Plant Nutrition

Travel grant opportunity to attend the 34th Annual Root Biology Symposium

IPPN Root Phenotyping Working Group
Travel Grant for Researchers Using Phenotyping
IPG 2017, 34th Annual Root Biology Symposium
Columbia, Missouri, USA
7-9 June 2017

The IPPN Root Phenotyping Working Group (RPWG) encourages mobility among researchers and enhances international contacts between research groups. With this sponsorship grant RPWG  supports participation of Early Career Researchers at the IPG 2017, 34th Annual Root Biology Symposium.

  • Up to four grants of 500 EUR per researcher can be awarded.
  • 1 May 2017


  • You are affiliated with a university or a research institution and you are an early career scientist, PhD student, or postdoc who finished his PhD no later than ten years ago.
  • Please fill in the travel grant application and submit it to Saoirse Tracy.
  • The applications will be evaluated by the RPWG Board.

Getting to the root of plant zinc health

Sunlight and water are two obvious requirements essential for healthy growth of plants, but did you know that zinc is also a vital ingredient? Zinc is a critical nutrient in hundreds of enzyme systems which are necessary for normal plant function. Zinc is also critical for human health – in fact, zinc is involved in more body functions than any other mineral.

Plants get zinc from the soil via their root systems. This uptake of nutrients is enhanced in many plants by mycorrhizal fungi which colonise the roots, creating a vast connection between the plant roots and the soil around them. Mycorrhizal fungi effectively increase the surface area of the roots, collecting nutrients from the soil beyond the reach of plant roots alone, and transfer these nutrients back to the plant.

Scientist, Dr Stephanie Watts-Williams, wants to find out how such mycorrhizal fungi can improve the zinc nutrition of plants, and subsequently impact on human health – particularly in countries where zinc malnutrition is a serious issue.

Read on here about Stephanie and her research at The Plant Accelerator®, Australian Plant Phenomics Facility, and other Waite Research Precinct partners.

Discover more about Stephanie’s research here or find her on Twitter:  @myco_research


Dr Stephanie Watts-Williams at The Plant Accelerator®, Australian Plant Phenomics Facility

It’s a date! 5th International Plant Phenotyping Symposium, 2-5 October 2018

The Australian Plant Phenomics Facility is thrilled to announce the dates for the 5th International Plant Phenotyping Symposium (IPPS) will be 2-5 October 2018!

We look forward to welcoming the international plant phenotyping community to the host city, Adelaide, South Australia, where you will get the full Australian experience all in one state. From cage diving to fine dining, there’s a wine barrel full of reasons why South Australia was named as one of Lonely Planet’s best regions to visit in 2017! Find out more about this vibrant city before you arrive here.

We will post more details about the symposium as they come to hand – make sure you have elected to follow our blog! – and on the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility‘s website.


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


Major investment in plant root phenotyping to answer key questions


3-D image of root architecture – Lynch Laboratory, The Pennsylvania State University, USA

It all starts in the roots

Australian agriculture operates in a largely harsh, resource limited (nutrients, water) environment so the role of plant roots is even more vital to crop performance.

While advances in technology have resulted in a tenfold increase in crop productivity over the past century, soil quality has declined. Advanced root systems that increase soil organic matter can improve soil structure, fertiliser efficiency, water productivity, crop yield and climate resilience, while mitigating topsoil erosion — all of which provide near-term and sustained economic value.

It is acknowledged within the international plant science and phenotyping community that root phenotyping is a critical component for crop improvement, but no ideal hardware solution has been developed yet. There is always a compromise between destructive and non-destructive measurement, throughput and resolution, and ultimately, cost.

Recognition of these challenges and increased research investment to find the answers is now coming to the fore in international plant science.

USD $7 million for plant root research granted

Researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences have just received a USD $7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or ARPA-E, to design a low-cost, integrated system that can identify and screen for high-yielding, deeper-rooted crops.

The interdisciplinary team, led by Jonathan Lynch, distinguished Professor of Plant Nutrition, will combine a suite of technologies designed to identify phenotypes and genes related to desirable root traits, with the goal of enhancing the breeding of crop varieties better adapted for nitrogen and water acquisition and carbon sequestration.

