Day 2 :
Time : 09:05-09:35
Dr. Rajasekaran is a senior Research Biologist with the USDA-ARS. He obtained his B.S and M.S. from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, India. After receiving his Ph.D. from The University of Sydney, Dr. Rajasekaran has continuously worked on the application of recombinant DNA technology towards genetic improvement of food, feed and fiber crops. He has published 135 full length publications plus 12 U.S. patents, >50 international patents, and 168 national/international conference abstracts. He serves as an Adjunct Professor in five universities. Currently his research focus at USDA-ARS is on effective control or elimination of preharvest aflatoxin contamination caused by Aspergillus spp through biotechnological means in cotton and maize .
The fungus Aspergillus flavus infects maize, cottonseed, peanut, and tree nut crops and produces aflatoxin, a highly toxic and carcinogenic secondary metabolite. Development of transgenic crops that resist fungal infection is difficult because of the complexity of the host-plant-pathogen interactions and it is more difficult to control saprophytic/opportunistic pathogenic fungi such as A. flavus. We have demonstrated in our laboratory several means of controlling the fungal growth and toxin production in transgenic cotton and maize. These include expression of a heterologous antifungal protein or synthetic peptides. For example, maize transformed with the α-amylase inhibitor protein from hyacinth bean showed reduced fungal growth and aflatoxin levels in kernel screening assays. We have also demonstrated significant anti-flavus activity with several synthetic, lytic peptides such as cecropin-based D4E1 or tachyplesin-based AGM peptides. Transgenic maize lines expressing one of these synthetic peptides AGM 182 showed significant reduction in fungal growth and toxin production (>65%). Transgenic cotton expressing D4E1 also showed antifungal properties and several field tests are being conducted for evaluation. We are currently employing host-induced gene silencing (HIGS) in which the pathogen (A. flavus) is directed by the host plant to down regulate the expression of its own gene(s) affecting its growth, invasion and/or toxin production. Significant reduction in both fungal growth and aflatoxin levels was observed in several transgenic maize lines compared to control. In this presentation examples of various transgenic approaches to control A. flavus growth and aflatoxin contamination in food and feed crops will be summarized.
Rothamsted Research, UK
Time : 09:35-10:05
Harrie Van Erp has completed his PhD from Michigan State University and Post-doctoral studies from Washington State University. He is currently a Research
Scientist at Rothamsted Research where he’s involved in research focused on “Tailoring plant lipid metabolism for nutritional and industrial purposes”.
For diverse reasons, there is a growing demand for infant formula. Traditionally infant formula is produced using vegetable
oils, which have a diff erent TAG structure than human milk fat. Th is causes digestive problems in infants. In plant oils,
16:0 is at the sn-1 and sn-3 position of the glycerol backbone, but in human milk fat, the majority (70%) of 16:0 is at the sn-2
position. In the infant’s intestine, a pancreatic lipase hydrolyses 16:0 from the sn-1 and sn-3 positions leading to the formation
of calcium soaps. Th is causes constipation and reduced uptake of nutrients and Ca2+. In recent years, several companies have
addressed this problem by using chemical technologies to change the TAG structure of plant oils. However, producing a human
milk fat substitute in plants is cheaper and better for the environment. We are using a synthetic biology approach to rationally
redesign seed lipid metabolism in order to produce vegetable oils with a similar composition and structure as human milk fat.
