PlantLink News – October

Autumn is a busy season! Do not miss the last chance to sign up for PlantLink Day on October 5 and PBN workshop on September 28. Also, the PlantLink Annual Report is now available online! With its satellite events and seminars, SASUF will bring the heat of South Africa to Malmö, Lund, and Alnarp. If you would like to contribute, it is high time to register your proposal! Are you seeking new collaboration opportunities in horticulture? Safe the date for Branschdag Trädgård celebration. Read a note on NordPlant’s phenotyping adventures in Wales and report on Possible applications of new genomic techniques within integrated plant protection. If you have not had enough science yet, learn more about the development of salt-tolerant wheat lines by OlsAro Crop Biotech AB. We are glad to announce that two new Erasmus+ projects using the ESCAPAdE model have been funded. In closing, we would like to highlight the open professor position at SLU Alnarp and congratulate Huy Cuong-TranOlivier Van Aken, and their colleagues on Science publication!


1. Last chance to register for PlantLink Day! 5 October, Lund

We are happy to announce that more than 100 have already signed up for this year’s PlantLink Day. There are still a few places left! The theme for this year is “Biodiversity: the key to resilient agri-food systems.”
Confirmed speakers: Agnes Bernis Fonteneau, Sapienza Università di Roma, with 15 years of experience with FAO and Bioversity International; Lise Lykke Steffensen, Director of the Nordic Genetic Resource Centre; Mohammad Bahram, Department of Ecology, SLU; Maj Rundlöf, principal investigator at Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate, Lund University; Susanne Arvidsson, Director of the Mistra BIOPATH project, Lund University; and Michael Palmgren, professor at the department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen. Discussion moderator Roland von Bothmer, SLU.
Deadline for registration: October 1!
See the program and sign-up here

2. PlantLink management changes

Federico Gómez, the director of PlantLink, made the decision to step down as of mid-September. In the meanwhile, Erik Alexandersson, the former director, takes over as acting director of PlantLink.

Under Federico‘s lead, PlantLink surveyed the need to establish a more food-oriented network in the region. Several regional, national and international actors have been contacted, and an internal workshop around the area took place just before the end of the year. This has given us a good picture of the needs and initiatives ongoing.

3. Read PlantLink’s Twelfth Annual Report! 

The PlantLink yearly report is now available online!  Read about our activities, accomplishments, and changes between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023.

4. Sign up for the Final NordPlant Annual meeting: The future of plant phenotyping, 22-23 November, Båstad

Join NordPlant’s last annual meeting! We will sum up the progress around plant phenotyping and modelling for future climates, but foremost, we will look into the future of plant phenotyping! Keynote speakers are David Rousseau (INREA)Shawn Kefauver (University of Barcelona) and Øystein Opedal (LU). We will also have presentations of NordPlant researchers Laura Jaakola (UiT), Kristiina Himanen (UHEL), Thomas Roitsch (UCPH), Lars Eklundh (LU), Svante Resjö (SLU), Qinlin Xiao (SLU), Chandana Pandey (UCPH) and El Houssaine Bouras (LU) as well as Jussi Gillberg (YieldSystems).
The meeting will be in Hotell Skansen, Båstad, Sweden and back-to-back with the NPPN annual workshop.

Full program and sign up for the meeting here!

5. NordPlant visited Aberystwyth and Nottingham

Taking advantage of the dramatic Welsh landscape for plant phenotyping and the power of CT scanners were some of the things NordPlant learned more about during a study visit to the UK this fall. NordPlant did the final tour, visiting IBERS at the University of Aberystwyth and Nottingham University. The hosts at the two universities were John Doonan and Tony Pridmore.
Read more about the UK visit

Part of the mission of NordPlant is to increase the connection with European researchers and organisations. In 2019, NordPlant researchers visited INRAE’s phenotyping facility in Montpellier, France.

6. Sign up for PBN workshop: Defining impact on environment of replacing chemicals with biologicals – 28 September, Roskilde

The workshop will take place at the Institut for Miljøvidenskab, Frederiksborgvej 399, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark, on 28 September from 9:30-16:30. The workshop is part of “Innomission 3 project: Climate Friendly Plant Biological” and the participation is open for all who are interested.

The session topics: Water micropollutants from conventional agricultural practices; How to increase the importance of Biologicals for agriculture; Toxins from biologicals and other natural sources; How to evaluate toxicity of Plant Biologicals

More information and registration

7. Plant Biologicals Network Annual Symposium, 16 November, Copenhagen

Save the date for this occasion, which will be held on the 16th of November in Copenhagen, Denmark. Sessions will be dedicated to regulation, lab-to-field transactions, end-user/hands-on experiences and hot topics. Confirmed speakersDomenico Deserio, Policy Officer, European Commission – DG SANTE (ONLINE presentation); Danny Geelen, Professor, HortiCell, Department Plants and Crops, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University; Patrice Marchand, Institut de L’Agriculture et de L’Alimentation Biologiques (ONLINE presentation); Tess van de Voorde, Researcher, Wageningen Plant Research; Benny Jensen, Managing Director, BJ Agro.

