2017 Scientific Program

Program is subject to change.
Please check back to see updates as they become available

Saturday, June 10
Grow with the Flow: Expand your Application in Biological Research with Flow Cytometry


9:00 am – 5:00 pm
For Fee Workshop. Separate Registration Required

Moderator: J. Pon Samuel, Principal Research Scientist, Dow AgroSciences

Flow cytometry is a powerful tool with numerous applications in biomedical research (i.e. immunology, hematology, oncology) in addition to other fields. It also has important applications in plant science where it has served scientists for almost four decades. Many advancements in biological research would not have been possible without the use of this important tool. Benchtop analyzers are a great milestone in flow cytometry. They are a key building block for research scientists seeking innovation in cellular science due to its accessibility and ease of operation. This workshop focuses on highlighting the state-of-the-art technology for studying plants and animals at the cellular and subcellular level.

Experts will be available to answer questions on the capabilities of the technology and the equipment in addition to any other relevant information at the exhibition booths during the conferences.

Advanced Registration is required to participate in this workshop.

Workshop Schedule

Morning session: 9:00 am – 11:30 am

9:00 am Welcome and Introductory Remarks
J. Pon Samuel, Principal Research Scientist, Trait Product Development, Dow AgroSciences
9:10 am Introduction to Flow Cytometry and Recent Advances (Beckman Coulter)
9:50 am Break
10:00 am Probiotic Enumeration using Flow Cytometry
Dharlene Tundo, Vitaquest International Inc.
10:45 am Isolation of Plant Nuclei at Defined Cell Cycle Stages Using EdU Labeling and Flow Cytometry
Emily Wear, North Carolina State University

Afternoon session: 11:30 pm – 5:00 pm

11:30 am Lunch
12:30 pm Overview of the CytoFlex Flow Cytometer
Neil Kayal, Beckman Coulter      
1:45 pm Break
2:00 pm Demonstration and Interactive Sessions:
Animal Applications

Probiotic: Dharlene Tundo, Vitaquest International Inc.
Ploidy:  Sarah Schuett, North Carolina State University

Plant Applications

Nuclei, Emily Wear, North Carolina State University
Plant Cells: Matt Holl, Beckman Coulter

. Registration restricted to maximum of 35 participants each

Registration fees are:

$30.00 All Day Workshop (9:00 am – 5:00 pm). Fee includes AM lectures, PM hands-on workshop, and lunch.
$15.00 AM Lectures only (9:00 am – 11:30 am). Fee includes AM lectures.
$20.00 PM Hands-on Workshop only (11:30 am – 5:00 pm) Includes lunch and hands-on workshop.

Interested in specific applications? Email Lama Kdouh and Pon Samuel for suggestions
Please check back for updates and announcements for speakers.

Sunday, June 11

8:00 am – 10:00 am
Innovative Advances in Flow Cytometry and Cell Sorting for Plant & Mammalian Cells

Conveners: Tobias M. Cicak, Dow AgroSciences, and Michael K. Dame, University of Michigan Medical School

Flow cytometry is an established research and clinical workhorse for interrogating single cell biology for humans and other animal systems, and has emerged as an invaluable tool for high throughput multiparametric analysis of plant single cells. Fluorescent labeling and microscopic analysis of plant cell markers has been critical for the development of transformation methods and understanding plant cell biology, but these methods can be time consuming and provide only a limited representation of the total cell population. Flow cytometry can now provide quantitative statistical analysis of cellular activity, the determination of ploidy level, and a robust and rapid platform for testing genome editing techniques. This session will reveal the effects of methyl jasmonate elicitation on cell cycle of Taxus cultures through flow cytometric examination of 5-ethynyl-20-deoxyuridine (EdU) pulse labeled cells. Finally this session will introduce a novel flow cytometry technology which revolutionizes the analysis of fragile cells, such as animal and plant stem cells, and patient-derived cells for disease therapy.