In my presentation, I will present data showing the progress we made in the engineering of a human milk fat substitute in crop
U.S. Department of Agriculture, USA
Time : 10:20-10:50
Dr. Grace Chen obtained her Ph.D from University of Wisconsin at Madison, and did her postdoctoral studies from University of California ̶ Plant Gene Expression Center. She has published more than 44 papers in reputed journals is globally recognized as an expert on oilseed biotechnology
Hydroxy fatty acids (HFA) from plant seed triacylglycerols (TAGs, oil molecule) are wildly used in manufacturing industrial products, such as lubricants, plasticizers and surfactants. Castor oil has 90% HFA which occupies all three sn positions of most TAGs, while lesquerella oil contains 60% HFA mostly located at sn-1 and sn-3 of TAGs. In order to improve HFA levels in lesquerella seeds, a castor lysophosphatidic acid acyltransferase 2 gene (RcLPAT2) capable of acylating HFA to the sn-2 position of TAGs was introduced into lesquerella under the control of the seed specific napin promoter from Brassica napus. Analysis of transgenic lesquerella seed TAGs showed that RcLPAT2 was able to incorporate HFA to the sn-2 position of TAG and consequently, oil accumulated more of TAGs with all three sn positions occupied by HFA. The results enhanced our understanding of plant lipid metabolism and provided invaluable guidance for future research not only for enhancing HFA content in lesquerella, but also for HFA production in other oilseed crops.
- Track 07: Medicinal and Aromatic Plants
Track 09: Plant Morphology and Metabolism
Track 12: Plant Ecology and Diversity
Track 17: Plant Science and Natural Products
Track 11: Agricultural Science
Track 13: Horticulture and Landscaping
Track 17: Plant Science and Natural Products
Track 18: Plant Biodiversity and conservation
Location: Concorde Suite 3
Abhishek Mani Tripathi
Global Change Research Center ASCR, Czech Republic
Malaysian Palm Oil Board, Malaysia
Global Change Research Center ASCR, Czech Republic
Time : 10:55-11:20
I have completed my M.Sc. (Forestry) at the age of 23 years from Forest Research Institute University, Dehradun, India. Working as a researcher since 5 years at Global Change Research Center and simultaneously pursuing PhD (Forest Ecology and Landscape Engineering) at Mendel University in Brno, Czech Republic. I have more than 20 publications (including peer reviewed journals, book chapters and conference proceedings) and delivered few lectures in national and international conferences. I have attended many national and international conferences, workshops and summer schools including 2 months research stay University of Antwerp, Belgium.
Evidence shows increasing climate change, and a consequent alteration in physical systems of the earth. For food, agriculture is one of the main sources on earth but this area is suffering from climate change on a large scale. On other hand, because of industrialization deforestation is a major problem and limiting source of fossil fuels. Agroforestry interventions, due to their ability to provide economic, ecological, and environmental/microclimatic benefits, are considered to be the best in making communities adapt and become resilient to the impacts of climate change. Agroforestry can add a high level of diversity within agricultural land. The essential elements of agroforestry systems may play an important role in the adaptation to climate change, which include changes in the microclimate, mitigating climate change (reducing carbon emission and increasing carbon sequestration), improving soil fertility, and protect the soil erosion from wind and water. The role of agroforestry systems in the adaptation to expected changes in climate by slivoarable in Europe, smallholder (home gardens and parklands) farmers in sub-Saharan Africa (protect coffee from high temperatures) and large scale (intercropping) in India and China in particular ecological/microclimatic, economic and production services that communicate resilience to the impact of climate change. Agroforestry is a traditional farming system which is no longer popular in Europe but still being widely practiced in developing countries for example India, China, Kenya, Tanzania and Mexico etc
Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology - Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
Time : 11:20-11:45
Wei-Cai Yang has completed his PhD in 1994 from Wageningen University, Netherlands and then Post-doctoral studies at Wageningen University, Cold Spring Habor Laboratory, and Institute of Molecular Agrobiology in Singapore, respectively. He is a Principal Investigator and the Director of Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He has published more than 60 papers in reputed journals and has been serving as an Editorial Board Member of a number of scientifi c journals.
