Major Symposia


Saturday, July 14, 2018 | 1:00PM – 3:30PM

Symposium I: ASPB President’s Symposium, Translational Science
Organizer: Harry Klee

Harry Klee

This symposium highlights examples of translational science – that is, science that has progressed from the most basic discoveries onward to applications in the real world. The goal is to demonstrate that fundamental discoveries in the laboratory can impact our lives and make a difference. In a time when scientific credibility is being challenged by elements of our society, it is critical that we highlight the positive impact that our work can have and highlight the rewards of a research career for the next generation. The four speakers in this symposium illustrates how excellence in research can be coupled with application. They highlight the value of investment in basic research; we cannot always predict where fundamental discoveries will lead us. The outcomes of the featured research are already impacting agriculture and human health in the developed and developing world.

MJ Order Time Name/Organization Talk Title
MJ 1-0 1:00PM – 1:05PM

Harry Klee, University of Florida

Major Symposium I: Overview
MJ 1-1 1:05PM – 1:35PM

Ian Graham, University of York

Unlocking the Secrets of Medicinal Crops: From Artemisinin to Morphine, Why are Plants Still Better than Bugs at Making these Drugs?
MJ 1-2 1:35PM – 2:05PM

Martin Yanofsky, University of California – San Diego

From Arabidopsis to Canola: Solving the Pod Shattering Problem

Break 2:05PM – 2:30PM Coffee Break
MJ 1-3 2:30PM – 3:00PM

David Mackill, University of California, Davis

Flood-Tolerant Rice as an Example of the Potential impact of Plant Biology Research

MJ 1-4 3:00PM – 3:30PM

Sherri Brown, The Yield Lab

The Long Road to Commercialization of Insect Protected Crops


Sunday, July 15, 2018| 8:30AM – 11:00AM

Symposium II: CSPB President’s Symposium, Integrating Signals in Plant Cell Biology and Development
Organizer: Geoff Wasteneys

Geoff Wasteneys

Plants have evolved complex cellular mechanisms that optimize their development and enable them to perceive and respond effectively to both endogenous and environmental cues. This symposium will highlight the latest discoveries on sensory, transcriptional and physiological responses in plants. The topics encompass mechanical sensing, pollen selection and rejection, transcriptional networks under the control of auxin, and the endomembrane-mediated processes that drive cellular expansion.

MJ Order Time Name/Organization Talk Title
MJ 2-0

8:30AM – 8:35AM

Geoff Wasteneys, University of British Columbia

Major Symposium II: Overview

MJ 2-1

8:35AM – 9:05AM

Elizabeth Haswell, Washington University in Saint Louis

Stretching the Imagination: Mechanosensitive Channels in Plants

MJ 2-2

9:05AM – 9:35AM

Mark Estelle, University of California, San Diego

Auxin Transcriptional Networks from Beginning to End


9:35AM – 10:00AM

Coffee Break
MJ 2-3

10:00AM – 10:30AM

Daphne Goring, University of Toronto

Pollen Acceptance or Rejection: Cellular Regulation of Mate Selection in the Brassicaceae

MJ 2-4

10:30AM -11:00AM

Karin Schumacher, University of Heidelberg

Vacuoles – Pumping up the Plant Volume


Monday, July 16, 2018 | 8:30AM – 11:00AM

Symposium III: CSPB/ASPB Joint Symposium, Opening Research Avenues through New Technologies
Organizers: Anja Geitmann and Phil Taylor

Phil Taylor


Anja Geitmann

Opening Research Avenues through New Technologies (organized by Anja Geitmann and Phil Taylor) will highlight a series of novel technologies being developed in order to expand the tool-box available to researchers working on both fundamental aspects of plant biology or developing concepts for more applied research. The speakers, Karen Tanino, Amy Marshall-Colon, Dan Voytas and Todd Mockler will cover breakthroughs in exciting new topics across phenotyping, imaging, genome editing and computational tools that have enabled new research methodologies to address a variety of critical questions in modern plant biology.