Quantifying Heterogeneity in Plant Cell Culture using Flow Cytometric Methods
Susan Roberts, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Sterile Sorting of Human Cells for In Vitro Manipulation and Expansion Prior to Clinical Transplantation
Kevin Beck, Miltenyi Biotec

10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Cannabis: Past, Present and Future

Conveners: Hemant Lata, University of Mississippi, and Theodore M. Klein

In recent years, cannabis has gained considerable attention among researchers and the general public, in large part because its medicinal properties are becoming more widely recognized. And although there is the potential for abuse of cannabis and it is still not considered legal by the federal government, cannabis has been deemed legal for medicinal or recreational use in many states. Cannabis produces a wide range of valuable secondary metabolites that include the cannabinoids, a unique class of terpenophenolic compounds found in its glandular trichromes. So far, out of 565 seconday compounds identified in Cannabis, 120 are cannabinoids. The plant’s behavioral and psychotropic effects are attributed to Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) commonly known as THC. Other major cannabinoids include cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) and cannabinol (CBN). The recent discoveries of medicinal properties of cannabis and the cannabinoids and their potential applications in the treatment of a number of serious illnesses such as glaucoma, depression, neuralgia, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimers, alleviation of symptoms of HIV/AIDS, cancer and childhood epilepsy, have given momentum to the quest for understanding the botany, chemistry and biology of this plant. In this session, the evolution of cannabis, its chemistry, potency as a psychotropic drug, and the current status and future development as a phytopharmaceutical will be discussed.

Evolution of Economic Groups of Canabis
Ernest Small, Agriculture and Argi-Food Canada
Cannabis sativa L.: Botany, Chemistry and Drug Development
Mahmoud A. ElSohly, The University of Mississippi
Cannabinoid Dosage Formulations – From the Field, Pharmacy, Dispensary, and Street
Brian F. Thomas,
RTI International


Role of Secondary Metabolites/Antioxidants In Vitro

Convener: Maria M. Jenderek, ARS – USDA

In literature, secondary metabolites are described as natural products, waste, phytopharmaceuticals, bioactive constituents or by-products of the primary metabolism. They occur in many plant genera and microorganisms in vivo and in vitro, and have complex chemical structures specific to the plants where they are found. Some of them are used in production of healthcare substances, food additives, flavor and color enhancers, nutraceuticals, fragrances and agrochemicals. Previously thought of as not being critical in plant functioning, they have a significant role in plant survival in their environment and in regulation of primary metabolic pathways. A large number of unique secondary metabolites have been identified; however, the function of many and their metabolic pathways are yet to be characterized. The session will discuss research on describing biosynthesis pathways of auxins and anthocyanins and the role of specific antioxidants in in-vitro plant cultures.

The Role of Local Auxin Biosynthesis in Plant Development
Anna Stepanova
, North Carolina State University
Regulation of Anthocyanin Biosynthesis in the WD40-bHLH-MYB Complex-Programmed Arabidopsis Cells
Deyu Xie, North Carolina State University
A New Balancing Act: Melatonin and Serotonin as Mediators of Plant Morphogenesis
Lauren AE Erland, University of Guelph
Role of Antioxidants in In Vitro Plant Culture Systems
Praveen Saxena, University of Guelph


From Single Cell Analysis to Multiplexed Screening Assays of Cell Cultures

Conveners: Justin Colacino, University of Michigan School of Public Health, and Addy Alt-Holland, Tufts University

The number of assays designed to collect data from cell cultures and individual cells are rapidly expanding and are poised to revolutionize our understanding of cellular biology. However, there are also unanticipated technical and analytical challenges in the implementation of single cell analytics into typical in vitro biology workflows. Here we will highlight new applications in single cell analytics and heterogeneous cell cultures, ranging from cell health and viability to the generation high throughput ‘omics data while focusing on the generation of highly reproducible data. The first presentation will outline the utility of single cell assays, including flow cytometry and single cell transcriptomics, to identify and characterize rare cell populations, such as stem cells or circulating tumor cells. The second presentation will focus on ways to improve the reproducibility of cell-based assays and approaches to multiplex distinct cell health measurements to simultaneously analyze multiple parameters in a given sample of cells. 

Single Cell Transcriptomics: Unraveling Heterogeneity in Environmental Health and Cancer
Justin A. Colacino, University of Michigan School of Public Health
Treating Cells as Reagents to Achieve Assay Reproducibility
Terry Riss, Promega Corporation
In Vitro Methods for Measuring Cell Health in Real-Time
Terry Riss, Promega Corporation


1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Advances in Woody and Ornamental Plant Tissue Culture

Convener: Paula M. Pijut, USDA Forest Service

Research on in vitro ploidy manipulation of nursery and ornamental woody species, as well as ornamental and bioenergy grasses, and the use of molecular markers to assess hybridity will be discussed. In addition, a high-throughput transformation system in Populus that enables the testing of large numbers of candidate genes will be described. This system has been used to produce transgenic lines representing over 600 gene constructs in a joint program focused on understanding and eliminating biomass recalcitrance in order to improve biofuel yields.

