry. For bookings please contact Dr Trevor Garnett.