*All times are listed in EDT (New York/Washington)
Symposium II: Crop productivity in a changing world
The productivity of our major staple crops needs to increase to meet future demand. However, the different environments in which these crop plants grow are changing. This symposium will cover research into the factors that impact crop productivity and diverse approaches to increase and sustain productivity in a changing world.
Symposium III: RNA: the long and short of it
RNAs are versatile molecules that serve informational, structural, catalytic, regulatory, and signaling roles in cells. Mechanisms that generate, process, modify, utilize and degrade RNAs are central to nearly all biological processes. This session focuses on recent findings on novel functions of small regulatory RNAs and metabolic processes on long RNAs.
Symposium IV: Applications of Robotics, Sensing, and AI to Plant Science
This session will address new and emerging AI tools for plant science, with a particular emphasis on agricultural applications such as plant breeding and production management. Robotic platforms now have the ability to get around autonomously in field environments, with modalities that include drones that can fly over crops, over-row tractors, and small under-row ground vehicles. These machines can carry sensing payloads capable of automatically collecting measurements at scale, such as imagery, hyperspectral measurements, and even measurements such as leaf clamps that require contact with the plant. When combined with genotype data and environmental data from in-situ sensor networks, the result is a massive heterogeneous data set that has the potential to provide new insights into problems such as plant physiology, crop improvement, and crop management. But processing that data set presents a number of AI challenges, ranging from extracting useful features from individual images to big-data analysis to understand GxExP relationships and provide actionable decision support. This is a large vision, with many facets. The talks in this session will explore some of the key aspects, including field robotics, AI for sensing, rapid phenotyping, AI-driven plant modeling, and AI informatics.