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4th International Symposium on
Genomics of Plant Genetic Resources

September 3-7, 2017 –  Giessen, Germany



Kongresshalle Giessen, Berliner Platz, 35390 Giessen

02 Sep 2017

Sunday, from 3:00pm


  • 15:00 – 18:00  Main foyer, Kongresszentrum Giessen, Berliner Platz, 35390 Giessen


  • 18:00 – 18:30  Welcome addresses
Rod Snowdon – GPGR4 Chair
Joybrato Mukherjee – President of Justus Liebig University, Giessen
Frank Ordon –  Vice-President of Julius Kühn Institute, Vice-President of the German Society for Plant Breeding
  • 18:30 – 19:00  Impulse presentation  Marie Haga, Executive Director, The Crop Trust, Bonn, Germany      Don't forget the little things

OPENING RECEPTION, sponsored by DuPont Pioneer

  • 19:00 – 21:30  Dinner and refreshments

03 Sep 2017

Monday: 8:30am


  • 8:30 – 9:00  KEYNOTE Jianming Yu, Iowa State University, USA
    Design thinking and data mining in finding optimal genetic combinations

SESSION 1: Plant genetic resources and the promise of genomics (Chair – Rod Snowdon)

  • 9:00 – 9:30  KEYNOTE Jiayang Li, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science, Beijing, China
    Genome analysis of the potential rubber crop, Taraxacum kok-saghyz Rodin
  • 9:30 – 9:50  Matthew Haas, IPK Gatersleben, Germany
    Regulatory architecture and variation of gene expression in wild and domesticated barley
  • 9:50 – 10:10  Wubishet Bekele, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, Canada
    What we learned from 7.5K Avena genomes
  • 10:10 – 10:30  Torsten Pook, University of Göttingen, Germany
    Identification of haplotype blocks in DH-lines in maize

COFFEE BREAK sponsored by Illumina

  • 10:30 – 11:00  Exhibitions and posters open

SESSION 2: Gene banks & genomics – beyond major crops (Chair – Ruth Bastow)

  • 11:00 – 11:30  KEYNOTE:  Damaris  Achieng Odeny, ICRISAT-ESA, Nairobi, Kenya
    Unlocking the potential of African orphan crops using genomics: The case of finger millet (Eleusine coracana subsp. coracana) and African eggplant (Solanum aethiopicum)
  • 11:30 – 11:50  Rajneesh Paliwal, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria
    SNP based assessment of duplicates, fidelity and diversity in the IITA Cassava core collection

    11:50 – 12:10  Kioumars Ghamkhar, AgResearch, Palmerston North, New Zealand
    Looking for clues: hardseededness in subterranean clover

  • 12:10 – 12:30  Ibukun Ayoola,  University of Ibadan, Nigeria
    Assessment of genetic fidelity of in vitro grown Musa taxonomic reference accessions, their antioxidant activity and diversity studies of selected Musa accessions using DArTseq


  • 12:30 – 13:30  Light food and refreshments in exhibition/poster area

Lunchtime Industry Presentations (Chair – Sarah Schiessl)

  • 13:30 – 13:50  Nan Fang, Novogene, Beijing, China
    Advanced technical solutions for plant genomics
  • 13:50 – 14:10  Venkatramana Pegadaraju, Illumina, San Diego, USA
    New frontiers in genome sequencing to unlock the genetic potential of gene banks
  • 14:10 – 14:30  Huaiqian Xu, BGI Tech Solutions, Wuhan, China
    A total solution for low-input DNA/RNA library preparation in next-generation sequencing

SESSION 3a: Genome diversity of crop genetic resources I (Chair – Paula Bramel)

  • 14:30 – 15:00   KEYNOTE  Nicolas Roux, Bioversity International, Montpellier, France
    Genebanks and genomics, beyond major crops: The vegetatively-propagated crops case
  • 15:00 – 15:20  Jizeng Jia, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China 
    Plant variomics – Wheat as an example
  • 15:20 – 15:40  Francesca  Taranto, SINAGRI S.r.l., University of Bari Aldo Moro, ItalyGenotype-by-sequencing disclosed genetic diversity and revealed unexpected synonymy in a representative collection of the Italian olive germplasm
  • 15:40 – 16:00  Martin Mascher, IPK Gatersleben, Germany
    Barley diversity now and 6000 years ago: archaeogenetics and genebank genomics