In Vitro Ploidy Manipulation for Ornamental and Bioenergy Crop Improvement
Darren Touchell, North Carolina State University
High Throughput Transformation Systems
J. Eric Gulledge, ArborGen Inc.


Biosafety Best Practices FOR GMOs and Regulatory Challenges with Genome Editing

Conveners: Annie Saltarikos, Monsanto Company, and Marceline Egnin, Tuskegee University

As the world’s population continues to rise and the amount of arable farmland remains static, there is a vested interest to continue to develop high-yielding crops for food and feed, while using less inputs. The last several decades have seen a rapid adoption and deployment of biotechnology practices across the major crop species to deliver genes or favorable traits (both foreign and plant-derived) to increase yield, quality, and provide resistance to both biotic and abiotic stresses. Alongside these advances, best practices in biosafety and regulatory pathways guiding the risk assessment of GM crops to their commercialization have been gained since the 90’s. However, public perception of these technologies’ safety has been mixed, and the regulatory trigger pathway for these products is complex but limited in its current practices. Most recently, the advent and relative ease and speed of use of genome engineering tools such as Clustered Regularly Interspersed Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)-Cas9 has dramatically cut down the previous bottlenecks of having to provide protein engineering to target specific DNA sequences within the genome; thus lowering the barrier to rapid technical advancements in this field of precision genome engineering for crops. However, just as quickly as the number of technical advancements in this emerging field arise, so do the questions and challenges of how these precision engineered plant products will be further regulated and perceived by the public in terms of safety and acceptance. The advantages of genome editing are multi fold, as it can provide non-transgenic methods of creating desirable traits through direct manipulation of native alleles, as well as can accelerate deployment of genome edited products across crops through potentially shortening US regulation oversight triggers that have limited deployment of traditional GM crops in distinct regulation boundaries. This sessions’ speakers from industry, Institutions, academia, and government will share both the current regulatory and biosafety landscape for genome edited products as well as discuss the challenges and best regulatory practices.

Biotech and Genome Editing Regulations
Alan McHughen, University of California – Riverside
Engineering the DNA of Our Governance Systems: Biosafety Best Practices and Issues for GMOs
Todd Kuiken, North Carolina State University
Regulatory Challenges Presented by Genome Editing in Crops
Miguel Vega-Sanchez,
Monsanto Company


IVACS Contributed Papers I

Moderator: Addy Alt-Holland, Tufts University


3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Cell Culture Systems for Agricultural and Environmental Research

Conveners: Cindy L. Goodman, USDA-ARS-BCIRL, and Vivian Dayeh, University of Waterloo

In vitro approaches play an important role in dissecting and understanding complex relationships within agricultural and environmental systems. Continuously replicating cell lines as well as primary cell cultures from an array of species offer meaningful insights into physiological and toxicological impacts of agricultural/industrial and other human-based inputs into the environment, as well as naturally occurring allergens. Likewise, cell cultures are valuable tools for both screening and mechanism of action studies in AgDiscovery programs aimed at developing pest-specific products. Our session will showcase cell-based assays that are being used to investigate xenobiotic impacts on insect digestive processes using midgut cells, amphibian immune functions using primary cultures, and human lung performance using fibroblast cells.

Modeling Human Lung Fibroblast Responses in Asthma and Airway Disease
Jennifer Leigh Ingram, Duke University Medical School
Expanding the Xenopus laevis Invitrome: Establishing and Characterizing Cell Lines For Use in Examining Host-Pathogen-Environment Interactions

Barb Katzenback, University of Waterloo
Insights on the Mode of Action of Bacillus thuringiensis Toxins from Cell Cultures
Juan Luis Jurat-Fuentes, University of Tennessee

Establishing Cell Lines from Pest Insects: Studies of Prostaglandin Actions
David Stanley, USDA, ARS, BCIRL