During evolution, novel reproductive structures and mechanisms have been emerged in plants. In angiosperms, such evolutionary development is manifested by the fl ower, multicellular gametophyte, double fertilization, loss of sperm motility and siphonogamy in which the immotile sperm is delivered to the egg by a pollen tube produced by the male gametophyte (pollen), a process named pollen tube guidance (PTG). Previous studies suggested that PTG requires the intimate interactions between the pollen tube and maternal tissue of the pistil and the female gametophyte, respectively. Th rough genetic screen, we isolated a number of Arabidopsis mutants that disrupt these processes. CCG, a central cell-specifi cally expressed gene, is required for the female gametophyte to attract the pollen tube. CCG encodes nuclear protein that regulates the expression of a number genes important for PTG via interacting with RNA polymerase II, the mediator complex and AGL transcription factors. POD1, a pollen tube-expressed gene, is required for the male gametophyte to respond to the female signals. POD1 encodes a ER protein that interact specifi cally with CRT3, suggesting that it might play a role in the protein folding of putative receptor proteins. Recently, we identifi ed the male MDIS/MDIK receptor complex that recognizes the female attracting signals. These fi ndings provide novel insight to mechanims controlling PTG. More recent progresses will be discussed.
Rajinder Singh is currently a Principal Research Officer at the Malaysian Palm Oil Board. He has been with the Malaysian Palm Oil Board for the last 19 years. He holds a PhD in Plant Genetics and is currently the Head of Genomics Unit of the Advanced Biotechnology & Breeding Centre, at the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB). He has authored and co-authored more than 32 refereed publications
Systematic progress made via conventional breeding has allowed yield gains for oil palm, and made the oil palm industry commercially viable in South East Asia, particularly Malaysia and Indonesia. However, its long selection cycle and large land requirement for breeding trials has made subsequent progress slow and tedious. Genomics guided breeding is an attractive option to help this crop meet its true potential. However, the development of appropriate tools, such molecular marker systems and identification of markers and or gene(s) linked to traits of interest has been generally slow. The effort received a boost when its genome was sequenced in 2013 using a combination of 454/Roche technology and BAC end sequencing. The availability of the sequence assembly and a well-structured breeding programme allowed the identification of genes influencing two important monogenic traits, which was a major breakthrough for this perennial crop. The subsequent development of the first molecular diagnostic assay, the SureSawitTM Shell kit has allowed marker assisted selection (MAS) to be a reality for oil palm. Building on this success, the epigenome of oil palm was also unraveled in order to examine DNA methylation alterations in clonal palms. Deciphering of the epigenome and understanding the causes of clonal abnormality has also made large scale tissue culture of oil palm feasible.
S V National Institute of Technology, India
Time : 12:10-12:35
Vivek L Manekar is currently an Associate Professor in Civil Engineering department at S V National Institute of Technology, Surat, India. He completed his Master’s and PhD from VNIT, Nagpur. His broad areas of research are “Soil weather modeling, sediment transportation and climate change impacts on water resources”.
Agro meteorological rice yield prediction models are developed in this paper for Surat district of Gujarat state, India. Agro meteorological rice yield prediction models such as agromet yield, agromet spectral yield and agromet spectral trend yield were developed by using multiple-linear regression analysis and on the basis of examination of coefficient of determination (R2), and relative deviation (RD) values, resulted from different agromet models, the best agromet subset was selected to develop agromet-spectral trend-yield model. Tmin, Tmax and HTU (Heliothermal Units), NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) and TPY (Trend Predicted Yield) are the best agromet subset to incorporate in agromet spectral-trend-yield models.
S.V.National Institute of Technology
Time : 12:35-13:00
Nitin Bharadiya is currently from S.V.National Institute of Technology, Surat,India. He did his B. Tech (Agri. Engg.) from Junagadh Agri. University and M. Tech in Civil Engineering (WRE) from S.V.National Institute of Technology, Surat.