MJ Order Time Name/Organization Talk Title
MJ 3-0

8:30AM – 8:35AM

Anja Geitmann, McGill University

Phil Taylor, Monsanto

Major Symposium III: Overview

MJ 3-1

8:35AM – 9:05AM

Todd Mockler, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

Integrating Sorghum Pan-Genomic Information with High-Resolution Phenotyping to Accelerate Trait Discovery and Crop Improvement

MJ 3-2

9:05AM – 9:35AM

Amy Marshall-Colon, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Integrative Modeling and Visualization for the Development of in Silico Crops


9:35AM – 10:00AM

Coffee Break
MJ 3-3

10:00AM – 10:30AM

Karen Tanino, University of Saskatchewan

Applications of Synchrotron Technology in Plant Biology Research

MJ 3-4

10:30AM -11:00AM

Daniel Voytas, University of Minnesota

Editing the Plant Genome


Tuesday, July 17, 2018 | 3:00PM – 5:30PM

Symposium IV: ISPR/ASPB/CSPB Joint Symposium, The Ecophysiology of Photosynthesis from the Leaf to Global Scale
Organizer: Tom Sharkey

Tom Sharkey

Photosynthesis provides energy and metabolic building blocks for nearly all life on Earth. Photosynthesis operates over an extremely broad range of scales both in time and space. Photosynthesis is studied in the sub nanosecond scale of light capture reactions to the geological scale, the best example of which is the oxidation of the Earth, which changed global geochemistry. In this symposium four experts will describe current research into the ecophysiology of photosynthesis at the organizational level of the leaf, plant, ecosystem, and whole Earth. Topics that will be addressed is how photosynthesis might be manipulated to better serve human needs for food, fuel, and fiber, the interplay between environmental change and photosynthesis, and how we can understand photosynthesis at ecosystem and global scales.

MJ Order Time Name/Organization Talk Title
MJ 4-0

3:00PM – 3:05PM

Tom Sharkey, Michigan State University  

Major Symposium IV: Overview

MJ 4-1

3:05PM – 3:35PM

Elizabete Carmo-Silva, Lancaster University

Leaf: Improving Photosynthesis to Maximize Productivity

MJ 4-2

3:35PM – 4:05PM

Joy K. Ward, University of Kansas

Plant: Ecophysiology of Plant Response to Environmental Change Over Evolutionary Time Scales


4:05PM – 4:30PM

Coffee Break
MJ 4-3

4:30PM – 5:00PM

Larry Flanagan, University of Lethbridge

Controls on Ecosystem-Scale Photosynthesis

MJ 4-4

5:00PM – 5:30PM

Joseph A. Berry, Carnegie Institution for Science – Stanford

Global Scale: Quantifying Photosynthesis at Regional and Global Scales


Wednesday, July 18, 2018 | 9:00AM – 11:30AM

Symposium V: Gibbs Medal Symposium, Mechanisms of Genome Evolution
Organizer: Ralph Bock

Ralph Bock

The symposium will cover phylogenetic, genomic and experimental approaches towards understanding fundamental principles of genome evolution in plants. Emphasis will be placed on events that triggered major evolutionary transitions (e.g., the acquisition of organelles through endosymbiosis) and on processes that represent continuous sources of evolutionary innovations (e.g., allopolyploidization, horizontal gene transfer). The speakers will discuss the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms, the genetic, epigenetic and developmental consequences and the implications for speciation and plant ecology. Finally, recently developed experimental approaches will be presented that facilitate the reconstruction of various aspects of plant genome evolution in the laboratory and, in this way, allow us to observe of the evolution of new genes, new genomes and new plant species in real time. The potential that experimental genome evolution offers to plant breeding and agricultural biotechnology will also be highlighted.

MJ Order Time Name/Organization Talk Title
MJ 5-0

9:00AM – 9:05AM

Ralph Bock, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Potsdam-Golm

Major Symposium V: Overview
MJ 5-1

9:05AM – 9:35AM

Eva Nowack, Heinrich Heine University Düesseldorf

The Acquisition of Novel Organelles Through Endosymbiosis – Genomic, Cellular, and Physiological Consequences

MJ 5-2

9:35AM – 10:05AM

Jeffrey D. Palmer, Indiana University, Bloomington

The Role of Horizontal Gene Transfer in the Evolution of Plants and Their Genomes


10:05AM – 10:30AM

Coffee Break
MJ 5-3

10:30AM -11:00AM

Pamela S. Soltis, University of Florida, Gainesville

Polyploidy as Integrator Across Levels of Biological Organization: From Cells to Ecosystems

MJ 5-4

11:00AM – 11:30AM

Ralph Bock, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Potsdam-Golm

Experimental Genome Evolution in Plants