Scientific Program

Conference Series Ltd invites all the participants across the globe to attend Global Summit on Plant Science San Antonio, USA.

Day 1 :

  • Track1: Plant Physiology and Biochemistry
    Track 2:Plant Tissue Culture and Plant Biotechnology
    Track 3: Agricultural Science

Session Introduction

Gerald A Tuskan

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA

Title: Some unexpected features of the Populus genome
Speaker
Biography:

Gerald A Tuskan holds a dual appointment as Group Lead for Plant Genomics Group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Co-lead for the Plant Genomics Program at the Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute. He has over 25-years of experience leading and working with DOE on the development of bio-energy feed-stocks. He is currently the Activity Lead for the DOE BioEnergy Science Center Populus team and is co-lead PI on DOE Plant-Microbe Interactions project. His research focuses on the accelerated domestication of Populus through direct genetic manipulation of targeted genes and gene families with focus on cell wall biosynthesis.

Abstract:

A genome is hierarchal summation of historic duplications, rearrangements and mutational events that descend from an ancestral progenitor. In a practical manner, a genome, in the context of high-throughput sequencing is a computational representation of actual linear sequences of nucleotides depicted as a pseudomolecule. Genome expansion, through whole-genome duplication events followed by rearrangements and mutations leads to predictable, conserved functions across plant and animal taxa. Summed across many distantly related genomes we can then build hierarchal models of incremental gene expansion that are used to project function into annotated gene space. This approach has served us well in the areas of comparative genomics, transcript and proteomic analyses and taxonomic classifications. There are, however, unusual and non-iconoclastic genomic features that appear conserved across taxa and may have arisen outside of incremental accumulation of small mutations. We have used a deep SNP and INDEL library in Populus for the discovery of novel genes/proteins using GWAS approaches. These features include: Cryptic genes and gene structures, horizontal gene transfer and gene/motif cooption and de novo gene formation. Transient and stable transformation, co-evolution and co-expression network analyses and pharmacological experiments have been used to validate hypothesized functions. Phenotypic examples related to callus formation, bark texture and lignin deposition within the cell wall will be presented.

Speaker
Biography:

Dr. Grace Q. Chen has 30 years research experience on plant science. She obtained her Ph. D. 20 years ago from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and had 4 years of postdoctoral studies at University of California-Berkeley and U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. She has published more than 60 papers in reputed journals and served as Oilseed Division Chair for Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crop. One of Dr. Chen’s current research focuses is on transgenic production of hydroxyl fatty acid in plants.

Abstract:

Seed oil of Lesquerella (Physaria fendelri) contains 55 ̶ 60% hydroxy fatty acid (HFA) that has important industrial application. A high-throughput, large-scale sequencing of transcripts from developing lesquerella seeds was carried out by 454 pyrosequencing to generate a database for quality improvement of seed oil and other agronomic traits. Deep mining and characterization of acyl-lipid genes were conducted to uncover candidate genes for further studies of mechanisms underlying HFA and seed oil synthesis. A total of 651 megabases of raw sequences from an mRNA sample of developing seeds was acquired. Bioinformatic analysis of these sequences revealed 59,914 transcripts representing 26,995 unique genes that include nearly all known seed expressed genes. Based on sequence similarity with known plant proteins, about 74% (19,861) genes matched with annotated coding genes. Among them, 95% (18,868) showed highest sequence homology with Arabidopsis genes, which will allow translation of genomics and genetics findings from Arabidopsis to lesquerella. Using Arabidopsis acyl-lipid genes as queries, we searched the transcriptome assembly and identified 615 lesquerella genes involved in all known pathways of acyl-lipid metabolism. Further deep mining the transcriptome assembly led to identification of almost all lesquerella genes involved in fatty acid and triacylglycerol synthesis. Moreover, we characterized the spatial and temporal expression profiles of 15 key genes using the quantitative PCR assay. The information obtained from data mining and gene expression profiling will provide a resource not only for the study of HFA metabolism, but also for the biotechnological improvement of HFA production in lesquerella.

Speaker
Biography:

Niranjan Baisakh completed his PhD from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippines. He did his postdoctoral studies at IRRI and Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, LA. He is an Associate Professor at LSU Ag Center working on improving stress tolerance of field crops using molecular and computational biology, and functional genomics tools. He has published more than 30 research papers, five book chapters, and has presented his research in several national and international conferences. He currently serves as an editorial board member of three journals, including PLOS ONE.

