The term “phytobiome” has been defined as a system of organisms that consist of plants, animals (insects and nematodes) and a wide diversity of microbes (viruses, bacteria, fungi, oomycetes, amoeba, and algae). Phytobiomes are also influenced by the non-living components of the environment, such as the soil and climate. The complex components of these systems greatly influence various plant functional traits such as plant health, productivity, and response to pathogens, pests and environmental stresses. Understanding the composition, dynamics, traits and interactions among individual constituents of these diverse systems requires basic and applied research efforts and innovative approaches, involving interdisciplinary teams with diverse expertise.

This Plant Biology symposium, the 21st in a series at Penn State, will serve as a platform to catalyze new interactions and exchange ideas in the areas of basic and applied phytobiome research. Approximately 20 plenary lectures from worldwide leaders are planned. Additional short talks and posters will be selected from the submitted abstracts. The symposium program also includes a workshop geared at producing a white paper titled "Manipulating phytobiomes: challenges and opportunities", which will focus on the critical next steps towards effectively managing phytobiomes. There will ample opportunities for networking and social interactions. Postdoctoral researchers and students are particularly encouraged to attend. A limited number of travel grants will be available. 

The 21st Biennial Penn State Plant Biology Symposium is organized by the Plant Biology graduate program of the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences and the Phytobiome Initiative of the College of Agricultural Sciences. We hope that you can join us at University Park from June 19-22, 2018! Come and meet our diverse group of Penn State faculty and students involved in a variety of microbial and plant sciences, including molecular biology, genetics, genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, physiology, breeding, and ecology.  

  • Where

  • Huck Life Sciences Building
    Penn State University
    University Park, PA 16802

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