COFFEE BREAK sponsored by Limagrain

  • 16:00 – 16:30  Exhibitions and posters open

SESSION 3b: Genome diversity of crop genetic resources II (Chair – Rodomiro Ortiz)

  • 16:30 – 16:50  Philippe Cubry UMR DIADE, Montpellier, France
    Genome footprints of the rise and fall of African rice cultivation
  • 16:50 – 17:10  Anne-Francoise Adam-Blondon, INRA-URGI, Versailles, FranceFindable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable data linked to genetic resources for plant biology and breeding

  • 17:10 – 17:30  Guillaume Martin, CIRAD, Montpellier, France
    Evolution of the banana genome is impacted by large chromosomal translocations

  • 17:30 – 17:50  Ghasemali Nazemi, University of Bologna, Italy
    Genetic diversity and molecular mapping of root traits in durum wheat


  • 19:00 – 21:30  Dinner and refreshments

04 Sep 2017


SESSION 4: Expanding plant breeding genepools with genomics (Chair – Emma Mace)

  • 8:30 – 9:00  KEYNOTE  David Jordan, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, Australia
    Integrating technologies to exploit natural variation in quantitative traits in breeding
  • 9:00 – 9:20  Franc-Christophe Baurens, CIRAD, Montpellier, France
  • Genome structure and chromosome segregation in triploid interspecific plantain bananas (AAB) and breeding accessions (AAAB)
  • 9:20 – 9:40  Jun Zou, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China 
    Development and evaluation of a novel genepool of Brassica napus with introgression of genomic variation between and within related oilseed species
  •  9:40 – 10:00  Andreas Maurer , Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
    Using a wild barley NAM population to evaluate the potential of plant genetic resources for future breeding
  • 10:00 – 10:20  Vincent Garin, Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen, The Netherlands
    QTL detection in multi-parent populations using haplotypes and genetic similarity matrices

COFFEE BREAK sponsored by German Seed Alliance

  • 10:20 – 10:50  Exhibitions and posters open

SESSION 5: Beyond native traits – Novel plant genetic resources from mutations and genome editing (Chair – Roberto Tuberosa)

  • 10:50 – 11:20  KEYNOTE  Ian Godwin, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
    Genomics-informed GM and gene edited sorghum

  • 11:20 – 11:40  Sneha Datta, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, Austria
    A low coverage NGS based pipeline for rapid screening of gamma irradiated mutant bananas for resistance to Fusarium Wilt TR4

  • 11:40 – 12:00  Valentina Fanelli , SINAGRI S.r.l., University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy
    TILLING by sequencing to identify induced mutations in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) genes

  • 12:00 – 12:20  Sreya Ghosh, John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK
    Accelerated cloning and characterization of the wheat adult plant resistance gene Lr68

  • 12:20 – 12:40  Dennis Eriksson, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Alnarp, Sweden    Scandinavian perspectives on plant gene technology: Applications, policies and progress


  • 12:40 – 13:40  Light food and refreshments in exhibition/poster area

Lunchtime Industry Presentations (Chair – Sarah Schiessl)

  • 13:40 – 14:00  Guy Kol, NRGene, Ness-Ziona, Israel
    Advanced technical solutions for plant genomics
  • 14:00 – 14:20  Marcus Jansen, LemnaTec, Aachen, Germany
    Phenotyping from the lab to the field and back

SESSION 6: Phenomics of plant genetic resources (Chair – Ian Godwin)

  • 14:20 – 14:50  KEYNOTE  Roland Pieruschka, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany
    Phenotyping for crop genetic resources – enabling phenotypic quantification of accessions in genebanks
  • 14:50 – 15:10  Andreas Stahl, Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany 
    NOT a load of rubbish! Simulated field trials in large-scale containers

  • 15:10 – 15:30  Reinhard Töpfer, Julius Kühn Institute for Grapevine Breeding, Siebeldingen, Germany
    Phenotyping grapevine genetic resources in the vineyard
  • 15:30 – 15:50  Ofere Francis Emeriewen, JKI for Breeding Research on Fruits, Dresden, Germany
    Fire blight resistance gene loci in Malus: Findings from phenotypic evaluations with mutants of Erwinia amylovora