Abstract:

Abiotic stresses adversely affect plant growth, development and productivity. Natural variations for stress tolerance exist in the primary and secondary gene pool of field crops, but success with conventional breeding to develop salt and drought tolerant varieties has been slow, largely due to the complexity and low heritability of stress tolerance traits. Extremophiles possess specialized physiological and biochemical mechanisms to cope with environmental stresses through regulation of their transcriptome complexity. Genomic resources of halophytes have been exploited to improve abiotic stress tolerance in crops. Monocot halophytes are considered ideal for translational studies in important cereal food crops, such as rice. Spartina alterniflora (smooth cord grass) is a Louisiana native halophyte grass that can withstand salinity up to double the strength of sea water. Profiling of its leaf and root transcriptome showed that transcription factors, vacuolar proton pump members and transporters were significantly upregulated (P<0.01) under stress, and that it possesses superior alleles that contribute to its stress adaptability. Phenotype of rice overexpresses and knock-down mutants of selected candidate genes validated their role in stress response in rice. The overexpressed rice lines manifested stress tolerance by positively regulating their relative water content, stomatal movement, photosynthetic activity, osmolytes accumulation, and ion homeostasis under stress. This study demonstrated that S. alterniflora is a rich reservoir of stress tolerance genes that can be used to develop stress-resilient cereals including rice, a globally important food crop. Furthermore, S. alterniflora transcriptome resources will be valuable for novel gene discovery through comparative transcriptomics studies with other stress-tolerant/sensitive grasses.

Speaker
Biography:

Sylvia Lindberg is Professor emeritus at EMB, Stockholm University, (SU) where she received a Ph. D exam 1981 at Department of Botany. She was Professor and Associate Head of Department at Plant Biology, SLU, Ultuna, Sweden, during 1982-2006, when she come back to SU. She has been Post Doc at Scoula Superiore in Pisa, Italy. At present she has published more than 50 peer-reviewed papers and was reviewer of applications to European Science Foundation, German and Italian Science Foundations. She has been Associate Editor of J of Plant Physiology and Guest Editor of Plants.

Abstract:

In order to investigate an involvement of the different isoforms of phospholipase D, pld (α1, α2, α3, β1, β2, γ1, γ2, γ3, δ, ε, ζ1 and ζ2), in hypoxia signaling, all the isoforms lacking the respective phospholipases were used. The hypoxia-induced changes in cytoplasmic free Ca2+concentration, [Ca2+]cyt, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) were detected by epi-fluorescence and confocal microscopy in mesophyll protoplasts of Arabidopsis thaliana, (Col-0), labeled with calcium-binding benzofuran, Fura-2,AM and a ROS sensitive dye, chloromethyl dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate acetyl, CM-H2DCFDA, respectively. Hypoxia treatment of the protoplast medium induced an immediate increase in ROS and a gradual elevation of [Ca2+]cyt for more than half an hour in the wild type. The increase in hypoxia-induced [Ca2+]cyt was reduced, or almost abolished in all isoforms except for pldε and ζ1. Different inhibitors of calcium channels and of PLD activity were used to study if PLD was involved in the reactions and if the [Ca2+]cyt elevations were from both external and internal stores. Also the hypoxia-induced ROS elevation was much lower in mutants except for and pldγ3 and pldζ2. By an enzymatic method we could confirm that phosphatidic acid, PA, a byproduct of phospholipases, was diminished in all mutants except for γ3, ζ1 and ζ2. Thus, this study demonstrates the importance of PLD in hypoxia-mediated calcium and ROS elevations in Arabidopsis.

Speaker
Biography:

Abul Mandal has completed his PhD at the age of 30 years from University of Agriculture in Cracow, Poland and postdoctoral studies from University of Stockholm, Sweden. In 2010 Mandal was appointed as a Professor of Molecular Biology at the System Biology Research Center of the University of Skövde, Sweden. Currently, he is heading the Physiology and Toxicology research group at this University. He has published more than 100 papers in reputed peer reviewed journals and has been serving as an editorial board member of several scientific journals. Visit www.his.se/mana to see his recent publications.

