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Plant Metabolic Engineering
Gordon Research Conference

Harnessing Plant Metabolism for the Bio-Based Economy

Dates

July 19-24, 2015

Location

Waterville Valley
Waterville Valley, NH

Organizers

Chairs:
Richard A. Dixon & Sarah E. O'Connor

Vice Chairs:
Andrew D. Hanson & Cathie Martin

Meeting Description

For millennia, humans have tapped the products of plant metabolism for food, feed, fiber, fuel and medicines. As the world’s population approaches 9 billion by 2050, these necessities will be required in unprecedented amounts, requiring production strategies that are sustainable and reduce carbon emissions to the atmosphere. Plants show remarkable metabolic plasticity and diversity, but meeting the above challenges will also require engineering plants to produce new products designed to meet the needs of an ever growing population. The importance of improving production of plant products is poorly appreciated by the public at large, but biology is now poised to facilitate major advances in the design of plants across the whole spectrum of potential uses. In this context, the 2015 Plant Metabolic Engineering GRC will (i) highlight new advances in understanding plant metabolism, its flexibility and its underlying control mechanisms, (ii) discuss new technologies that allow for engineering of complex pathways, targeted gene replacements and non-transgenic approaches to genetic improvement, and (iii) present real world examples where plant metabolic engineering is leading to new products that are reaching the marketplace. These latter presentations will provide the audience with an up to date assessment of both the scientific and regulatory challenges of moving metabolic engineering from concept to reality. Short talks will also be selected from poster abstracts submitted as part of the registration process. Junior scientists, postdoctoral researchers and graduate students will present their work in poster sessions and interact with global leaders in the field of plant metabolic engineering from both academia and industry. The collegial atmosphere of this conference, with extended discussion sessions and informal gatherings in the afternoons and evenings, provide a unique forum for networking and interactions across disciplines.

Related Meeting

This GRC was held in conjunction with the "Plant Metabolic Engineering" Gordon Research Seminar (GRS). Refer to the associated GRS program page for more information.