Plant Biotechnology Post Doctoral Oral Presentation Competition

Moderators: Geny Anthony, Dow AgroSciences, and Piero Barone, Dow AgroSciences

To support the Society’s vision to encourage education and scientific informational exchange and recognize outstanding post docs, the Plant Biotechnology Section is pleased to announce the 2017 Post-Doctoral Oral Presentation Competition. Post-Doctoral candidates wishing to participate in this competition should submit a copy of their abstract with its title and submission ID number to Dr. Geny Anthony (GIAnthony@dow.com) or Dr. Piero Barone (pbarone@dow.com) and check that option when they submit their abstract. Postdoctoral competition finalists will be selected based on the quality of the abstracts. The abstract should address the following: Background, Objectives, Methods, Results, Discussion and Conclusions. Where appropriate, the methods section should include a description of how reproducible results were ensured. The abstract must not include references. The abstract text must not exceed 1800 characters. A panel of judges will evaluate the presentations at the meeting. Criteria for the evaluation include experimental design, data analysis, proper interpretation of the results, originality of the study, technical difficulty, appearance and ability of the post-doctoral candidate to present it. Winners will be presented with a certificate and a cash award at the meeting.


Plant Biotechnology Student Oral Presentation Competition

Moderator: Jeffrey R. Beringer, Dow AgroSciences

To support the Society’s vision to encourage education and scientific informational exchange and recognize outstanding post docs, the Plant Biotechnology Section is pleased to announce the 2017 Student Oral Presentation Competition. Student competition finalists will be selected based on the quality of the abstracts. The abstract should address the following: Background, Objectives, Methods, Results, Discussion and Conclusions. Where appropriate, the methods section should include a description of how reproducible results were ensured. The abstract must not include references. The abstract text must not exceed 1800 characters. A panel of judges will evaluate the presentations at the meeting. Criteria for the evaluation include experimental design, data analysis, proper interpretation of the results, originality of the study, technical difficulty, appearance and ability of the student candidate to present it. Winners will be presented with a certificate and a cash award at the meeting.


5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Opening Ceremony


7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Student Symposium: Persuasive Presentations: Tips and Techniques for Public Speaking

Conveners: Elena Arthur, North Carolina, Central University, and Whitney Harchenko, Montana State University

Public speaking is frequently ranked as the number one fear for adults — coming in higher than fear of death! Yet speaking publicly is increasingly becoming a requirement for many jobs. Luckily, effective public speaking is not magic. There are specific skills that enhance presentation delivery, strategies for program development, and tips for converting speaker anxiety into energy. This interactive workshop provides participants with practical tools for public speaking in any setting.

Persuasive Presentations: Tips and Techniques for Public Speaking
Cally Ritter, AllOneHealth


Monday, June 12

8:00 am – 10:00 am
Microbiome Challenges to Scale Production

Conveners: Pooba Ganeshan, Saskatchewan Research Council, and Mae Ciancio, Midwestern University

This plenary session is poised to address the major issues concerning the microbiome in human as well as agricultural applications. Dr. Chad Keyser from AgBiome will present exciting news regarding their application of specific microbes in the ongoing quest to protect plants from insect and fungal devastation in the United States as well as Sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. M. Andrea Azcarate-Peril, Director of the Microbiome Core Facility at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine will review emerging technologies, such as engineered organoids, high throughput screening, and microfluidics assays, and their application to understanding the host microbial alterations produced by pro- and prebiotics in the maintenance of health and prevention of disease. Dr. Jose M. Bruno-Barcena, from the department of Plant and Microbial Biology, North Carolina State University, will complete the plenary session by discussing the major benefits of packed-bed reactors, dynamics culturing, and stress-directed in vitro community microbiota selection in the product ion of biomass and metabolites of agrochemical interest.

Chad Keyser, AgBiome, Inc.
Current and Emerging Technologies in the Study of Beneficial Modulators of the Gut Microbiome
M. Andrea Azcarate-Peril, University of North Carolina
Packed-bed Reactors, Dynamic Culturing, and Stress-directed Microbiome Selection; a Case Study of Agrochemicals Soil Biodegradation
Jose  M. Bruno-Barcena, North Carolina State University


10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Keynote Symposium: Regenerative Medicine: Current Concepts and Changing Trendsatala

Keynote Speaker:
Dr. Anthony Atala, MD, Director and Chairman of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and the W. Boyce Professor and Chair of Urology at Wake Forest University

Patients with diseased or injured organs may be treated with transplanted tissues. There is a severe shortage of donor organs and tissues which is worsening yearly due to the aging population. Regenerative medicine and tissue engineering apply the principles of cell transplantation, material sciences, and bioengineering to construct biological substitutes that may restore and maintain normal function in diseased and injured tissues. Stem cells may offer a potentially limitless source of cells, and 3D bioprinting applications are being utilized for potential therapies and body-on-a-chip technologies for drug discovery and personalized medicine. Recent advances that have occurred in regenerative medicine will be reviewed. Applications of these new technologies that may offer novel therapies for patients with tissue injury and organ failure will be described.