Abstract:

Toxic metals such as arsenics, lead, cadmium or chromium are the major environmental pollutants that severely contribute to contamination of the global food chain directly through their accumulation in the edible parts of the cultivated crops or indirectly via meat-milk pathway. Fortunately, plant genetic engineering has the potential for developing new crop cultivars for removal of the toxic substances from the polluted sources or for avoiding accumulation of these contaminants in the edible parts. Previously, we have identified and studied four key genes that are involved in accumulation of arsenics in plants (J Biol. Systems 2010, 18/1:1-19; J Mol. Modeling 2012, DOI 10.1007/s00894-012-1419 and J Mol. Modeling 2014, DOI 10.1007/s00894-014-2104). In this study, we have cloned and transformed the ACR2 gene (arsenic reductase 2) of Arabidopsis thaliana into tobacco plants (Nicotiana tabacum). Our results revealed that the transgenic tobacco plants are more tolerant to arsenic than the wild-type control plants. These plants can grow on medium containing 200µM arsenate, whereas the non-transgenic plants can hardly survive under this condition. Furthermore, when exposed to 100 µM arsenate for 35 days accumulation of arsenics in shoots of the transgenic plants decreases significantly (28 µg/g d wt.) compared to that observed in the non-transgenic control plants (40 µg/g d wt.). This study shows that A. thaliana ACR2 gene is a potential candidate for genetic engineering of plants to develop new cultivars that can be grown on arsenic contaminated fields and can supply harmless foods containing no or significantly reduced amount of arsenics.

Speaker
Biography:

Daisuke Matsuoka has completed his Ph.D. (2002) from Kobe University in Japan and postdoctoral studies at Osaka Prefecture University in Japan. He is the assistant professor of Graduate School of Agricultural Science at Kobe University. His research is focused on stress signal transduction in plants. He has published more than 25 papers in reputed journals.

Abstract:

Plants are sessile organisms, which are constantly exposed to a variety of biotic and abiotic stresses in their external environment. Environmental stresses, such as salinity, cold and drought, influence plant growth and limit the yield of crops. In order to survive, plants have developed various signal transduction pathways to modulate cellular responses to environmental changes. The phytohormone Abscisic acid (ABA) plays important roles in plant growth and stress responses. ABA regulates many aspects of plant growth and development, including seed maturation, dormancy, germination, leaf senescence and responses to environmental stresses. These functions are regulated by various signaling components, for example, second messengers, including Ca2+ and reactive oxygen species, SnRK2, PP2C pathway and G-protein. It is also known that mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades function in ABA signaling. MAPK cascades play important roles in responses to various biotic and abiotic stresses, plant hormones, cell division and developmental processes in plants. In Arabidopsis, 20 MAPK, 10 MAPKK and about 80 MAPKKK genes have been found, which suggests that the signaling cascades generated by these molecules are complex, in this lecture, I introduce our recent research that an Arabidopsis MAPKKK, MAPKKK18 functions in ABA signaling. Furthermore, we generated transgenic Arabidopsis plants constitutively expressing MAPKKK18 (35S:MAPKKK18) or its kinase-negative form (35S:MAPKKK18KN). Senescence of the rosette leaves was promoted in 35S:MAPKKK18, whereas suppressed in 35S:MAPKKK18KN and it showed vigorous growth. These results indicate the possibility of enhanced biomass production of plants. Overexpression of the other ABA inducible MAPKKKs is also introduced.

Speaker
Biography:

Abstract:

Protein L-Isoaspartyl (D-aspartyl) methyltransferases (PIMT or PCMT EC 2.1.1.77) recognize and repair L-isoaspartate and D-aspartate residues in damaged proteins. In dicots PIMT was shown to provide seed vigour and longevity. But the role of PIMT in during seed maturation and desiccation in orthodox seeds is largely unknown. Current study of PIMT from monocot model plant rice revealed coordinated role of PIMT isoforms during different stages of plant development and especially during seed maturation and drying. Study showed that PIMT in rice was primarily accumulated in dry seed followed by flower, leaf, stem and root. Detailed analysis of PIMT protein during seed development showed a gradual increase in its accumulation toward the end of maturation phase, retained in dry mature stage and decreased upon germination. Also we observed coordinated interplay of PIMT isoforms during seed developmental stages. Molecular analysis showed that rice codes for two PIMT genes (OsPIMT1 and OsPIMT2) which produced multiple transcripts, out of which three transcripts produced biochemically active enzymes (OsPIMT1, OsPIMT2 and ΔOsPIMT2 i.e., OsPIMT2 without N-terminal domain). We identified few biochemically inactive isoforms whose specific function is not clearly known. Ectopic expression of OsPIMTs in Arabidopsis demonstrated that all three isoforms improve seed vigour and longevity by restricting isoaspartate accumulation, which was clearly evident from controlled deterioration treatments. This study elucidates in clear detail the interplay and coordinated function of various PIMTs in Rice providing deeper insights into its role in germination, stress, aging and seed development especially during seed maturation and desiccation.