Contributors

Final Meeting Program

Sunday
2:00 pm - 9:00 pmArrival and Check-in
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 7:40 pmWelcome / Introductory Comments by GRC Site Staff
7:40 pm - 9:30 pmKeynote Session: Plant Metabolism and Cell Walls – Diversity and Exploitation
Discussion Leader: Andrew Hanson (University of Florida, USA)
7:40 pm - 7:50 pmIntroduction by Discussion Leader
7:50 pm - 8:25 pmAnne Osbourn (John Innes Centre, United Kingdom)
"Making Sense of Metabolic Diversity"
8:25 pm - 8:40 pmDiscussion
8:40 pm - 9:15 pmMaureen McCann (Purdue University, USA)
"Engineering Biomass for a Billion-Ton Bioeconomy"
9:15 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
Monday
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmSpecialized Metabolism
Discussion Leader: Eleanore Wurtzel (Lehman College, City University of New York, USA)
9:00 am - 9:10 amIntroduction by Discussion Leader
9:10 am - 9:45 amElizabeth Sattely (Stanford University, USA)
"Discovery and Engineering of Plant Natural Product Pathways"
9:45 am - 10:00 amDiscussion
10:00 am - 10:30 amGroup Photo / Coffee Break
10:30 am - 11:00 amReuben Peters (Iowa State University, USA)
"The Many Roles of Diterpenoids in Plant-Microbe Interactions"
11:00 am - 11:15 amDiscussion
11:15 am - 11:45 amBirgit Draeger (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenbgerg, Germany)
"Plant Alkaloids: ­ Make Use of the Knowledge!"
11:45 am - 12:00 pmDiscussion
12:00 pm - 12:15 pmXu Li (North Carolina State University, USA)
"Discovery of a Novel Amino Acid Racemase Gene Family Through Exploration of Arabidopsis Natural Accessions"
12:15 pm - 12:20 pmDiscussion
12:20 pm - 12:30 pmGeneral Discussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmMetabolic Regulation and Signal Transduction
Discussion Leader: Nicole Clay (Yale University, USA)
7:30 pm - 7:35 pmIntroduction by Discussion Leader
7:35 pm - 8:00 pmJoseph Jez (Washington University at St. Louis, USA)
"What Structural Biology Can Teach Us About Metabolic Regulation in Plants"
8:00 pm - 8:15 pmDiscussion
8:15 pm - 8:30 pmCraig Schenck (University of Wisconsin - Madison, USA)
"Role of Tyrosine-Insensitive, Non-Plastidic Prephenate Dehydrogenase in Legumes"
8:30 pm - 8:35 pmDiscussion
8:35 pm - 8:50 pmYang Zhang (John Innes Centre, United Kingdom)
"Multi-Level Engineering Facilitates the Production of Phenylpropanoid Compounds in Tomato"
8:50 pm - 8:55 pmDiscussion
8:55 pm - 9:20 pmJohn Shanklin (Brookhaven National Laboratory, USA)
"Engineering Lipids and Defeating Biochemical Feedback"
9:20 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
Tuesday
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmMetabolism – Spatial and Dynamic
Discussion Leader: Eva Colloakova (Virginia Tech University, USA)
9:00 am - 9:10 amIntroduction by Discussion Leader
9:10 am - 9:45 amDoug Allen (Agricultural Research Service, US Department of Agriculture / Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, USA)
"Quantifying Plant Phenotypes with Metabolic Flux Analysis and Isotopic Labeling"
9:45 am - 10:00 amDiscussion
10:00 am - 10:30 amCoffee Break
10:30 am - 11:00 amJonathan Page (The University of British Columbia, Canada)
"Genomic Analysis of Cannabinoid Production in Cannabis sativa"
11:00 am - 11:15 amDiscussion
11:15 am - 11:45 amKent Chapman (University of North Texas, USA)
"Visualizing Lipid Metabolites in Plant Tissues by Mass Spectrometry"
11:45 am - 12:00 pmDiscussion
12:00 pm - 12:15 pmNazia Nisar (The Australian National University, Australia)
"Defining the Roles of CRTIL (Carotenoid Isomerase-Like) Enzymes in Carotenoid Metabolism and Cold Tolerance"
12:15 pm - 12:20 pmDiscussion
12:20 pm - 12:30 pmGeneral Discussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmEngineering Cell Walls
Discussion Leader: Udaya Kalluri (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA)
7:30 pm - 7:35 pmIntroduction by Discussion Leader
7:35 pm - 8:00 pmJohn Ralph (University of Wisconsin, USA)
"Engineering Lignins Designed for Deconstruction"
8:00 pm - 8:15 pmDiscussion
8:15 pm - 8:40 pmDebra Mohnen (University of Georgia, USA)
"Modification of Pectin and Cell Wall Structure to Generate Plants with Improved Plant Growth and Enhanced Qualities for Biofuel and Biomaterial Production"
8:40 pm - 8:55 pmDiscussion
8:55 pm - 9:20 pmDominique Loque (Joint BioEnergy Institute, USA)
"Fine-Tuning Secondary Cell Wall Engineering"
9:20 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
Wednesday
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmBreakthrough Technologies: Gene Expression and Editing
Discussion Leader: Vladimir Shulaev (University of North Texas, USA)
9:00 am - 9:10 amIntroduction by Discussion Leader
9:10 am - 9:45 amKazuki Saito (RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science / Chiba University, Japan)
"Combining Metabolomics with Genomics: From Arabidopsis to Crops and Medicinal Plants"
9:45 am - 10:00 amDiscussion
10:00 am - 10:30 amCoffee Break
10:30 am - 11:00 amGeorge Lomonossoff (John Innes Centre, United Kingdom)
"Fine-Tuning Transient Expression Levels: When Less Can Be More"
11:00 am - 11:15 amDiscussion
11:15 am - 11:45 amYingfang Zhu (Purdue University, USA)
"Gene Editing in Plants Using TALENS and CRISPR/cas"
11:45 am - 12:00 pmDiscussion
12:00 pm - 12:15 pmAymerick Eudes (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA)
"Exploiting the Substrate Promiscuity of Hydroxycinnamoyl-CoA:Shikimate Hydroxycinnamoyl Transferase to Reduce Lignin"
12:15 pm - 12:20 pmDiscussion
12:20 pm - 12:30 pmGeneral Discussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmBreakthrough Technologies: Chromosome Manipulation and Mutation
Discussion Leader: Gregory Copenhaver (University of North Carolina, USA)
7:30 pm - 7:35 pmIntroduction by Discussion Leader
7:35 pm - 8:00 pmJames Birchler (University of Missouri, USA)
"Construction and Applications of Engineered Minichromsomes in Plants"
8:00 pm - 8:15 pmDiscussion
8:15 pm - 8:40 pmLuca Comai (University of California, Davis, USA)
"Genomic Discovery Through Induced Mutations and Chromosome Manipulations"
8:40 pm - 8:55 pmDiscussion
8:55 pm - 9:20 pmBrande Wulff (John Innes Centre, United Kingdom)
"Gene Identification in Hexaploid Wheat by Mutational Genomics"
9:20 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
Thursday
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
8:30 am - 9:00 amBusiness Meeting
Nominations for the Next Vice Chair; Fill in Conference Evaluation Forms; Discuss Future Site and Scheduling Preferences; Election of the Next Vice Chair
9:00 am - 12:30 pmTranslational Case Studies: Bottlenecks from Basic to Applied
Discussion Leader: Cathie Martin (John Innes Centre, United Kingdom)
9:00 am - 9:10 amIntroduction by Discussion Leader
9:10 am - 9:45 amKatrina Cornish (Ohio State University, USA)
"Will Alternate Natural Rubber Hit the Road? Molecular Approaches to Increasing Rubber Yield"
9:45 am - 10:00 amDiscussion
10:00 am - 10:30 amCoffee Break
10:30 am - 11:05 amPeggy Lemaux (University of California, Berkeley, USA)
"How Basic Research Informs Informs Cereal Crop Improvement Efforts. But Where Are These New Varieties?"
11:05 am - 11:20 amDiscussion
11:20 am - 11:50 amOliver Yu (Conagen Inc, USA)
"The Missing Links Between Plant Metabolic Engineering and Commercialization"
11:50 am - 12:05 pmDiscussion
12:05 pm - 12:20 pmPatrick Shih (Joint BioEnergy Institute, USA)
"A Robust Gene Stacking Method Utilizing Yeast Assembly for Plant Metabolic Engineering"
12:20 pm - 12:25 pmDiscussion
12:25 pm - 12:30 pmGeneral Discussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmTranslational Case Studies: From Lab to Commercial Products in the Field
Discussion Leader: Kenneth Davenport (Chromatin, Inc, USA)
7:30 pm - 7:40 pmIntroduction by Discussion Leader
7:40 pm - 8:15 pmMarc-Andre D'Aoust (Medicago Inc., Canada)
"Plant-Produced Influenza Vaccines and Beyond"
8:15 pm - 8:30 pmDiscussion
8:30 pm - 9:05 pmStephen Temple (Forage Genetics International, USA)
"Development and Commercialization of Reduced Lignin Alfalfa"
9:05 pm - 9:20 pmDiscussion
9:20 pm - 9:30 pmClosing Remarks
Friday
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 amDeparture
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