The deadline for abstract submission is 17 October!

More information and registration

8. Propose your workshops and satellite events for the SASUF Research and Innovation week!

The SASUF (South African Sweden University Forum) Research and Innovation week is coming to Alnarp, Lund and Malmö, 13-17 May! The aim is to bring together researchers, teachers, students, university management representatives, and many more from all the 40 SASUF partner universities. The Research and Innovation Week consists of two days filled with Satellite Events across the host country, followed by a three-day Sustainability Forum where everyone gathers for joint workshops.
The deadline for applying for satellite events and workshops is 17 November!
More information

9. Apply for SASUF course: Applying GIS, Remote Sensing and Hyperspectral Imaging for sustainable urban-rural development and food production

A call to MSc and PhD students at LU and SLU or at any of the 40 SASUF associated universities – Apply for the SASUF online course “Applying GIS, Remote Sensing and Hyperspectral Imaging for sustainable urban-rural development and food production”, corresponding to 7.5 ECTs, 22 Jan-19 Apr 2024.
The deadline for registration is 3 November.

More information and registration

10. SLU Fältforsk Ämneskommitté Odlingsmaterial – digital seminar, 10 October

How can cultivation material contribute to a more secure cultivation in the future climate in Sweden? The subject committee is a meeting place for all stakeholders in the field of varieties, growing material and testing. Join the digital seminar on the 10th of October, 14.00-16.00.

More information and registration

11. Join Branschdag Trädgård SLU – 24 November, SLU Alnarp

The horticultural engineering program turns 30 years and the horticultural education program is 90 years. To mark this anniversary, a full day of meetings, networking and exciting speakers will be organised. Branschdag Trädgård is a business day organized by horticultural engineering students and horticulturists at SLU Alnarp. The industry day is a popular event that engages many of the university’s students and is a natural link between companies and students.

A warm welcome as both exhibitors and visitors joining a day dedicated to cultivation and garden design! 24th of November, 9-16:00, Loft, Alnarpsgården

More information

12. Possible applications of new genomic techniques within integrated plant protection – report

Team of SLU Alnarp researchers, M. Karlsson, J. Sundström, A. Berlin and E. Andreason, created a report requested from the Swedish Plant Protection Council, which is part of a long-term agreement of the Swedish National Strategy for Food Production. The main aim was to investigate pesticide reduction options, however much more about plant health can be found in the report (in Swedish only).

Read the report

13. Two new Erasmus+ projects awarded based on ESCAPAdE

Based on PlantLink-supported Erasmus+ project ESCAPAdE (Erasmus Curricula in Applied Plant Sciences), two more Erasmus+ projects have been awarded in August: NewClim creating education material focusing on grapes and apples in future climates, led by L’instut Agro and with contact person Lotta Nordmark at SLU; AdValue aiming at increasing PhD education in agriculture in East Africa, led by Nuertingen-Geislingen university and with contact person Erik Alexandersson at SLU. Both projects will run 2024-2026; this is a great follow up on PlantLink’s legacy!

14. Upcoming conferences and seminars

International Symposium on Gluten-Free Cereal Products and Beverages
Sign up for the 6th International Symposium on Gluten-Free Cereal Products and Beverages 2023 (GF23), which will take place in Rome from 18 to 20 October 2023. The GF23 is entitled “Gluten-Free Cereal Products and Beverages: Designing Food for Individual Needs and Choices” and aims to bring together scientists and representatives of academia and the industry working in all fields of gluten-free grain products.

More information and registration

Green Biopharmaceuticals: Molecular Farming in Plants, Moss, and Algae – 13-15 November
Register for a joint conference of the European Federation of Biotechnology (EFB) Biopharmaceutical and Medical Biotechnology Division, along with Plant, Agriculture and Food Division and the International Society for Plant Molecular Farming (ISPMF). The event will take place on 13-15 November 2023 in Barcelona, Spain.
Deadline for abstract submission and early bird registration: September 5

More information and registration

15. Open positions

SLU Alnarp
Professor in Plant Breeding and Crop Diversity
More information
Researcher in Sustainable Agri-Food Systems
More information
PhD student position in forest pathology and silviculture
More information
Lund University
Post-doctoral fellow to the department of human geography focusing on regional development and circular supply chains
More information

16. Story of Success – OlsAro Crop Biotech AB

Olof Olsson, the Research Director and co-founder of OlsAro Crop Biotech AB and professor of Molecular Biology at Lund University, introduces a cutting-edge company that offers solutions to a global growing demand for food. Which techniques are applied? How did the Sweden-Bangladesh collaboration help to solve saline soil problem?

Read the interview!

17. Congratulations to Lund University researchers on Science publication!

Tran et al. found that two proteins, mTRAN1 and mTRAN2, are required for translation initiation in Arabidopsis mitochondria. This work offers insight into translation initiation in plants and highlights how different mitochondrial translation mechanisms have evolved from a common bacterial ancestor. Congratulations to Huy Cuong-Tran, Olivier Van Aken and the rest of the team!
Click here to read the publication