Speaker
Biography:

Swarna obtained her Ph.D. degree in Plant Biology and Biotechnology at the age of 27 (2015) from Loyola College (Autonomous) Chennai, India, under the University of Madras. Previously she has completed M.Sc. Biotechnology and M.Phil. Plant Biology and Biotechnology from Stella Maris College and Loyola College, Chennai, India respectively. Her fields of interest and specialization include plant tissue culture and molecular biology. She has authored and published more than eight research papers in internationally well-reputed journals with high impact factor. She has also presented technical papers during national and international workshops and conferences.

Abstract:

Betalains are characteristic vacuolar pigments that entirely replace anthocyanin in most plants in the Centrospermae family. They can be divided into two structural groups, yellow-orange betaxanthins and red-purple betacyanins, both of which have betalamic acid as their basic structure. However, most of the betalain-containing crops have certain drawbacks which affect the global use as a natural food colourant. The Portulacaceae members belonging to the order Caryophyllales are characterized by the accumulation of Betalains in flowers, fruits and occasionally in vegetative tissues. Talinum triangulare (Family: Portulacaceae), popularly known as waterleaf, naturally produces the nitrogen-containing plant pigment in flowers and stems. Hence, the aim of the present study was to produce and estimate Betalains by adapting in vitro tissue culture strategies from the medicinal herb T. triangulare. The betacyanin and betaxanthin patterns were detected, analysed and characterized by applying high performance liquid chromatography photo-diode array detection (HPLC-PDA) coupled with positive ion electro-spray mass spectrometry. In vitro assays including antimicrobial efficacy, antioxidant activity and cytotoxicity were investigated to analyse the efficacy of the Betalains samples. Furthermore, the storage, stability and viability of the pigment were determined for its applications in food products. Altogether, the findings of our study may open new opportunities for screening of betalainic plants, such as T. triangulare, as promising future sources for natural food colours.

Speaker
Biography:

Arie Altman received his PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of Agriculture and is Professor of Horticulture and Plant Biotechnology (Ret.), Founding Director of Robert H. Smith Institute of Plant Sciences and Genetics in Agriculture. He was President of the International Association of Plant Biotechnology, former Director of the Otto Warburg Center of Biotechnology in Agriculture, member of Israel National Committee for Biotechnology and Committee for Transgenic Plants. His research interests include molecular control of plant response to drought and salinity, agricultural biotechnology, forest tree biotechnology and plant tissue culture. He published over 180 research publications and served as Editor of 5 biotechnology books. He is (past and present) Editor and Editorial Board member of Plant Physiology, Annual Review of Plant Biotechnology and Applied Genetics, In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology-Plant, Plant Cell Reports, and others. Prof Altman was Invited Professor and Scientist at: Amsterdam Free University, INRA Versailles and Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris and Orsay, Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, Roche Institute of Molecular Biology, N.J., USA, Department of Biology, Yale University, New Haven, Botany Dept., University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, UK, and others.

Abstract:

While plant agricultural biotechnologies have come to fruition due to the implementation of novel molecular marker-assisted crop breeding and genetic engineering, it is important to distinguish the many considerable achievements from several remaining R&D needs. At the genotype level, the use of genome mapping and omics markers resulted in impressive advances and became routine in breeding of many agricultural plants. At the phenotype level, improved agricultural techniques are continuously being developed, resulting in enhanced yields and quality traits. Future directions should be aimed at solving the current major hurdles to agricultural biotechnology: (i) Bridging the genotype–phenotype gap by improving novel high-throughput quantitative and automated selection and screening methods that focus on whole-plant physiology and quality traits. These will enhance the release of newly bred varieties to farmers and avoid long development phases and large-scale field studies; (ii) Bridging the genome-environment gap: many desired plant traits, especially stress tolerance, depend on the interaction of many genes and metabolic pathways with changing environments, and thus enhanced adoption of translational and Interactome research at all R&D stages should be developed; (iii) More attention should be given to epigenetic molecular events that are evolutionarily most relevant to plant adaptation to changing environments and to regeneration processes; (iv) Improving the biotechnological procedures of novel biomaterial production; (v) Promoting transparent dialog between molecular biologists, plant physiologists, farmers, breeding companies, and the public to solve jointly the economic, sociological, legal, and ethical hurdles. We thus urge the adoption of a system-bio-agriculture integrated approach to achieve substantial progress in plant biotechnology and agriculture in the 21st century.