12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Student Networking Luncheon: Creating Winning Resumes and CVs

Conveners: Elena Arthur, North Carolina, Central University, and Whitney Harchenko, Montana State University

Whether it is for acceptance into graduate school or to land your dream job, a resume or CV is the best tools we can employ to present ourselves to the world. This workshop will give a framework on how to build an effective resume and CV. A career expert will render a lecture on practical ways to create a resume and CV and how to make it stand out from everyone else. Students will learn tools to give them the confidence for building their own resume or CV. After the presentation, they will also have the privilege to have a one-on-one resume/CV consultation with a career expert. Appointments will be available on a first-come first-serve basis so students must sign up when they first register upon arrival.

Creating Winning Resumes and CVs
Patrick Brandt, North Carolina State University at Chapel Hill


1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
In Vitro Animal Cell Sciences Student and Post Doctoral Oral Presentation Competition

Moderators: Addy Alt-Holland, Tufts University, and Kolla Kristjansdottir, Midwestern University

The In Vitro Animal Cell Sciences Section of the Society for In Vitro Biology is pleased to announce the 2017 Student and Post-Doctoral Oral Presentation Competition. This competition serves as a platform to recognize the research work and achievements of outstanding students and post-docs, and aims to encourage education and the exchange of scientific information during the conference. Three competition finalists will be selected based on the quality of the abstracts and the merit of the scientific findings. The abstract text should include the following sections: Background, Objectives, Methods, Results, Discussion and Conclusions. Where appropriate, the methods section should indicate relevant statistical analysis. The abstract should not exceed 1800 characters, and it should not include references. A panel of expert judges will grade the presentations at the Oral Presentation Competition session. Criteria that would be evaluated include the experimental design, data analysis, proper interpretation of the results, originality of the study, technical difficulty, appearance and ability of the finalist to explain the research work and adherence to the allocated time for the presentation. Winners will be presented with a certificate and a cash award at the meeting.


3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
In Vitro and Silico Databases and Analysis

Conveners: Dawn R. Applegate, RegeneMed, Inc.

Advances in tools for modeling the contributions of environment and genetics in human disease are enabling improved health, nutrition, food security and crop protection. These databases and analysis tools integrate complex and disparate data sets into predictive and integrative biology platforms to accelerate agroscience, nutritional science, therapeutic development, and personalized medicine. In vitro and in silico platforms from government, academic and industrial labs encompassing plant and organotypic cell cultures, high throughput and high content screening, ‘omic data, and predictive analytics with application to agriculture, nutrition, therapeutics and medicine will be presented.

Databases and Analysis Tools Supporting Toxicology in the 21st Century
Nisha S. Sipes, NIEHS
The Application of Global Metabolomics to Plant Xciences
Danny Alexander, Metabolon, Inc
Biomarker Discovery in Human Trials Through the Analysis of Metabolomic, Proteomic, and RNA-seq Data
Matthew Wampole, Clarivate Analytics
Shawn Gomez, UNC/NC State University Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering


Non-competitive Student Oral Presentations

Moderators: Elena Arthur, North Carolina Central University, and Whitney Harchenko, Montana State University


Regulatory Protocols for Transgenic Crops

Convener: Sadanand A. Dhekney, University of Wyoming, and Harold N. Trick, Kansas State University

The widespread adoption and cultivation of GM crops has raised a specter of opposition over concerns regarding the unintended consequences of genetic modification on human and animal health and the ecosystem. A major concern triggering a worldwide debate has been the potential impact of transgene flow to wild/weedy relatives or non-transgenic crops grown in the vicinity of their genetically modified counterparts . Transgene flow into the environment depends on several factors including the specific crop in question, the presence of sexually compatible crops and wild species in the vicinity and the competitive nature of the introduced trait. Transgene flow can occur via pollen-mediated gene flow or seed-mediated gene flow. Pollen-mediated transgene flow may occur when pollen from transgenic plants fertilize flowers from non-transgenic plants via wind or insect pollination. The potential for gene flow through pollen depends on several factors including the quantity of pollen produced by GM plants, the viability of pollen, dispersal by wind, birds and animals, ability of the pollen to compete with native pollen to pollinate wild relatives and the sexual compatibility of the wild relatives with the commercial crop species. The current session will discuss pollen-mediated transgene flow in annual, perennial and forestry species and methods to mitigate transgene flow into non-transgenic crop cultivars and wild relatives.