“With ARPA-E’s support, we plan to create DEEPER, a revolutionary phenotyping platform for deeper-rooted crops, which will integrate breakthroughs in non-destructive field phenotyping of rooting depth, root modeling, robotics, high-throughput 3D imaging of root architecture and anatomy, gene discovery, and genomic selection modeling,” Lynch said.

“ARPA-E invests in programs that draw on a broad set of disciplines and require the bold thinking we need to build a better energy future,” said ARPA-E Director, Ellen D. Williams.

The project is part of ARPA-E’s Rhizosphere Observations Optimizing Terrestrial Sequestration, or ROOTS, program, which is aimed at developing crops that enable a 50 percent increase in carbon deposition depth and accumulation, while also reducing nitrous oxide emissions (a contributor to greenhouse gas) by 50 percent and increasing water productivity by 25 percent.

Read the full article, by Charles Gill from The Pennsylvania State University, here.

UDC Plant Science Centre

Through a € 1.3m investment from Science Foundation Ireland, the Integrated Plant Phenomics and Future Experimental Climate Platform has been established at University College Dublin (UCD) in Ireland. The combination of infrastructure and facilities available to researchers will represent the first of its kind globally.

The platform will be housed in the same building at UCD allowing seamless transition from experiment to scanner. It will consist of a large capacity 3D X-ray CT scanner which uses X-rays taken from multiple angles to non-destructively build-up a 3D image of whole plants and their internal structures, both above and below ground with fast (minutes) scan times and six reach-in, high-spec plant climate chambers with full (de)humidification capabilities. Novel custom additions will include full-spectrum variable LEDs, enabling more accurate representation of sunlight conditions experienced by crops under field conditions. The chambers will integrate thermal imaging to continuously capture leaf temperature and inferred ecophysiological processes (gas exchange).

Breakthroughs in crop/plant/soil/food science will be possible, particularly below ground and at night, because the consequences of climate change or new crop breeds on below-ground /night-time processes have not been readily accessible before the advance of X-ray CT, thermal imaging and integration of these components into an infrastructure platform.

The Centre unites a large number of UCD plant scientists that investigate fundamental and applied aspects of plant science and work alongside industry in exploiting research breakthroughs.

Read more here.

Danforth Plant Science Center

A new industrial-scale X-ray Computed Tomography (X-ray CT) system at the Danforth Plant Science Center in Missouri, USA, is the first of its kind in the U.S. academic research sector dedicated to plant science and can provide accelerated insight into how root systems affect plant growth. The technology was established in late July 2016 under a collaborative multi-year Master Cooperation Agreement with Valent BioSciences Corporation (VBC) and is also supported with funds from a recent National Science Foundation grant.

“X-ray imaging has been a mainstay in medical and industrial research and diagnostics for many decades, yet it is rarely used in plant science,” said Chris Topp, Ph.D., assistant member of the Danforth Center and principal investigator for the project. “The X-ray CT system will allow us to ‘see’ roots in soil and study plants as a connected system of roots and shoots growing in diverse environments.”

“This system is unlike any other in the United States,” said said Keith Duncan, research scientist in the Topp Lab and manager of the new system. “It gives us a great deal of control over the X-ray conditions and will allow us to gather structural data on any object we put into the machine. It provides us with an internal look at not only the root systems, but what’s going on inside the stem and other parts of the plant without taking invasive measures such as removing the plant from the ground or cutting into it.”

In addition to grain crops, this project will also advance research in root and tuber crops such as cassava, potato, groundnut and others that are important for food security in many regions around the globe, but are especially hard to study.

The project combines state-of-the-art technology with computational analysis, quantitative genetics and molecular biology to understand root growth and physiology to assist researchers in understanding roots as they grow in real time in real soil. Both Topp and Duncan agree, this collaboration is just the tip of the iceberg.