Speaker
Biography:

Neeta Pathaw has completed the experimental work of her thesis and due to submit soon, in the Department of Botany, North Eastern Hill University, Shillong. She has published one international paper and has participated in many national and International Symposiums. She is currently working as a guest faculty in the Department of Botany, North Eastern Hill University, and Shillong.

Abstract:

Plant diseases have emerged as a major threat to the global food security. Although, plants have no immune system; they possess a variety of defense mechanisms which include synthesis of pathogenesis related proteins in response to fungal/bacterial infection. The paper reports on the purification and characterization of a 32kD protein which has growth inhibitory activity against Fusarium oxysporum, Trichoderma viride and Rhizopus stolonifer var stolonifer from seeds of Sechium edule (Jacq) Swartz. The protein, designated as SeAFP32, inhibited mycelial growth of Fusarium oxysporum, Trichoderma viride and Rhizopus stolonifer var stolonifer, with an IC50 of 10±0.14, 20±0.035 and 8±0.05 µg ml-1 respectively. SYTOX Green uptake assay indicated that the protein affected the permeability properties of the fungal cell membranes. MALDI-TOF/MS analysis of the tryptic digested 32kD SeAFP32 revealed 100% homology with β-glucosidase from Arabidopsis thaliana (acc.no. BAD94819). The 3D homology model of SeAFP32 developed with Modeller 9.10 with rice β-glucosidase protein (PDB ID: 3GNO) as template, confirmed it the high degree of homology of SeAFP32 with β-glucosidase family of proteins. In silico docking of p-nitrophenyl β-D-glucopyranoside (pNPG) on 3D model of SeAFP32 confirmed the presence and stearic position of the conserved Glu105, Ser75 and Glu161 on the docking domain. Glutamic acid at P’105 has been identified as the active site nucleophile required for the enzymatic hydrolysis of the glycosidic bond.

Speaker
Biography:

Prof. Dr. Gamal El Baroty, Biochemistry Department, Cairo University, Ph.D., in 1988. My Scopus H-index and Google Scholar are 11 and 18; respectively. I have 100 research papers. I have close to thirty five years experience in Natural products, pollution chemistry and chemical instrumentation analysis all in the US (Environmental Research Center at the University of Nevada, 1990-1991 and Texas S. University, interval from 1991-2009) and in Egypt. I am thoroughly, familiar with the operation of a large variety of analytical instruments used for monitoring pollution and identification of natural; products. These include gas chromatography, GC/MS, GC/MS/MS, mass spectroscopy MS, infrared spectroscopy FT-IR, high-pressure liquid chromatography HPLC, capillary gas chromatography, super-critical fluid chromatography SCFC atomic absorption spectrophotometer AA, electrophoresis, and selective ion electrodes, ICP, ICP-MS, LC-Ms-MS. I participated in many funded projects at Cairo University, Nevada and Texas Southern University, where testing a wide variety of environmental organic pollutants and heavy metals in water, plant and animal tissues were performed. I have a longstanding experience in lipid chemistry, marine chemistry, biochemistry and chemistry of essential oils, as a result I received many local and international grand in varied area including: biodiesel, food functional, bioactive substances from wild plant and spices. I received too many prestige’s National Awards.

