The latest research on global food security, biofuel feedstocks and climate change will be explored at the inaugural three-day International Plant Phenomics Symposium beginning in Canberra tomorrow.
The Symposium aims to advance the field of phenomics - the study of how the genetic makeup of organisms determines their appearance, function and performance - and will bring together over 100 delegates representing science, government, industry and the community.
Scientific Director of the High Resolution Plant Phenomics Centre in Canberra, CSIRO's Dr Bob Furbank, says the conference will focus on screening techniques and analytic approaches for assessing plants' resistance to stress and disease, and their ability to maximise growth, yield and performance under climate and ecosystem change.
'The need for quantitative tools to rapidly select plants which will perform better in our future climate is a major driver for new technologies,' Dr Furbank says.
'Innovative analytical methods - developed at the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility and in collaboration with international researchers - will provide Australian farmers with world-leading crop genotypes to maximise their agricultural performance.'
Invited international speakers include: Professor Joe Berry of the Carnegie Institute, Stanford, USA, who will speak on plant responses to global climate change; and world leaders in plant imaging such as Professor Uli Schurr of the Phytosphere Institute, Julich Plant Phenomics Centre, Germany; and Professor Lyn Jones of the University of Dundee, UK.
The symposium will feature presentations, scientific posters and trade exhibitors and concludes on Friday with a roundtable discussion addressing how new technologies and collaborations can be applied to solve food security, climate change adaptation, drought tolerance and biofuels/biomass problems.
The Symposium is being hosted by CSIRO for the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility.
Major sponsors include Biolab, Croudace Greenhouses and LemnaTec GmbH.