“I expect that in a short time, the X-ray imager will catalyze numerous research projects among Danforth Center, St. Louis, national and international researchers that were previously not possible,” said Chris Topp, Ph.D., assistant member of the Danforth Center and principal investigator for the project.

Read more here. Learn more about the partnership and X-ray system here.

Hounsfield Facility for Rhizosphere Research

The Hounsfield Facility for Rhizosphere Research is a unique platform established with €3.5 million in funding from the European Research Council, the Wolfson Foundation, BBSRC, and the University of Nottingham. It accommodates ERC funded postdoctoral researchers and PhD students, X-ray imaging research equipment and automated growth facilities in one state-of-the-art building and fully automated greenhouse complex.

A key impediment to genetic analysis of root architecture in crops has been the ability to image live roots in soil non-invasively. Recent advances in microscale X-ray Computed Tomography (μCT) now permit root phenotyping. However, major technical and scientific challenges remain before μCT can become a high throughput phenotyping approach.

This unique high throughput root phenotyping facility exploits recent advances in μCT imaging, biological image analysis, wheat genetics and mathematical modelling to pinpoint the key genes that control root architecture and develop molecular markers and new crop varieties with improved nutrient and water uptake efficiency.

The facility’s ambitious multi-disciplinary research program will be achieved through six integrated work packages. The first 3 work packages were designed create high-throughput μCT (WP1) and image analysis (WP2) tools that will be used to probe variation in root systems architecture within wheat germplasm collections (WP3). Work packages 4-6 will identify root architectures that improve water (WP4) and nitrate uptake efficiencies (WP5) and pinpoint the genes that regulate these traits. In parallel, innovative mathematical models simulating the impact of root architecture and soil properties will be developed as tools to assess the impact of architectural changes on uptake of other nutrients in order to optimise crop performance (WP6).


The Hounsfield Facility for Rhizosphere Research, University of Nottingham, UK


Unmissable plant science events in 2017

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

You will also find a full Calendar of Events on our website.

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

Micro and Metabolic Regulators in Plants  |  Thiruvananthapuram, India |  1-4 February 2017

The plant cell is a well coordinated molecular factory with a series of synchronized events. The cell seeks the assistance of various biomolecules to achieve this. The highly accelerated research has shown that the plants respond to their environment not only at the mRNA or protein level but also at the post-transcriptional level. This EMBO Conference tries to bring out the different aspects of two key regulators of plant systems: microRNAs and secondary metabolites.  |  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  |  13-17 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: SA Afternoon with the University of Adelaide |  Adelaide, Australia  |  13 February 2017

Hold the date. Topic: “An international look at the application of BIG data”. Visit the Agribusiness Australia website for more information.  |  Agribusiness Australia events

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

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

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

Agribusiness Australia: SA Breakfast with CEO Tim Burrows and Chair Mark Allison |  Adelaide, Australia  |  20 March 2017

Topic: “Complex Challenges/Sensible Solutions”. The growth potential of the agribusiness industry is creating community optimism to open new markets, producing jobs and developing new technologies. At this event Agribusiness Australia’s Chair, Mark Allison and CEO, Tim Burrow will clearly articulate where the industry is at, where it has come from and propose how well and long we can ride this wave of the golden era.  |  Agribusiness Australia events

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.  |  |  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.  |

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 ASPB Plant Biology 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  |  Gothenburg, 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

New Breeding Technologies in the Plant Sciences |  Gothenburg, Sweden  |  7-8 July 2017

Targeted genome engineering has been described as a “game-changing technology” for fields as diverse as human genetics and plant biotechnology. Novel techniques such as CRISPR-Cas9, Science’s 2015 Breakthrough of the Year, are revolutionising scientific research, allowing the targeted and precise editing of genomes in ways that were not previously possible. Used alongside other tools and strategies, gene-editing technologies have the potential to help combat food and nutritional insecurity and assist in the transition to more sustainable food production systems. The application and use of these technologies is therefore a hot topic for a wide range of stakeholders including scientists, funders, regulators, policy makers and the public. Despite its potential, there are a number of challenges in the adoption and uptake of genome editing, which we propose to highlight during this SEB satellite meeting. Overall this meeting will be of great interest to plant and crop scientists who are invested in the future of gene editing both on a practical and regulatory level.  | 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

