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Monday 30th August, 2010



Achieving sustainability I: Crop genomes for sustainable agriculture

Chair: Mike Bevan, Norwich, UK.

Genomics for food security: sequence and analysis of grass genomes

Mike opened the session by describing a major milestone – the creation of a physical map of wheat.

  • Pere Puigdomenèch, Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics, CSIC, Barcelona, ES.

Comparative genomics in Cucurbitaceae

Pere presented information on the new centre in Barcelona – the Centre for Research in Agriculture Genomics. He went on to discuss the current work on melon.



  • Jean-Christophe Glaszmann, CIRAD Montpellier, FR.

Genomics-based exploitation of germplasm diversity in major tropical crops

During the 1960s, studies began with developing tall rice to semi short species, starting rice breeding programmes to increase annual yield, and investigating phenotypic changes and plant architecture.  He mentioned the initiative IRGC (International GeneBank Collection) which allows access for everyone to share their research findings.

  • Alan Schulman, MTT, University of Helsinki, FI.

Exploitation of Brachyopodium and rice genome synteny to clone a yellow rust resistance gene from wheat

Stripe rust disease is the world’s worst fungal disease. However, a wild wheat which is resistant to stripe rust - due to the YR15 gene discovered in 1989 - offers complete resistance. This gene was moved into T. durum and a fine gene map has been developed with Brachypodium based markers.  


Achieving sustainability II: Breeding tools and strategies

Chair: Arjen van Tunen, Wageningen, NL.

Crop specific genomic tools for variety improvement

Arjen described the work of Keygene - exploring and exploiting existing and induced natural genetic variation in crops.




  •  Maarten Koornneef, Max Planck Institute Plant Breeding Research, Cologne, DE.

Genetics and molecular biology of seed dormancy

The length of seed dormany affects plant establishment when in unfavourable environmental conditions. We need to identify the genes and answer more specific questions -do local adaptions for seed dormancy exist? What factors control this? Is variation in dormancy adoptive?  


  • Andreas Graner, IPK Gatersleben, DE.

Towards genomics-driven breeding of barley (Hordeum vulgare): challenges and opportunities

Over the last 100 years, breeding success in Barley has led to increased diversity in the gene pool. Of the 7 million seeds held in genebanks worldwide - over 0.5 million are Barley seeds.


  • Richard Thompson, INRA UMR, Dijon, FR.

Sustainable agriculture in Europe with legume crops

The demand for vegetable protein is increasing worldwide - the need for identifying expressional candidate genes related to seed filling becomes crucial to better breeding for future plant protein demands, but which loci control seed protein? 



Strengthening the functioning of ecosystems I: Improvements in plant health

 Chair: Thomas Boller, Basel, CH  

 The role of pattern recognition receptors in plant disease resistance

Thomas detailed the zig zag scheme of co-evolution. Can this knowledge lead us to make crops plants even more resistant to dangers?  



  • Ulrich Schurr, Forschungszentrum Jülich, DE. Presentation

Plant phenotyping: Overcoming bottlenecks, novel perspectives and integration (Conclusions from the EPSO Workshop, Jülich, November 2009)

'Quantify plant structure and function by breeding and functional genomics and the results are identified heritable traits'. Uli presented the intentions and outcome of the Phenotyping Workshop in Julich last year. 

  • Dierk Scheel, Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry, Halle, DE

Plant-microbe interaction in the rhizosphere - a metabolomic approach

The rhizosphere is the area around the root system where water and nutrients are taken into the plant. Root exudates from this area are strongly modified by environmental factors.

  •  Bruno Touraine, University of Montpellier 2, FR.

Arabidopsis- rhizobacteria as a model system to study plant plasticity

Plant growth promoting bacteria can exist as epiphytes and endophytes on/in the roots. They can be useful in reducing plant diseases, increasing nutrient availability and uptake - which stimulate plant growth.



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