PlantLink News Summer 2024

Welcome to the summer edition of PlantLink’s newsletter! This issue is filled with 21 items, including conferences, symposia, seminars, calls, various events, and multiple open positions. Please forward it to anyone who might benefit from this knowledge! Click here for the subscription link.
We wish you a wonderful summer break!

1) Meet PlantLink tomorrow at Borgeby Fältdagar!

Borgeby Fältdagar attracts visitors from throughout northern Europe for the combination of demonstration crops, exhibitors and experts, practical demonstrations of machinery and seminars. Join the rich programme and come and discuss with us (Anna, Erik and Allan Rasmusson) tomorrow. You will find us around the SLU tent. And do not miss PlantLink’s panel discussion on the 26th of June, 14:00-14:30, “AI för framtiden växtodling och förädling – panel med PlantLink” (in English). Aakash Chawade will lead the debate, which will also form the kick-off for the round table discussion. We hope to see you tomorrow!

More information

2) Registration and updates on PlantLink Day – December 5, Lund

What are the future directions for plant science and entrepreneurship in the Greater Copenhagen Region? Can we use our prior experiences to uncover repeating patterns that will guide us forward? The theme for this year’s PlantLink Day is Lessons from the Past and Shaping the Future of Plant Science.

Paleobotany experts Vivi Vajda (Naturhistoriska riksmuseet) and Karl Ljung (Lund University) will provide presentations on the history of plants and agriculture. Teun Dekker (SLU) and Madeleine Fogde (SIANI) will examine the future of development research with a focus on climate change and food security. PlantLink’s Focus Group leaders, e.g. Aakash Chawade (SLU), will present and discuss two important themes highlighted by researchers as critical for the future regional growth of plant science: “Preserved biodiversity, and reduction of pesticide use in agriculture” and “Advancing plant bioinformatics, agri-tech and crop phenotyping in AI-driven transformation”. The day will be concluded with a lively panel discussion on the future of plant research.

Join us on December 5 in Lund, 12:00-17:00!
Read the programme and register here

3) SLU-LU-UU cluster representation at EPSO General Assembly

Jens Sundström and Anna Maňourová represented the SLU Alnarp/Uppsala-Lund University-Uppsala University (SLU-LU-UU) cluster in the annual EPSO General Assembly, held in Oeiras, Portugal, from June 10 to 12. The event yielded productive discussions and tangible outcomes for the future of plant science. Jens and Anna will come back with more information.

4) The EPSO Horticulture Working Group is reactivated!

The field of horticulture is an increasingly strategic field for Europe as it can be instrumental in e.g. mitigating the effects of climate change on food security. The working group will play an important role in these topics! To discuss the steps to be taken, the members of the Group met online at the end of May, and several meetings have been organised for June.

Siri Caspersen, SLU, has stepped in and, together with Erik Alexandersson, helps to represent the SLU-LU-UU cluster – thank you!

5) Professor Kazuhiro Sato will visit SLU and LU – 30-31 August

The Royal Swedish Academy of Science (KVA) and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) collaborate in support of and promotion of scientific exchange between Sweden and Japan. SLU, Lund University and Umeå Plant Science Center (UPSC) have invited a distinguished Japanese scientist, Professor Kazuhiro Sato, to present lectures and discuss further collaboration in the area of plant molecular genetics and breeding. Kazuhiro Sato is a professor in genetics and plant breeding at the Institute of Plant Science and Resources, Okayama University.

Together with Roland von Bothmer, professor emeritus, PlantLink is delighted to assist in hosting Professor Sato on 30 August from 14:00 to 16:00 at SLU Alnarp, Crafoord Hall.

On 31 August, Professor Sato will visit Lund University; the discussion will be hosted by Mats Hansson.