ICAB 2017  |  Stockholm, Sweden  |  13-14 July 2017

The ICAB 2017: 19th International Conference on Agriculture and Biotechnology aims to bring together leading academic scientists, researchers and research scholars to exchange and share their experiences and research results on all aspects of Agriculture and Biotechnology. It also provides a premier interdisciplinary platform for researchers, practitioners and educators to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, and concerns as well as practical challenges encountered and solutions adopted in the fields of Agriculture and Biotechnology.  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

IPNC 2017  |  Copenhagen, Denmark  |  21-24 August 2017

The main theme of the 18th International Plant Nutrition Colloquium is: “Plant Nutrition for Global Green Growth”. This theme has been chosen to highlight that plant nutrients are fundamental for successful intensification of the global crop production. This intensification is required to meet the demands of the future bio-based society for nutritious food, feed and raw materials. The colloquium will provide an excellent forum for the exchange and transfer of knowledge, information and ideas as well as for creating new collaborations and fostering synergies in the fields of plant mineral nutrition, plant molecular biology, plant genetics, agronomy, horticulture, ecology, environmental sciences and fertilizer use and production. We invite you to present the recent results of your research related to the different aspects of plant mineral nutrition.  |  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

18th Australian Barley Technical Symposium | Hobart, Australia  |  3 – 6 September 2017

“The science and the craft:  Barley-beer-whisky”. The program will cover:  Agronomy • Quarantine • Genomics • Marketing • Malting • Brewing • Breeding • Disease • Challenges. For 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

Plants In Vitro for the Future |  Madrid, Spain  |  13-15 September 2017

Under the main topic of “Plants In Vitro for the Future”, the meeting, jointly organised by the Biological Research Center of the National Research Council (CIB-CSIC) and the Higher Technical School of Agronomic, Alimentary and Biosystems Engineering of the Polytechnic University of  Madrid (ETSIAAB-UPM), will address the current hot topics in the field of plant in vitro culture through plenary and invited lectures, and scientific sessions of oral communications and posters.  |   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

ICLGG 2017: 8th International Conference on Legume Genetics and Genomics | Siófok, Hungary  |  18-22 September 2017

The ICLGG aims to promote the international dissemination and discussion of the most recent research results and achievements of the legume sciences, to support the scientific community and help the breeders and stakeholders with applications and partnership.  |   More information

2nd Latin-American Conference on Plant Phenotyping for Plant Breeding | São Carlos, Brazil |  20-22 September 2017

While a revolution in phenomics is taking place in Europe, USA, and Oceania, plant phenotyping is still incipient in Latin America, despite being responsible for 16% of global exportations in food and agriculture. Latin America is a promising market for plant phenotyping not only because of its production potential, but also for its large biodiversity which could lead to new genetic materials. Brazil, in particular, maintains the third largest germplasm bank in the world. The Second Latin-American Conference on Plant Phenotyping and Phenomics (II LAPhPB) aims to bring scientists from all over the world to discuss the current trends in plant phenotyping and to strengthen the Latin-American Plant Phenomics Network built during the first conference, which took place at the University of Talca (Chile) in 2015. The conference will cover the topics: Field Plant Phenotyping – using the precision agriculture tools, elaboration of protocols to improve the yield and plant breeding • Novel Non-Invasive Technologies – instrumentation, automation, optical methods, sensors and biosensors, models, softwares, bioinformatics, images and digital signal processing to plant phenotyping, and high-thoughput plant phenotyping • Phenotyping for Crop Improvement – and to investigate biotic and abiotic stress.  |   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

XVI Brazilian Congress of Plant Physiology | São Pedro  |  24-28 September 2017

The congress will feature key note lectures and thematic sessions in which students will have the opportunity to stand side by side with well-known plant physiologists, sharing the same space and enjoying a refreshing and inspiring atmosphere of ideas.  |   More information