COFFEE BREAK sponsored by Syngenta

  • 15:50 – 16:20  Exhibitions and posters open

SESSION 7: Plant genetic resources & genomic technologies to counter biotic stress (Chair – Jizeng Jia)

  • 16:20 – 16:50  KEYNOTE  Beat Keller, University of Zürich, Switzerland
    Origin, diversity and evolution of wheat resistance genes – applications in breeding
  • 16:50 – 17:10  Hélène Pidon, IPK Gatersleben, Germany
    Unraveling the diversity of resistances against Rice yellow mottle virus in African rice

  • 17:10 – 17:30  Marine Ollier, BOKU-University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Tulln, Austria    Evaluation of Fusarium head blight resistance in Triticale populations with Fhb1 introgressions

  • 17:30 – 17:50  Lorena Parra, University of California Davis, CA, USA
    Identification of candidate genes for resistance to lettuce downy mildew using resistance gene enrichment sequencing

  • 17:50 – 18:10  Clémence Marchal, John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK
    MutRenSeq to elucidate the relationship between Yr7 and Yr5

ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION: Seed and germplasm phenotyping (Kerkrade Room)

•    18:30 – 20:30  Joint round-table discussion: IPPN Seed Phenotyping / DivSeek Germplasm Phenotyping Working Groups
Organisers: Roland Pieruschka and Kioumars Ghamkhar
For more information please contact

05 Sep 2017


SESSION 8a: Plant genetic resources & genomic technologies to counter abiotic stress I (Chair – Rajeev Varshney)

  • 8:30 – 9:00  KEYNOTE  Sarah  Hearne, CIMMYT, Mexico
    New approaches to mining maize landraces to enhance abiotic stress tolerance

  • 9:00 – 9:20  Octavio Salazar, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
    Learning from the expert: generating genomic resources in Salicornia to improve our understanding of salinity tolerance

  • 9:20 – 9:40  Crystal Chan, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada

  • Taking len6l higher - expanding diversity in len6l breeding using genomic tools

  • 9:40 – 10:00  Sandra Schmöckel,  King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
    The genome of Chenopodium quinoa provides insights into saponin biosynthesis and salinity tolerance mechanisms

COFFEE BREAK sponsored by BGI

  • 10:00 – 10:30  Exhibitions and posters open

SESSION 8b: Plant genetic resources & genomic technologies to counter abiotic stress II (Chair – Frank Ordon)

  • 10:30 – 10:50  Reshmi Rani Das, CIMMYT Asia, Hyderabad, India
    Developing stress-resilient maize through genomic selection for combined drought and waterlogging tolerance in tropical maize

  • 10:50 – 11:10  Ruilian Jing, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China
    Mining superior alleles underlying drought and heat tolerance in wheat germplasm resources using joint linkage-association analysis

  • 11:10 – 11:40  Jan-Christoph Richter, Georg August University Göttingen, Germany
    Genetic variation of vernalization requirement in a diverse set of winter oilseed rape genotypes

  • 11:40 – 12:00  Miftahul Fendiyantol, Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia
    Functional Analysis of the promoter of OsGERLP, an aluminum tolerance gene in rice 


  • 12:00 – 13:30  Light food and refreshments in exhibition/poster area

SESSION 9: Capturing and understanding epigenetic variation (Chair – David Jordan)

  • 13:30 – 14:00  KEYNOTE  Nathan Springer, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul MN, USA
    Hidden variation in plant genomes - documenting the extent and roles of epigenetic natural variation
  • 14:00 – 14:20  Sarah Schiessl, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany
    The role of miRNAs in the crosstalk between flowering time and drought stress response in Brassica napus

SESSION 10a: Exploring and exploiting pangenomic diversity and crop wild relatives I (Chair – David Jordan)

  • 14:20 – 14:50  KEYNOTE  Emma Mace, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Australia
    Structure and dynamics of the pan-genome of sorghum and wild relatives

  • 14:50 – 15:10  Isobel Parkin,  Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Saskatoon, Canada
    Assessing diversity in the Camelina genus provides insights into the genome structure of the emerging crop Camelina sativa

  • 15:10 – 15:30  Benjamin Kilian, The Global Crop Diversity Trust, Bonn, Germany
    Reaching back through the domestication bottleneck to feed a hot and crowded planet

COFFEE BREAK sponsored by Monsanto

  • 15:30 – 16:00  Exhibitions and posters open


  • 16:00 – 19:00
    Activities in Giessen available at discounted prices for GPGR4 participants

    Mathematikum (corner Liebigstrasse/Bahnhofstrasse, 35390 Giessen): Stimulate your brain at Giessen’s award-winning, hands-on mathematics activity museum. Discounted entry €6 with GPGR4 badge.