6) 5th AAB PlantEd Congress: Agricultural Biotechnology in the Era of Genome Editing – 29-31 October, Turkey

More regions across the globe are allowing for the use of new breeding technologies to generate new crop variants. This is especially noticeable in Europe, where there are political moves toward accepting the use of this technology. This event brings together technology and policy experts to explore how advances in agricultural biotechnology will proceed in the age of genome editing. This is the 5th Congress associated with the ‘PlantEd: Genome Editing in Plants’ project.

The abstract submission deadline for oral presentations is July 15th, and the 15th of August for poster presentations!

More information and registration

7) Join AAB-PlantEd Webinar on Plant Gene Editing – 9 July

Over the last four years, PlantEd Cost Action has organised a series of webinars in which global experts have discussed their research and policy activities in the field of plant genome editing. The next AAB-PlantEd webinar, from the Technical Advances and Policy Updates on Gene-Editing in Plants series, will take place on July 9 at 3 pm CEST. The speakers are Dr. Vittoria Brambilla (Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy) and Dr. Siddharth Tiwari (National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute, Mohali, India).
More information and registration

8) CPSC conference: Translational agriculture – from model plants to crops – 21-23 August

Some of society’s most pressing questions revolve around how we can maintain food production and plant growth in the context of climate change. To address this, the Copenhagen Plant Science Center (CPSC) hosts a conference that targets crop resilience and yield stability by bridging fundamental and translational plant research with the agrifood industry.

Deadline for registration: 1st of August
More information and registration

9) 30th SPPS conference – 27-29 August, Copenhagen

The 30th SPPS Conference will be held in Copenhagen on 27-29th of August. The conference will be held at the Copenhagen Plant Science Centre. Apart from renowned speakers and SPPS prize winners, many young researchers will present their work. Do not miss the chance to meet new colleagues and talk to experienced researchers! A limited number of travel grants are available to PhD students who actively participate in the conference.

More information and registration

10) ELLS Scientific Student Conference 2024 – 22-23 November, Wageningen

Euroleague for Life Sciences (ELLS) and the Wageningen University & Research invite all students of ELLS member and partner universities to join the Scientific Student Conference (SSC) entitled “The puzzle of Life Sciences – Add your piece”. The aim of this conference is to encourage students within the Life Sciences to engage with one another and disseminate their own research. This is a great opportunity for MSc and early PhD students to present their MSc thesis projects.
The deadline for abstract submission is 30 June!
More information and registration

11) Plant Biologicals Network Symposium 2024 – 14 November, Copenhagen

The Plant Biologicals Network (PBN) Symposium will be held as a one-day event in Copenhagen on 14 November 2024. Participants from academia and industry are invited to submit abstracts describing original research and new projects. The symposium working group will review and select abstracts for short flash talks during the symposium sessions and/or for the poster session at the symposium. The deadline for abstract submission is 7 October.
The session topics will include: Regulation, Hands-on experiences, Lab-to-field transmission and Hot topics in biologicals.
More information

12) ICPP2023 “Raising awareness of plants and ways of teaching plant pathology” session is online

The International Congress of Plant Pathology (ICPP), under the patronage of the International Society for Plant Pathology (ISPP), is the world’s largest conference promoting the worldwide development of phytopathology, and the dissemination of knowledge about plant diseases and plant health management. The video recorded from the ICPP meeting in Lyon last year, the session on “Raising awareness of plants and ways of teaching plant pathology,” has been uploaded to the YouTube channel of ICPP2023 for greater visibility. The session sprang out of our ELLS collaboration around plant health. You can access it here!

13) Popularise your research at Forskar Grand Prix Digital 2024

In Forskar Grand Prix, researchers compete to see who can make the most engaging, educational and understandable research presentation in just 4 minutes. The competition is open to anyone who conducts research in the private or public sector in Sweden. The application deadline is 1 August.

More information

14) Call for Papers for a New Book: Climate Change, Food Security, and Land Management

The forthcoming publication is led by the International Climate Change Information and Research Programme (ICCIRP). It aims to assemble a comprehensive collection of scholarly articles that explore the intricate relationships between climate change, food security, and land management. The book will be published by Springer Nature, as part of the Climate Change Management Series,  the leading peer-reviewed book series on climate change. 