Estimation of crop yield is a difficult task due to its dependency over many factors. Crop models are considered to be an important tool for gaining a theoretical understanding of a crop production system. It is considered that effective crop modeling must combine a scientific approach to increase understanding with an applications orientation to retain an attention on prediction and problem-solving. In practice Miami, Thornthwaite and many such models are available and widely used for prediction of crop yield. Agro-climatic Crop-yield modeling refers to a technique which can be used to scale the effect of climate on yields. A crop model makes our insights into the physiological and ecological processes that govern crop growth into mathematical equations. Here agro-climatic sugarcane yield model is developed using dimensional analysis approach in which it is tried to include most significant parameters from the climate, soil and agricultural domain which plays key role in its yield prediction. Developed Agro-climatic sugarcane yield model is different from the existing models due to consideration of above predominant parameters all together which made it more sensitive towards climatic changes. Estimated sugarcane yield using developed model is compared with the actual yield for its validation which shows good agreement. Also the statistical performance of the model shows its fitness. Model comparison with the established models shows better performance
Imo State University Owerri, Nigeria
Title: Farmers perceived effects of soil degradation on the yield of improved cassava varieties in south east Nigeria
Time : 14:50-15:15
Nwaiwu Juan Chinatu is a PhD holder and a Lecturer in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development at Imo State University Owerri, Nigeria. She is a Senior Lecturer and teaches courses in “Diffusion of innovation, rural and community development, entrepreneurship, communication in extension among others”. She has been lecturing for more than 19 years with a research interest on “Arable crop farmers and soil degradation”. She has attended so many conferences both locally and internationally and published more than 25 journals and has also attended so many training and workshop in the field of Agriculture.
Improved cassava varieties have been developed and disseminated to farmers in the study area but the yield of cassava have been limited by poor farming practices which has led to soil degradation. This study therefore analyses the farmers’ perceived effect of soil degradation on the yield of improved cassava varieties. 342 randomly selected farmers from three states that make up the south eastern zone were interviewed with a structured questionnaire. Data collected include; farming practices employed by the farmers, soil degradation experienced, perceived effect of soil degradation on yield of cassava. Also, the study hypothesized that the farming practices employed by farmers have no significant effect on soil degradation. The data obtained was analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistical techniques. The result revealed that most of the farmers (96.2%) cleared and burnt their farmland before use, practiced complete tillage (88.3%) and makes use of pesticides (74.8%). The types of soil degradation observed by most of the farmers include; water erosion (88.8%), deforestation (83.3%), and wind erosion (83.2%). The grand mean of 2.55 as indicated by the Likert type scale shows that farmers perceived soil degradation affects the yields of cassava irrespective of the variety planted. The result of the probit multiple regression was significant at 5%, therefore, the hypothesis was rejected. The study recommends among others, that the Nigerian government with the help of the research institutes should concentrate more on ways to conserve the degraded soil of the south east than carrying out research on more improved varieties as the degraded soil is affecting the yield of the improved varieties.
Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa
Title: Enhancing the biosynthesis of essential oil and bioactive compounds in Agathosma betulina using invitro micropropagation technique
Time : 14:25-14:50
Ambrose Okem has completed his PhD from University of KwaZulu-Natal and currently doing postdoctoral fellowship at Cape peninsula University of Technology in medicinal plant research. He has published more than 10 papers in reputed journals and has been serving as reviewer of reputed journals
The global demand for medicinal plant products has increased in the last two decades leading to overexploitation and sometimes extinction. Plant biotechnology is one of the efficient approach used to engineer the biosynthesis of essential and/or bioactive compounds in plants. This study was aimed to develop a micropropagation protocol for Agathosma betulina, one of the most highly utilized medicinal plant in South Africa as well as to enhance the biosynthesis of some bioactive compounds by manipulating media compositions. Seeds and leaf tissues from explant of A. betulina were decontaminated thereafter, subcultured on MS media adjusted with different concentration of BA, NAA, IBA and DAA. Regenerants with well-developed root system were acclimatized for five months. Dried samples from in vitro cultures and acclimatized plants were extracted using dichloromethane and analyzed for phytochemical compositions using GC-MS. An efficient decontamination protocol was developed for micropropagation of A. betulina. Over 80% seed germination was recorded using scarification technique. Leave tissue from explant grown on ½ MS media had significantly high shoot proliferation, shoot length and number of leaves compared to the other treatments. Phytochemical analysis revealed significantly higher amounts of various phytochemicals accumulated in the leaf compared to stem and callus/roots. The most abundant phytochemicals were recorded in media containing NAA 0.5 mL-1 in the following order; limonene˃pulegone˃isomenthone (68, 39 and 33% respectively). In vitro cultures of A. betulina accumulated more phytochemicals compared to the acclimatized plant. Perhaps this could be that the phytohormones induced synthesis of certain compounds in in vitro culture. A. betulina possess a number of pharmacological properties including anticancer, antimicrobial and antioxidant. These activities are linked to inherent phytochemical contents. Hence, engineering the biosynthesis of bioactive compounds in A. betulina is an efficient means to meet the high demands for this plant.
Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa
Title: Ethno-botanical studies on medicinal plants used for the treatment of skin infections in the Eastern Cape, South Africa
Time : 14:50-15:15
Learnmore Kambizi completed his PhD from the University of Fort Hare, South Africa in 2005. He is an Associate Professor at Cape Peninsula University of Technology. He has published more than 28 papers in reputed journals and has been serving as a Reviewer of various journals in the field of Plant Sciences.
The methanol extracts of some commonly used medicinal plants used for treatment of skin infections and disorders were screened for their antioxidant activity using ascorbic acid as standard antioxidant. The free radical scavenging activity was evaluated using 1, 1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH) free radical. The analysis was performed using a Phoenix-2000 V UV-VIS spectrophotometer. The methanol extracts of Protorhus longifolia, Gnidia capitata, Macaranga capensis, Syzygium cordatum and Hypoxis hemerocallidea showed significantly higher free radical scavenging activity than that of ascorbic acid while Kniphofia drepanophylla showed weak antioxidant activity. The IC50 of former plant extracts were 11.5, 14.4, 14.6, 40.0, 41.2 and 44.0 µg/ml respectively while the IC50 value for K. drepanophylla could not be determined at 100µg/ml. The DPPH free radical scavenging activity of the plant extracts increased with increasing concentration. Generally, results revealed that these medicinal plants are potential sources of natural antioxidant.
Imo State University, Nigeria
Time : 15:15-15:40
Ogbuehi Hyginus completed his PhD from Imo State University. He completed his MSc and BSc from University of Port Harcourt, River State, Nigeria. He is a Lecturer at Department of Crop Science & Biotechnology, Faculty of Agriculture, Imo state University, Owerri, Nigeria. He has published more than 23 papers in reputed journals.
The laboratory study to determine the effects of ginger extract on the shelf-life and quality of tomato was conducted in the laboratory of the Department of Crop Science and Biotechnology, Imo State University, Owerri, Nigeria. The experiment was arranged in a completely randomized design with four replications. Various concentrations (50 ml, 100 ml and 200 ml) of ginger extract formed the treatments, while the untreated fruits formed the control. Parameters such as colour change, spoilage, shrinkage (firmness) were measured; other parameters monitored were the weight loss, and nutritive values. Results showed that fruits in the control significantly (P<0.05) lost higher weights than fruits treated with ginger extract especially with 200 ml for 5 minutes. Also, the firmness in the treated fruits was higher than the untreated. The ascorbic acid and other nutrients were higher in the ginger extract treated fruits
CCS Haryana Agricultural University, India
Title: Development of SCAR markers in date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) and jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis Schneider) for early sex identification
Time : 15:40-16:05
Pushpa Kharb is presently a Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology, Biotechnology & Bioinformatics, CCSHAU, Hisar. She served as Director (Technical), Centre for Plant Biotechnology for three years. She completed her MSc and PhD in Genetics from CCSHAU, Hisar. She was a Rockefeller Foundation Post-doctoral Fellow for two years at Texas A & M University, USA. She has been granted two patents so far out of seven patents filed. She is a recipient of ICAR sponsored Best Teacher award. She is a member of several academic societies and has published more than 50 research papers in national and international journals.
