05 May 2015
- Report from workshop Genomic selection 16 April
- Report from Oat Centre start-up meeting 22 April
- Seminar 7 May: The SITES infrastructure including the Lönnstorp field station
- Welcome to Fascination of Plants Day, 23 May
- Available postdoc position at the Department of Plant Breeding, SLU Alnarp
- Research group at SLU in Alnarp successfully used site-directed mutagenesis in potato
- PlantLink Researcher in the Spotlight!
- Plant-related news in the region
- PlantLink activities 2015
**Report from workshop Genomic selection 16 April**
Genomic selection (GS) has potential to revolutionize plant breeding. In this PlantLink workshop in Alnarp on 16 April, attended by an audience of 44 people, plant breeders and SLU researchers came together to give their perspectives and discuss the future prospects. Elisabeth Jonas from SLU Uppsala started by giving an overview of GS and providing several examples from the experience of using GS in pig and cattle breeding. Then Ahmed Jahoor from Nordic Seed presented the consortium where the company, together with Aarhus University, are developing GS in wheat and barley. Next, Alf Ceplitis from Lantmännen Lantbruk gave a historical overview of oat breeding and described the activities with GS that has recently been initiated. Thomas Kraft from Syngenta Seeds continued with a talk about GS in sugarbeet breeding, and finally, Rodomiro Ortíz from SLU Alnarp joined the four speakers in a one-hour panel discussion. A reporter from Lantbruksnytt, a webb-based bi-weekly news programme, was recording during the workshop and the session was broadcasted on 21 April.
Some of the presentations from the workshop can be found here.
**Report from Oat Centre start-up meeting 22 April**
Oat is a delicious, healthy and increasingly popular crop, for which Sweden has unique conditions to produce. There is currently a great opportunity to create a strong international trademark around Swedish oat products. An initiative to form a Swedish Oat Centre has been launched, to unite the forces of academic research, private companies and governmental authorities and place Sweden at the forefront of oat innovation in the world. On 22 April, a start-up meeting was held in Lund with representatives from all major stakeholders in oat research, breeding and product development, including PlantLink, LU, SLU, Oatly, CropTailor, Aventure, Lantmännen, Frebaco, Finax, Swedish Oat Fibre, Berge Communications, Agroväxt, Foder och Spannmål, Skånemöllan, Pro Con, Föreningen Sveriges Spannmålsodlare, Jordbruksverket, Näringsdepartementet, Region Skåne and Västra Götalandsregionen. The Swedish Oat Centre will be hosted at Lund University, and keep a strong link to SLU through PlantLink. A working group is currently taking shape, whose primary task will be to look into different strategies to finance this centre.
You can read more about Swedish oat research here.
**Seminar 7 May: The SITES infrastructure including the Lönnstorp field station**
Lönnstorp research station belongs to the Department of Biosystems and Technology, SLU Alnarp, but is from 2013 also part of the "Swedish Infrastructure for Ecosystem Science" (SITES). The aim of this infrastructure network, in which nine research stations are included, is to promote world-class long-term field-based ecosystems research. The research stations in the network will work together to use each other's expertise, and have a common database and a joint website. The network will facilitate for researchers from SLU and other universities and countries to use the stations to promote interdisciplinary and ecological research. The nine research stations represent different ecosystems - forest, mire, mountain, lake and agriculture - where Lönnstorp represents agricultural research, together with Röbäcksdalen research station in Umeå. More information about SITES can be found here.
**Welcome to Fascination of Plants Day, 23 May**
It is once again time for the biannual Fascination of Plants Day. PlantLink will prepare an exhibition in the Lund Botanical garden on Saturday 23 May at 10:00-16:00, including research and student posters, green roofs, seed samples, book sale, quiz walk and many other things.
Researchers and students at SLU Alnarp and Lund University are most welcome to participate with exhibitions of any kind that is related to plants. We would also highly appreciate volunteers to help us with the following activities:
- Prepare material for “Guess the seed” (“Gissa fröet”)
- Prepare material for quiz walk (tipsrunda)
The very same weekend, the Lund Botanical garden is also arranging their “Våryra” (“Spring frenzy”) and thus the gardens will be crowded with people. Do not miss this excellent opportunity to put your research on public display!
**Available postdoc position at the Department of Plant Breeding, SLU Alnarp**
Postdoc position: Genomics-assisted Plant Breeding. This postdoc position is part of a sub-project entitled "Perennialization of Lepidium campestre and developing its genomic tools and resources” within an SSF funded research project entitled “Oil crops for the Future”. In this sub-project, we aim to develop genomic tools and resources that will be used to speed-up the domestication and breeding of L. campestre through facilitating genomics-assisted breeding for various desirable traits. Temporary employment 2 years. Applications for this position not later than 2015-05-15.
**Research group at SLU in Alnarp successfully used site-directed mutagenesis in potato**
Modern breeding methods offer new possibilities to enhance breeding efficiency and improvement of desirable traits. New site-directed mutagenesis techniques that can directly edit the target genes without any integration of recombinant DNA are especially favorable. The next June issue of Journal of Biotechnology will feature an article where PlantLink researchers Li-Hua Zhu, Erik Andreasson and Inger Åhman in collaboration with other SLU researchers used site-directed mutagenesis for transient genome editing in the tetraploid potato. The article is already published online.
Nicolia A, Proux-Wéra E, Åhman I, Onkokesung N, Andersson M, Andreasson E and Zhu L-H (2015). Targeted gene mutation in tetraploid potato through transient TALEN expression in protoplasts. Journal of Biotechnology, 204: 17–24.
**PlantLink Researcher in the Spotlight!**
Are you curious about what the PlantLink researchers at Lund University and SLU Alnarp are doing? Do you want to know more about their research, their daily work, and their background?
Once per month, we will visit a PlantLink researcher and ask them to tell us a little bit about themselves. This month, we have visited Dr. Laura Grenville-Briggs at the Department of Plant Protection Biology, SLU Alnarp.
Feb 2015: Inger Åhman
April 2015: Federico Gómez
May 2015: Laura Grenville-Briggs
**Plant-related news in the region**
LU Biofuels Day, entitled The prospects of biofuels – an update on current status, will be held on 29 May at 9:30-15:30 in Elite Hotel Ideon in Lund. For more information and registration, click here.
**PlantLink activities 2015**
23 May Fascination of Plants Day, Lund Botanical garden, kl 10-16
27 May Industrial mentorship programme visits Copenhagen Plant Science Centre
13 Aug Swedish plant science centres meeting
17-28 Aug ELLS MSc summer school Genetic Resources in Plant Breeding: Conservation, Characterization and Utilization, Alnarp
1 Oct Annual PlantLink Day, Alnarp
12-16 Oct PhD course Bioimaging, Lund
More activities are currently being planned for. We will keep you updated! You can also look at the PlantLink website for more information about upcoming events.