Abstract:

In batch ten Liter photo-bioreactor, Spirulina platensis microalgae were cultured in zarrouk medium containing different nitrogen concentrations at pH 9.8, incubated for 15 days. The pH and biomass in algae cultures grow at different N2 concentration (N-limitation, N- optimal and N-rich medium) for production of total lipids and its fatty acids profile and total carotenoids cons instants BCs was comparatively studied in biomass after 16 days. Among all S. platensis cultures, the concentration of total lipid content extracted by dichloromethane/methanol (1:1, v/v, with 1:30 microalgae dry weight to solvent ratio) by different extraction methods cold Col, sonication Son and microwave MIc in N-limitation cultures, were increased significantly compared with that in both n-optimal and N-rich culture. According to the lipid yields, the order of extraction efficiency on S. platensis could be ranked Mic> Son > Col. In comparative studied for its fatty acid profiles among all of microalgae cultures analyzed by GC/MS, the most abandoned fatty acids were palmitic acid (C16:0) and mirestic acid (C14:0) belonging to saturated fatty acids (SFA); oleic (C1:1) and palmitolic acid (C16:1) belonging to mono unsaturated fatty Acids (MUFA). Also, TL of Spirulina contained significant amounts of linoleic acid and γ-linolenic acid. Moreover, S. platensis cultivated in N-limitation media (45.54 mg/g), total carotenoids TCAR contents were higher than that found in both n-optimal (11.2 mg/g) and N-rich culture (6.23 mg/g).

Speaker
Biography:

Dr. Ismat Nawaz has completed her MS (Silver medalist) from the University of Agricultur, Faisalabad, Pakistan. She has completed her PhD at the age of 31 years from the Vrije University, Amterdam, The Netherlands, with thesis title; “Molecular mechanisms of salinity tolerance in Brassicaceae”. She is serving as an Assistant Professor at Department of Environmental Sciences, CIIT Abbottabad, Pakistan. She has published three papers in reputed journals. She has presented posters in UK and in Pakistan. She has attended workshop/symposium in the Netherland (2008,2010,2011), in UK (2011) and in Pakistan (2006).

Abstract:

Salinity is a major constraint to agricultural production. Na+ is the most toxic component of salt, control of the cellular Na+ concentration, particularly in the photosynthetically active tissues, is critical for salt tolerance. Several HKT family members are involved in the long-distance plant internal transport of Na+. Expression level of HKT1 in Thellungiella halophila/botschantzevii, in comparison with Arabidopsis thaliana, was found higher (unpublished data). We compared the activities of the HKT1;2 promoters from T. halophila (=salsuginea, ecotype Shandong; 1822 bp) and T. botschantzevii (ecotype Saratov; 1811 bp) with the HKT1 promoter from Arabidopsis thaliana (846 bp), by comparing HKT1/HKT1;2 transcript concentrations in the A. thaliana hkt1 mutant background. We also assessed NaCl tolerance in the transgenic lines, using A. thaliana wildtype and Athkt1 as controls. Expressing either HKT1 or TsHKT1;2 under the AtHKT1 promoter more or less completely reversed the salt hypersensitivity of the mutant, whereas expressing either of the genes under the TsHKT1;2 promoter did not. Expressing the genes under the 35S-CMV promoter yielded incomplete complementation. Complementation of the mutant was not consistently associated with significant changes of the Na+ or K+ shoot concentrations under salt exposure. When expressed under either of the Thellungiella promoters, the levels of gene expression were very low, in fact below detection limit, suggesting that we missed an important upstream response elements.

Speaker
Biography:

Vijay Kumar has completed his PhD from Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, India and is continuing with postdoctoral studies under the supervision of Prof. Johannes Van Staden at the Research Centre for Plant Growth and Development, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Abstract:

Pelargonium sidoides is a high value medicinal plant that is endemic to South Africa. Establishing an efficient regeneration system through somatic embryogenesis is necessary for both its conservation and cultivation. Embryogenic callus was obtained using Murashige and Skoog (MS) basal medium supplemented with 2.0 mg L-1 picloram, 0.5 mg L-1 thidiazuron (TDZ) and 20 mg L-1 glutamine. Different developmental stages of somatic embryogenesis (SEs: globular, heart, torpedo and cotyledonary shaped embryos with radicles) were obtained and further matured from callus originally obtained from leaf origin by subculture on the same medium. The highest frequency of somatic embryos (25.89 ± 1.50) was obtained after 6 weeks. Scanning electron microscopic (SEM) analysis confirmed the initiation, development, and germination of somatic embryos. Mature somatic embryos germinated and developed into plantlets after 4 weeks on half-strength MS medium. High plant regeneration frequency (94.4 %) was achieved on half-strength MS medium supplemented with 1.0 mg L-1 gibberellic acid (GA3). Well-developed plantlets were transferred to vermiculite: sand 1:1 (v/v) growth medium and successfully acclimatized in the greenhouse. The protocol developed is helpful in reducing stress on natural habitats, provides a viable system for Germplasm conservation, clonal mass propagation, isolation of bioactive compounds and genetic transformational studies.