Pollen-mediated Transgene Flow in Creeping Bentgrass
Carol Auer, University of Connecticut
Genetic Containment Mechanisms in Forestry Species.
Steven Strauss, Oregon State University
Evaluating Unintended Open Reading Frames in GM Plants
Hope Hart, Syngenta
Regulatory and Risk Assessment Issues Environmental Releases of Genetically Engineered Plants
John Cordts, Cordts Consulting, LLC


Workshop on Cannabis Best Practices and Regulation

Conveners: Mary Welter and Willliam Graham, Pure Food Gardening/Microclone Propagation

Modern tissue culture, horticultural, processing, and chemical and genetic testing technologies are rapidly being adopted by the Cannabis industry. This is in large part due to the shift in legal status for the cultivation, sale and use of Cannabis. Recreational and/or medical use which has been deemed legal by 28 states (along with District of Columbia) with the anticipation that as many as seven additional states could follow in 2017. Although the Federal Government of the US still considers Cannabis illicit, all of Canada has had legalized medical Cannabis since 2001. Despite the discrepancies between state and federal law, the Cannabis industry is rapidly becoming ‘professionalized’ and is attracting significant venture capital investment and interest from the scientific community. There are substantial opportunities to investigate and apply existing or new strategies for stable and consistent plant production and to apply modern molecular tools to facilitate genotype identification. This workshop hopes to initiate dialog and discussion concerning the efforts that will be needed to optimize and standardize some of the important aspects of the industry, including micropropagation, genotyping, and regulation of the crop.

Cannabis In Vitro Propagation – A New Crop in an Experienced Industry
William Graham, Pure Food Gardening/ Microclone Propagation
Operational Optimization Through Quality Management Systems
Tom Shipley, Tweed
Names, Strains, and Claims, Oh My! Incorporating the Use of Genetic Analysis in a Budding Industry

Anna Schwabe, University of Northern Colorado


5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
IVACS Contributed Papers II

Moderator: Joshua Gasiorowski, Midwestern University


Plant Contributed Paper Session I

Moderator: Sergei Krasnyanski, North Carolina State University


Plant Responses to Abiotic Stress

Conveners: Prakash P. Kumar, National University of Singapore, and Hong Luo, Clemson University

Abiotic stresses, such as water deficiency, salinity, and nutrition starvation, have been the major limiting factors in plant growth and will soon become even more acute as desertification covers increasingly more of the world’s terrestrial area. Drought and salinity are already widespread in many regions, and are expected to cause serious salinization of more than 50% of all arable lands by the year 2050. They are therefore among the most important components in modern agriculture significantly impacting crop productivity. Genetic improvement of crops for new cultivars highly tolerant to extreme environmental conditions is the key in sustainably producing enough food feeding a burgeoning world population. Plants cope with environmental stress through various mechanisms involving multiple physiological, molecular and cellular processes. Agricultural biotechnology manipulating expression of genes involved in plant stress response and aimed at crop genetic improvement for enhanced adaptation to abiotic stresses has huge economical impacts. This symposium will focus on recent progress in deciphering molecular mechanisms of plant abiotic stress response and exploring biotechnology approaches for use in crop genetic improvement for enhanced plant performance under adverse environmental conditions.

The Molecular Mechanism Behind Hydrophobic Barrier Formation to Confer Salt Tolerance in Plants
Prakash P. Kumar, National University of Singapore
Small Molecules, Big Impacts – MicroRNAs in Perennial Grass Development and Stress Response
Hong Luo, Clemson University
Eduardo Blumwald, University of California – Davis


Tuesday, June 13

8:00 am – 10:00 am
Scaffolds from Plants and Synthetic Materials for Human Tissue Engineering

Conveners: Joshua Z. Gasiorowski, Midwestern University, and Pamela J. Weathers, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Advanced biomanufacturing is an important emerging discipline to generate new, biologically-relevant materials and devices. The process of biomanufacturing relies on exploiting cell-derived building blocks, materials and synthesis systems – most commonly from a single organism (i.e. plant, animal, or bacterial cell). Consequently, the scope of biomanufacturing has been limited by the physical and intellectual isolation of basic research in different organisms and systems to their respective biological “kingdoms.” Current limitations in biomanufacturing can be overcome through the development of novel engineering tools, and also by exploiting contributions across living kingdoms to use naturally occurring materials and/or bioinspired architecture. In this session new approaches will described for generating the architectural scaffolds for eventual use in tissue and organ engineering.