Deadline for abstract submission: 30 June; full article: 30 October

More information

15) New ELLS subject area: Systems Analysis and Design of Agri-food Systems in a Changing Climate

The Euroleague for Life Sciences (ELLS) has launched a new subject area “Systems Analysis and Design of Agri-food Systems in a Changing Climate” (SYSTEMS SA). SYSTEMS SA will address current global concerns, attracting students interested in becoming “change agents” with a systemic approach. The systems approach will allow students to connect previously gained specific and fragmented knowledge in order to design and propose solutions for actual and future problems. This approach provides students with much in-demand skills, increasing their range of future action options and making their profiles more attractive to employers and academia. Marcos LanaSLU, is the contact person for this new subject area.

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16) PhD and MSc courses

ELLS MSc/PhD course: Ecological and evolutionary plant breeding for sustainability – Concepts of Darwinian Agriculture – 15 – 21 July 2024, L’Institut Agro, Montpellier
Places are still available! The summer school is an introduction to the key concepts, theories, and cutting-edge techniques in Darwinian Agriculture and plant breeding and its potential applications in contemporary agricultural practices. It delves into the domain of agroecology, outlining its fundamental concepts, and highlighting the intricate interrelationship between ecology and genetics.  Key concepts introduced in the course are plant ideotypes and social traits. It will provide insights into phenomena such as shadowing avoidance, kin recognition, and discrimination in plants, along with exploration of theories and examples of individual and group selection.

More information and registration

17) Open positions

SLU Alnarp
Postdoctoral stipend: Genomics of Heat Stress on Plant Reproductive Health
More information
Postdoc on gene editing of R-genes for Late blight resistance in potato
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Postdoc – Management of fast-growing trees (Populus)
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Researcher position on Small-RNAs interactions
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Professor in Plant Biotechnology
More information
Lund University
PhD in primary forest research
More information
Doctoral student in Biology with the focus on Soil Microbial Ecology
More information
Postdoc in Modelling of Forest Vulnerability to Climate Stress
More information
Post-doctoral fellow in biodiversity assessment for business and finance
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European Plant Science Organisation (EPSO) – Publications Officer
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Novo Nordisk Foundation: Senior Scientific Manager in Plant Science and Plant Breeding
More information

18) PhD thesis defense

Martin Friberg, Dept. of Plant Breeding, SLU Alnarp, defended his thesis “Gene editing for increased tuber protein utilisation in potato (Solanum tuberosum)” on Friday, 14th June. 
Opponent: Associate Professor Bent L Petersen, University of Copenhagen, Section for Plant Glycobiology, Frederiksberg, Denmark.

The thesis is digitally nailed.

19) Publication on CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing of potato by SLU PhD student Milla Karlsson

The risk of leaf mould development is decreased by identifying and utilising gene scissors to knock out selected genes that make potatoes susceptible. Milla Karlsson, a PhD student at the Department of Plant Protection Biology, which is also co-funded by Partnership Alnarp, demonstrated this in a four-year field trial using the potato variety King Edward.

Read the publication
More on the use of genomic techniques

20) Researchers on the air

Li-Hua Zhu, SLU Alnarp, on Sveriges Radio: Raps är framtidens mat – kan ersätta soja

Tina D´Hertefeldt, Lund University, on Sveriges Radio: Ny giftfri metod i kampen mot parkslide

21) SLU researcher Naga Charan Konakalla received royal award – congratulations!

Naga Charan Konakalla has been awarded a prize for his work on virus-like proteins as nanocarriers for targeted pesticide delivery by King Carl XVI Gustaf’s 50-year Fund for Science, Technology and the Environment. Naga received the prize from the hands of King Carl XVI Gustaf, including a scholarship of 100,000 SEK, at a ceremony on June 10 at the Royal Castle in Stockholm.

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