PlantLink News September

PlantLink hopes that you have had a nice and relaxing summer! We look forward to this autumn, that already seems full of interesting plant-related activities. We also look forward to seeing you at the upcoming PlantLink day, where we will hear more about research and policy around crops for future climates. Photo above from the great presentations by the students in the school research network this summer.

  1. New PlantLink chair Thomas Moritz!
  2. Register now for PlantLink day 3 October!
  3. NordPlant annual day, “Tech talks for plant phenotyping in the Nordic countries”, 20 November, Lund
  4. Geneco PhD-course “Understanding Population Genetics”, 14 – 18 October
  5. Important info from EPSO on your next EU application!
  6. Petition for UK – EU research
  7. PlantLink signed statements on genome editing
  8. Potato field trial demonstration
  9. First land plants in Skåne?
  10. Olivier van Aken on mugifumi in the media
  11. Research network with schools
  12. PhD-positions SLU

1. New PlantLink Chair Thomas Moritz!

We are pleased to announce that Thomas Moritz affiliated to University of Copenhagen and SLU Umeå will take over as Chair for PlantLink after Marianne Sommarin. Marianne was a highly appreciated Chair for all of PlantLink’s existence (!), and we now warmly welcome Thomas to this position.

2. Sign up for PlantLink day 3 October

The next PlantLink Annual Day will be in the Crafoord Hallen at SLU Alnarp, Thursday 3 October. We start with lunch at 12:00. This year’s theme is “Robust plants for future climates – research, application and policy”. Invited speakers are Eric Jules (INRA Montpellier), Frank Van Breusegem (VIB Ghent), Tomas Germundsson (LU) and Vandasue Rodrigues Saltenis (University of Copenhagen). This is a great occasion to meet with plant researchers in the region and to discuss future challenges! Register here.

3. First NordPlant annual day

NordPlant will host its first annual day 20 November, in Lund, Sweden: “Tech talks for plant phenotyping in the Nordic countries” in the Blue Hall at the Ecology building in Lund (Sölvegatan 37). This will be an opportunity to meet scientists in the network and from the agritech industry. Among the invited speakers are Llorenç Cabrera-Bosquet (INRA Montpellier), Stefan Paulus (University of Göttingen), Stefan Jansson (Umeå Plant Science Center) and Uno Wennergren (AgTech 2030 ,University of Linköping). Companies AgroVäst, Cgrain, Lunicore, SenseFarm, Solvi, Valoya, Videometer and Vultus will participate. More to come! Representatives from the Nordic countries will also discuss future needs for regional phenotyping. Online registration is now open.

4. Geneco PhD-course “Understanding Population Genetics”

The PhD-course “Understanding Population Genetics” will take place in Lund on 14 – 18 October. This course is free for students in Geneco, Lund University and PlantLink. For other students the course fee is 1500SEK, which includes the text book. Apply here.

5. Important info from EPSO on your next EU application!

The EPSO 19_07_16_Briefing on EC Horizon 2020 work programme for 2020 is published on the Members only website: (use your password*)

It contains all information and calls relevant to plant scientists under ERC, Marie-Curie, Research Infrastructure, Industrial Leadership and Societal Challenges in one document saving you 100 clicks by using our assembled call tables and providing additional researched information e.g. update / add your profile in the experts’ database as evaluators, hints on ERC, Societal Challenge 2.

Remember that all plant scientists at LU and SLU can become members without paying through PlantLink’s membership in EPSO!

6. Petition for open science between the UK and EU

A petition has come from EU-Life, the Wellcome Trust and EuroScience for a research and innovation agreement between the UK and EU. Find more information on the petition and how to sign here.

7. PlantLink signed statements on genome editing

PlantLink has signed two open statements on the use of genome editing.

You find the Swedish letter here

And the European here

…and much more on social media under #GiveCRISPRaChance and other tags.

8. Potato field trial demonstration

Last Sunday the public had the opportunity to catch a free bus from Malmö Central station and join researchers Erik Andreasson and Marit Lenman in their potato field trials outside Borgeby. The trials consist of common potato cultivars like King Edward that have been transformed with one to three genes potentially giving them resistance against Phytophthora infestans (which causes late blight). Some of the participants also took part in an optional “before and after”-survey about the use of gene technology in plant breeding. The survey was part of postdoc Patrycja Sleboda’s research on how people’s attitudes change. The event was organized by the SLU research programme Mistra Biotech.

9. First land plants in Skåne?

Professor Vivi Vajda at the natural History museum in Stockholm has discovered fossil spores, that provide new evidence for the origin of land plants. Read the interesting news here (in Swedish). 

10. Olivier van Aken on mugifumi in the news

Olivier van Aken (LU) has been interviewed on the field experiment he and his colleagues do on the hormone-mediated effects of crop trampling, or mugifumi, named after the ancient Japanese tradition to trample crops to increase crop performance. The experiment takes place at SLU SITES Lönnstorp. Read more here, or watch this interesting short film (interview in English).

11. Research network with schools

PlantLink took part in the yearly presentations of “Forskningsnätverket Skåne” and Vetenskap I skolan , networks between schools and academia. It was great to see the presentations and hear about the positive experience that high school students had from taking part. PlantLink will continue to participate in this initiative that makes it possible for high school students to visit a research facility for 2 weeks in summer. The students that visited PlantLink-related researchers gave a very nice presentation on their experience, alongside photos of potato and lingonberry!

12. Positions in Alnarp!

The following positions are open for application in Alnarp:

PhD student in the research education subject: Forest Pathology; Chemical Ecology (eng)

Contact person: Michelle Cleary, Associate Professor

Professor of Sustainable Cropping Systems

Senior lecturer in Integrated Weed Management