Plantimals: Plant Tissues as Scaffolds for Human Tissue Engineering
Glenn Gaudette, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Jennifer West, Duke University


10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Practical Media Improvement using DOE: Case Study Comparisons of a Commercially Available MS Media Improvement Kit

Conveners: Randall P. Niedz, USDA-ARS U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory, and Michael E. Kane, University of Florida

Media improvement is critical for improving the growth and regeneration of plant tissues in vitro. During the 2015 SIVB Meeting, a symposium was organized to discuss the benefits, challenges and the “nuts and bolts” of using a statistics-based approach, known as Design of Experiments (DOE) to improve plant tissue culture media. This approach provides researchers with a method to efficiently screen multiple media factors, simultaneously. However, systematic testing of the effects of the more than a dozen mineral salts included in most plant culture media, is sometimes perceived by laboratories as daunting and beyond their capabilities. To overcome this limitation PhytoTechnology Laboratories recently developed a DOE-based media kit, the Deconstructed MS Media Kit, to facilitate the use of DOE for media improvement. This session will review the DOE approach to media development, the DOE principles used by the MS Media Kit, and the kit’s utility. Research and commercial micropropagation laboratories will present case studies of the kit’s usage. A discussion will follow the presentations.

MS Media Kit and Design of Experiments (DOE) Overview

Randall P. Niedz, USDA-ARS U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory
The PhytoTechnology Laboratories Deconstruction MS Media Kit
David Hart, PhytoTechnology Laboratories
Case Study #2: Using the Deconstruction MS Media Kit
Valerie Pence, Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden
Screening Experiments for Mineral Nutrition Using De-constructed MS: Observing Subsequent Effects on Rooting and Acclimatization
Jeffery Adelberg, Clemson University


Microfluidics for Applied Biology

Conveners: Jessica Monserrate, Bayer CropScience and Miguel A. Acosta, Arbiom

Microfluidics is a popular field in the life sciences and biotechnology because it can be customized for a wide range of application including: drug delivery, point of care devices and diagnostics as well affording researchers the ability to analyze single cell responses to soluble cues. This is but a small sliver of possibilities and the diversity of applications is only growing. In this session we touch on some of the microfluidic tools being developed for applied biology.

Development of a Tumor-on-a-Chip for Hypoxia Studies
Glenn Walker, North Carolina State University
Liquid Metals for Microfluidics
Michael Dickey, North Carolina State University
Lingchong You, Duke University


Medicinal Plants

Conveners: Debora A. Esposito, Plants for Human Health Institute, and Nirmal Joshee, Fort Valley State University

From Alaskan berries to chicory roots, there are hundreds of remarkably common herbs, flowers, berries and plants that serve all kinds of important medicinal and health purposes that might surprise you. Medicinal Plants 2017 session will showcase recent discoveries and developments in Natural Products drugs discovery and development.

Technological and Health Relevant Attributes of Spray Dried Blueberry Polyphenol-protein Aggregates
Roberta Targino Pinto Correia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte
Kathleen Walter, North Carolina State University

Sierra Bonney, North Carolina State University
Kimberly Palatini, North Carolina State University


3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Conveners: Michael J. Fay, Midwestern University, and Kolla Kristjansdottir, Midwestern University

This session will focus on two methods of intercellular communication, expression of intracellular proteins ectopically on the cell surface and secretion of exosomes that contain proteins, lipids, and RNAs. Hsp90 is an intracellular protein that has been extensively studied as a chemotherapeutic drug target. Recently it has been shown that a unique form of Hsp90 is ectopically expressed on the cell surface of cancer cells and may mediate migration from the primary tumor site. In this session, a tethered Hsp90 inhibitor will be introduced that recognizes only the extracellular form of Hsp90 and results in specific labeling of cancerous cells. Another method of intercellular communication involves secretion of exosomes that can contain proteins, lipids, and RNAs. The involvement of exosomes in intercellular communication has become a major focus of research, and investigators are trying to determine the role of exosomes in physiological and pathophysiological processes. In this session we will learn about the potential for exosomes to be used to transport chemotherapeutic drugs to cancer cells. We will also learn about the role of exosomes in ocular health and disease.