    Liebig Museum (Liebigstrasse 12, 35390 Giessen): Step back in time into the former laboratory of Giessen’s world-renowned chemist and inventor, Justus von Liebig, and discover how his discoveries in the early 19th century influenced agricultural and food science around the globe. Discounted entry €4 with GPGR4 badge.

    Botanical Garden (Kanzleiberg, 35390 Giessen): Discover 8000 plant species within just 1200m² in Germany’s oldest botanical garden still at its original site, created as a hortus medicus in 1609. Entry free. 

SYMPOSIUM BANQUET, sponsored by Cargill

  • 19:00 – 23:00  Dinner,  refreshments and entertainment
    Presentation of GPGR4 travel scholarships, announcement of GPGR5

06 Sep 2017


SESSION 10b: Exploring and exploiting pangenomic diversity and crop wild relatives II (Chair – Antonio Costa de Oliviera)

  • 9:00 – 9:30  KEYNOTE   Michele Morgante,  University of Udine, Italy

    Transposable elements, structural variation and the plant pan-genomes

    9:30 – 9:50  Rajeev Varshney, ICRISAT, Hyderabad, India
    Re-sequencing of 429 chickpea lines and 292 pigeonpea lines identifies genomic regions for domestication and agronomic traits for accelerated crop improvement

  • 9:50 – 10:10    Lenka Havlickova, University of York, UK
    The pan-genome platform to underpin the improvement of Brassica crops

  • 10:10 – 10:30  Hanan Sela, Tel-Aviv University, Israel
    Diversity analysis using genotyping by sequencing of wild Triticeae species from Israel

  • 10:30 – 10:50  Willmar Leiser, University of Hohenheim, Germany
    Multiply to conquer: how copy number variation facilitates wheat


  • 10:50 – 11:20 

SESSION 10c: Exploring and exploiting pangenomic diversity and crop wild relatives III (Chair – Andreas Graner)

  • 11:20 – 11:40   Bernd Weisshaar, University of Bielefeld, Germany
    Application of the sugar beet genome sequence for identification of a rhizomania resistance gene in a crop wild relative population

  • 11:40 – 12:00  Cécile Monat, DIADE UMR, Montpellier, France
    The pan-genome of the cultivated African rice Oryza glaberrima and its wild relative Oryza barthii 

SESSION 11: Future genomics technologies for plant genetic resources (Chair – Andreas Graner)

  • 12:00 – 12:30  CLOSING KEYNOTE 1  Richard Visser, Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen, The Netherlands 
    The importance of genetic variation and diversity for breeding of Solaneceous crops

  • 12:30 – 13:00  CLOSING KEYNOTE 1  Nils Stein, IPK Gatersleben, Germany
    Genome diversity of the global barley population – or, how to convert seed banks from national treasure chests into natural heritage for mankind

  • 13:00 – 13:15  Closing remarks


  • Lunch packages provided on departure

06 Sep 2017


DivSeek Partner Assembly (for DivSeek partners by invitation only)

  • 14:30 – 18:00   IFZ Research Centre, JLU Giessen, Heinrich-Buff-Ring 32, 35392 Giessen

  • 19:00   DivSeek dinner, Restaurant Dachcafé, Ludwigsplatz 11, 35390 Giessen (self-payment)

07 Sep 2017


DivSeek Partner Assembly (continued)

  • 9:00 – 12:30   IFZ Research Centre, JLU Giessen, Heinrich-Buff-Ring 32, 35392 Giessen

Please reload

Monday Sept 4
Thursday Sept 7
Wednesday Sept 6
Tuesday Sept 5
Sunday Sept 3
DivSeek Partner Assembly
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