The genetic control and mechanisms leading to sex differentiation in date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) and jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis Link Schneider) are not known. Genomic DNA from a total of 45 genotypes (25 female and 20 male) of date palm was subjected to PCR amplification using 100 RAPD and 104 ISSR primers. Only one RAPD primer OPA-02 amplified a fragment of 1.0 kb in all the male genotypes. This male specific fragment was sequenced and the sequence was deposited in GenBank (accession no. JN123357). SCAR dpF (forward) and SCAR dpR (reverse) primers were designed based on this male-specific sequence. This primer pair amplified a 406 bp fragment in both female and male genotypes and a unique allele of 354 bp in only male genotypes (patent filed; application no. 1513/DEL/2010 dated 29/6/10). The SCAR marker was further validated using 25 female and 10 male date palm plants belonging to different varieties. Similarly in jojoba, an ISSR marker (already identified by our group) amplifying a unique allele of 1100 bp in only male genotypes was first confirmed using 10 male and 10 female genotypes. This male-specific fragment was cloned and sequenced. The sequence was deposited in the GenBank (accession no. HQ166029). Primers SCAR scF (forward) and SCAR scR (reverse) was designed based on this sequence amplified a unique allele of 1000 bp in male genotypes only (patent Application no. 1563/DEL/2010 dated 02/7/10). The SCAR marker was further validated using five male and five female jojoba genotypes which was not used earlier.
University of Brasilia, Brazil
Michelle de Souza Fayad Andre has postdoctoral position at the Plant Molecular Laboratory in the Department of Botany, University of Brasilia. She is also a Junior Researcher at the University of Brasilia. Her current work is part of an ongoing research project directed towards the understanding of the role aluminum on the growth and development of Brazilian savanna flora. This research has been funded by FAPDF (Research funding foundation of Brasilia) and CAPES (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel).
Qualea dichotoma (Mart.) Warm. (Vochysiaceae) is adapted to high aluminum (Al3+) contents in soils. The present study seeks to contribute to the understanding of the role of this metal on growth and development of native species of Brazilian savanna. Therefore, Q. dichotoma seedlings were grown with and without Al for 120 days. After 60 days of cultivation, the control plants (no Al) presented reduced chlorophylls a e b and carotenoids contents when compared with those grown with Al. The histochemical analysis (hematoxylin) showed high coloration intensity in leaves (midveins), a well as in stems and roots of Al-treated plants. GC-MS based metabolic analysis also detected differences in metabolite contents between control and Al-treated plants. Leaves of control plants had significantly higher amounts of malate, citrate, glyceric acid, pyroglutamic acid. In Addition, in roots the amount of the amino acid serine was significantly higher in control plants. The data strongly indicates that control plants were under stress due to the lack of Al, which may be associated with the high levels of organic acids in these plants. Thereby, Al appears to be required for proper growth and development of this species. Additionally, myo -inositol and quinic acid and sucrose in leaves and roots of treated plants may be related to reactive oxygen species (ROS) assisting the plants better development and adaptation in acidic soils. Based on the results, Al may play an important role on Q. dichotoma metabolism.
Renata Cristina Costa e Silva is a PhD student at the Department of Botany, University of Brazilian. Her thesis proposal is directed towards unravelling the metabolic role of Al in Cerrado plants. These plants need Al to grow and develop. Currently, she is on the process of evaluating the transcriptome of Qualea grandiflora grown with and without Al. This research has been funded by FAPDF (Research funding foundation of Brasilia) and CAPES (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel).
Qualea grandiflora Mart. is a species of Brazilian savanna (Cerrado) that depends on aluminum (Al) to grow and develop properly. In this study, the metabolic profile of Q. grandiflora roots and leaves grown with and without Al has been investigated by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The score plots of principal component analysis (PCA) and partial least squares-discriminate analysis (PLS-DA) showed clear discrimination between control and Al-treated samples of both tissues samples. The metabolic profile indicated that the presence of Al caused changes in sugars, amino acids and organic acids accumulation between treatments. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway analysis of integration data demonstrated Q. grandiflora grown with Al resulted in biochemical changes in several metabolic pathways including carbohydrate metabolism, glutathione metabolism, photosynthesis, amino acid metabolism and oxidative phosphorylation-related pathways. Furthermore, an integrated analysis of the effects of Al will be performed on metabolites and transcripts levels in Q. grandiflora. These results will contribute to elucidate the metabolic role of Al in this native species, which can be the basis for genetic manipulation of crop plants towards higher tolerance to acid soils.