Fluor-Tethered Inhibitors of Hsp90 Reveal Secretion and Reinternalization of Hsp90 Is Associated with Metastatic Progression
Timothy Haystead, Duke University School of Medicine
Using Exosomes for Drug Delivery
Elena Batrakova, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The Potential of Ocular Exosomal Biomarkers as Therapeutic Targets, and as Diagnostic and Prognostic Indicators
Mikael Klingeborn, Duke University Medical Center


Plant Contributed Paper Session II

Moderator: Jeffrey Adelberg, Clemson University


Start Up for Commercialization, Idea Development, and IP Capture

Conveners: Allan R. Wenck, Bayer CropScience, and Hoang Nguyen, University of California, Davis

The contributions of biological scientists to society have surpassed the boundary of academia. There are many successful biotechnology companies created or operated by biological scientists. The advancement of the internet-shared information, new biological technologies and especially start-up incubators has effectively nurtured many research ideas into biological businesses. Various case studies indicated that the process of turning ideas to fruitful companies may or may not be generalized by a linear pathway. Typically, a biological startup begins with (1) preliminary research and idea development, or opportunity recognition, (2) intellectual property rights protection, (3) fund raising by obtaining venture capital, (4) team building toward technology and product development, (5) product marketing and profit making. At the Research Triangle Park (RTP) in North Carolina, a startup hub has been created to support agricultural scientists and businesses. Biological scientists and inventors, from various startup backgrounds at the RTP, will share their experience on the process of establishing and running a biotechnology start-up as described above. This session will provide a comprehensive picture that would motivate young scientists to view biological entrepreneurship as an essential future skill.

Underground Signaling Networks
Philip N. Benfey, Hi Fidelity Genetics
How to Build a Business While You are Deciding on the Perfect Product or Technology to Commercialize?How to Build a Business While You are Deciding on the Perfect Product or Technology to Commercialize?
David Reed, Mimetics
Start Up for Commercialization, Idea Development, and IP Capture: How to Obtain Venture Capital
Jeffrey L. Rosichan, AgTech Acellerator
Intellectual Property Protection for Early Stage Companies
Alice M. Bonnen, Myers Bigel, P.A.



Wednesday, June 14

8:00 am – 10:00 am
Natural Products and Biologics

Conveners: Brad Upham, Michigan State University, and Suman Chandra, University of Mississippi

Natural products are chemical compounds produced by living organisms that possess biological activity with pharmacological properties benefiting human health. Medicine practiced by traditional cultures and ancient civilizations heavily relied on local flora and fauna. In recent years there has been a very enthusiastic resurgence of interest in the value of natural products in the prevention and cures of human diseases. Natural products can be isolated from microbial and multicellular flora, or ingested along with dietary foods. In vitro cell culture systems have proven invaluable ranging from the production of natural products with plant cell culture systems to testing the efficacy and toxicity of these compounds using in vitro mammalian cell culture models. In this session, evidence on the benefits of select natural products on human health and the role of in vitro systems in producing and assessing the benefits of natural products in human health will be covered.

Whole Berries with a High Malvidin or Delphinidin to Low Cyanidin Anthocyanin Ratios Are Most Effective at Improving Metabolic Health
Slavko Komarnytsky, North Carolina State University
Deborah Esposito, North Carolina State University


10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Plant Genome Editing

Convener: Fredy Altpeter, University of Florida

Genome editing strategies with designer nucleases (CRISPR/Cas9, TALENs, meganucleases, ZFNs) have revolutionized plant breeding. They allow the targeting of a specific DNA sequence within a genome for precision nucleotide substitutions, nucleotide deletions or site directed gene stacking. This session will highlight progress with both technical challenges and applications of genome editing for crop improvement. We will also discuss experimental considerations for successful implementation of this powerful technology.

Seizing Opportunities in a Complex Genome for Targeted Mutagenesis or Allele Replacement in Sugarcane
Fredy Altpeter, University of Florida
CRISPR/Cas9-based Gene Editing in Rice and Maize
Bing Yang, Iowa State University
Optimizing Gene Targeting in Plants
Daniel Voytas, University of Minnesota
Homology-dependent Precise Genome Engineering in Maize
Qiudeng Que, Syngenta


Plant Contributed Paper Session III

Moderator: Sivamani Elumalai, Syngenta Crop Protection

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