Speaker
Biography:

Abstract:

A proposed field study of wheat-based cropping systems was conducted at Faisalabad (Post-Graduate Research Station). We used 7 treatments and Jantar as a green manuring crop to increase the fertility status of soil; after the vegetative phases of wheat, rice, sorghum, and mungbean, the agronomic parameters of these crops were recorded. hopefully all increased with jantar treatment when compared with controls. The benefit:cost ratio and physicochemical characteristics of the soil before and after the crop harvest were also calculated.

Speaker
Biography:

Phoebe Sikuku has completed her PhD at the age of 35 from Maseno University Kenya. She is a lecturer at Maseno University and the chairperson of different committees in Botany department, Maseno University. She is a researcher focused on conducting research that impacts positively on the lives of small holder rural women farmers. She has published more than 10 papers in reputed international peer reviewed Journals and has reviewed a number of manuscripts for reputed Journals.

Abstract:

Rice is a principal staple food crop in Kenya. However, its production is still low due to inherently low and declining soil fertility. This has resulted into food insecurity. The situation is compounded by high fertilizer prices. The mwea upland rice (MWUR) varieties were bred under low fertilizer environment while other authors have indicated that the New Rice for Africa (NERICA) varieties give high yields under low input conditions. The objective of the research was to establish photosynthetic and yield performance of eight promising rice varieties under four nitrogen levels and identify the variety that gives high yields at relatively low N rates. Field experiments were carried out at Alupe in western Kenya under rain fed upland condition. The experiment layout was split plot factorial in a Randomized Complete Block Design with three replicates. The main plot treatments were four rates of nitrogen fertilizer, sub-plots consisted of four MWUR and four NERICA varieties. The parameters measured included chlorophyll content, photosynthesis, panicle length, yield at 14% moisture content, filled grain ratio percentage and yield components. Varietal difference was significant and MWUR varieties recorded higher chlorophyll content, photosynthetic rates, panicle length and yield component at low nitrogen levels as compared to the NERICAs with MWUR 1 and 2 recording higher values. NERICA 4 recorded highest yield among the NERICA varieties regardless of the N level. Results suggested that among the varieties, MWUR 1, 2 and NERICA 4 were more tolerant to low nitrogen soil and may be suitable for soils deficient in nitrogen.

Speaker
Biography:

Monika Mahajan has completed her PhD in 2014 from CSIR-IHBT, Palampur in Plant Metabolic Engineering. At present she is pursuing Post-doctorate from IISER, Mohali, India in Plant Development Biology. She has published about 13 research papers in reputed journals, 3 book chapters and has presented her research in several national and international conferences. She has been serving as a Reviewer of Journal of Yeast and Fungal Research.

Abstract:

Flavan-3-ols are the major flavonoids present in tea (Camellia sinensis) leaves. These are known to have antioxidant and free radical scavenging properties in vitro. Flavanone 3-hydroxylase is considered to be an important enzyme of flavonoid pathway leading to accumulation of flavan-3-ols in tea. Expression analysis revealed the up regulation in transcript levels of C. sinensis flavanone 3-hydroxylase (CsF3H) encoding gene under salt stress. In this study, the biotechnological potential of CsF3H was evaluated by gene overexpression in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum cv. Xanthi). Overexpressed transgenics were found to accumulate more flavan-3-ols and were observed for their tolerance against salt stress and fungus Alternaria solani infection. An increased primary root length, number of lateral roots, chlorophyll content, antioxidant enzyme expression and their activities, higher degree of pectin methyl esterification, lower electrolyte leakage and malondialdehyde content may be responsible for salt stress tolerance in CsF3H overexpressed transgenic tobacco plants. The effect of flavan-3-ols on pectin methyl esterification under salt stressed conditions was further validated through in vitro experiments in which non-transgenic (wild) tobacco seedlings were exposed to salt stress in presence of flavan-3-ols, epicatechin and epigallocatechin. The Invitro exposed seedlings showed similar trend of increase in pectin methyl esterification through decreasing PME activity as observed in CsF3H transgenic lines. Taken together, overexpression of CsF3H provided tolerance to salt stress and fungus A. solani infection to transgenic tobacco through improved antioxidant system and enhanced pectin methyl esterification