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

ComBio2017 incorporates the annual meetings of:  Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology •  Australian Society of Plant ScientistsAustralia and New Zealand Society for Cell and Developmental Biology. Provisional Conference Themes:  Plant Biology • Biotechnology and Sustainable Futures • Developmental, Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology • Proteins and Proteomics • Genomes, Epigenetics and Bioinformatics • Cell Biology • Cell Signalling and Metabolism • Education and Career Development.  |  More information

Managing Global Resources for a Secure Future |  Florida, USA  |  22-25 October 2017

This Annual Meeting will bring together more than 4,000 scientific leaders from industry, government agencies, and academic institutions in one unique environment. It’s the premiere opportunity for professionals working in the agronomic, crop, soil, and related sciences to hear about the latest research, meet and learn from their peers, expand their knowledge base, and take advantage of an abundance of networking opportunities to enhance their career. This year’s Annual Meeting will feature more than 3,000 technical presentations, along with a host of networking events and award ceremonies. The world-class exhibition displays the latest scientific equipment, supplies, services, and reference materials available.  |  More information

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

Phenodays is an international conference on science and technology related to phenotyping of plants and other organisms. The conference is an excellent forum to meet experts in plant science, agronomy, and breeding as well as software- and hardware- development. Phenodays provides an industrial exhibition for companies that are active in phenotyping applications. Phenodays 2017 will address: Tackling physiological questions with phenotyping sensors • Quantifying and predicting stress responses • Measuring at organ level • Phenotyping applications for indoor- and outdoor-grown plants. 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 theme of the conference is ‘Sustainable Agricultural Systems for Food Security in Africa’.  |  More information to come

2nd Asia-Pacific Plant Phenotyping Conference  |  Nanjing, China  |  23 – 25 March 2018

Keynote presenters include Dr Xavier Sirault and Dr Trevor Garnett from the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility. To promote the most advanced research progresses in plant phenotyping, the 2nd Asia-Pacific Plant Phenotyping Conference will be held in March in Nanjing, a beautiful capital city of six dynasties. We warmly welcome all scientists or representatives who are interested in plant phenotyping to participate! Conference topic:  Plant phenomics in post-genomics era.  |  More information

Plant Biology Europe – FESPB/EPSO 2018 | Copenhagen, Denmark  |  18 – 21 June 2018

The FESPB/EPSO Congress 2018 will be held at the Bella Center, an ultra-modern, state-of-the-art venue that stages meetings and conferences, congresses, exhibitions, and events of all sizes and is located less than 5 minutes from Copenhagen International Airport.  |  More information

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

IAPB 2018: International Association for Plant Biotechnology Congress  |  Dublin, Ireland  | 19-24 August 2018

Founded in 1963, the International Association for Plant Biotechnology is the largest international professional organisation representing the interests of the world-wide plant biotechnology community and has been hosting successful symposia around the world since the early 60’s. It has been almost 25 years since this symposium was last held in Europe and we are excited to be bringing this meeting to a world class venue in the city of Dublin for the 14th IAPB quadrennial symposium in 2018.  |   More information

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

Further information to come.  |   More information

IPPS 2018  |  Adelaide, Australia  |  2-5 October 2018

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

ICAB 2018: 20th International Conference on Agriculture and Biotechnology  |  Cape Town, South Africa  |  5-6 November 2018

The ICAB 2018: 20th International Conference on Agriculture and Biotechnology aims to bring together leading academic scientists, researchers and research scholars to exchange and share their experiences and research results on all aspects of Agriculture and Biotechnology. It also provides a premier interdisciplinary platform for researchers, practitioners and educators to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, and concerns as well as practical challenges encountered and solutions adopted in the fields of Agriculture and Biotechnology.  |   More information

And yet further to 2019…

ASPB Plant Biology 2019  |  California, USA |  13 – 17 July 2019

The 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. Every year the program features the latest research in plant science with five major symposia, thirty concurrent symposia bringing together young scientists to give talks as well as the top in their fields from around the globe.  |  More information

These events, and updates as they are received, can be viewed on the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility’s website.