IIGB/CEPCEB saw unprecedented participation at the ASPB’s Plant Biology 2019 Conference in San Jose, California! CEPCEB’s own Wenbo Ma was a major symposia organizer of this year’s conference and delivered two talks, “Plant Disease and Resistance Mechanisms Major Symposium Overview by Organizer” and “Trans-kingdom RNAi executed by Secondary Small RNAs confers disease resistance”

Other faculty presenting talks included Sean Cutler (“New Tools for Dynamically Maximizing Crop Productivity”), Linda Walling (“Nymph mortality: Whitefly resistance in the non-model plants cassava and alfalfa”), and Dawn Nagel (“Time of day regulation of heat stress related growth responses”). Additionally, Meng Chen’s Assistant Project Scientist Chan Yul Yoo presented a Lightning Talk (“A nucleus-to-plastid light signaling mechanism for initiating chloroplast biogenesis”) as did Carolyn Rasmussen’s graduate student Alison Mills (“Division Plane Orientation Defects Revealed by a Synthetic Double Mutant Phenotype”).

Aside from talks, 23 faculty, junior researchers, and students presented posters. These included:

Sonja Winte (Bailey-Serres Lab): “Group VII ERF orchestration of the hypoxia-responsive network in Arabidopsis thaliana, rice, & maize“

Chan Yul Yoo (M. Chen Lab): “A nucleus-to-plastid light signaling mechanism for initiating chloroplast biogenesis“

Honghong Wu (Giraldo Lab): “Improving Arabidopsis salinity tolerance through cerium oxide nanoparticle scavenging of ROS and enhancing leaf mesophyll potassium retention“

Patrick Thomas (Walling Lab): “Elucidating a Nymph-Based Whitefly Resistance Mechanism in Alfalfa“  

Jacob MacWilliams (Kaloshian Lab): “A cowpea aphid salivary enzyme with dual roles in altering host immunity and physiology“  

Adam Steinbrenner (Close Lab): “Discovery of an immune receptor for a Herbivore-Associated Molecular Pattern (HAMP) to combat chewing“

Yingnan Hou (W. Ma Lab): “Plant secondary siRNAs contribute to host-induced gene silencing in oomycete pathogens“  

Cristal Zuniga Pena (Borneman Lab): “Unraveling metabolic interactions among ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ and Citrus sinensis“  

Alison Mills (Rasmussen Lab): “Division Plane Orientation Defects Revealed by a Synthetic Double Mutant Phenotype“

Marschal Bellinger (Rasmussen Lab): “Kinectin is essential for cell expansion in Zea mays“

Carolyn Rasmussen, Assistant Professor: “Analyzing the role of cell shape in division plane orientation“  

Jin-Zheng Wang (Dehesh Lab): “How plastidial retrograde signaling metabolite regulates adaptive responses? “

Jaime Van Norman, Assistant Professor: “PLK1, a transmembrane receptor kinase, links lateral cell polarity with radial tissue patterning during root development“

Jessica Toth (Van Norman Lab):  “PLK3: A receptor-like kinase with lateral polar localization in root epidermal cells“

Brandon Le (X. Chen Lab) : “Dissecting the Roles of Plant-Specific RNA Polymerases IV and V in Soybean“

Emily Blair (Nagel Lab): “Contribution of time of day and the circadian clock to the heat stress responsive transcriptome in Arabidopsis“  

Alex Rajewski (Litt Lab): “Identification of Conserved Regulatory Modules in Dry and Fleshy Fruit Development“  

Ye Xu (X. Chen Lab) :  “Investigating the dynamic localization of Arabidopsis AGO1 between the nucleus, cytoplasm and the ER“

Tejasvinee Atul Mody (Nagel Lab): “Regulation of circadian clock genes by Heat Shock Transcription Factors in Arabidopsis“

Sassoum Lo (Close Lab): “Genetic analysis of pod shattering in cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp] “ 

Sun Hyun Chang (Nelson Lab): “Evolution of specific receptor-target interactions in karrikin and strigolactone signaling pathways“

Stephanie Martinez (Nelson Lab): “The molecular basis for enhanced responses to karrikins, a class of germination stimulants in smoke“  

Damaris Godinez-Vidal (Kaloshian Lab): “A Novel Approach to Develop Broad-Spectrum Resistance to Plant Parasitic Nematodes“

Several IIGB/CEPCEB researchers also qualified as ASPB Travel Grant Awardees. Jin-Zheng Wang (Dehesh Lab), Sassoum Lo (Close Lab), Irma Ortiz (Walling Lab), Alex Rajewski (Litt Lab), and Sonja Winte (Bailey-Serres Lab) all won $575 to attend the conference.