Program

Below is the program for the 2024 World Congress on In Vitro Biology.

Items with an asterisk (*) are scheduled for inclusion as part of the On-Demand Limited Access program
Program is subject to change

Saturday, June 8

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8:30 AM - 3:30 PM

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE

16th International Conference on Invertebrate and Fish Cell Culture*
Conveners: Vivian Dayeh, University of Waterloo, Cynthia L. Goodman, CryoCrate LLC, and Shirley A. Pomponi, Florida Atlantic University

This 1-day conference, held on the first day of the World Congress on In Vitro Biology, will focus on current advances in cell/tissue culture technologies and their applications in fish and invertebrate cell culture systems. Technologies presented will include single cell sequencing, RNAi, other genomic/proteomic-based techniques, physiology/toxicology-related approaches, virology/pathology methods, medium optimization tools. One area we will highlight is the development of in vitro models that mimic in vivo systems and how these models can be implemented in use-inspired research areas. Key elements of these research areas are the generation of tissue- and species-specific cell culture media and scaffolding systems that mimic the in vivo environment. We will have two sessions, one entitled “Foundational Concepts Underlying Successful Cell/Tissue Culture Strategies” and the other entitled “Current and Future Applications of Invertebrate and Fish Cell Culture Systems”.  After these symposia, we will hold a joint panel discussion with speakers and participants from the concurrent Plant Tissue Culture Medium Practices workshop and upcoming mammalian cell culture focused sessions to discuss the major topics from these sessions, including comparing strategies used for cell/tissue culture development and medium optimization.

Foundational Concepts Underlying Successful Cell/Tissue Culture Strategies*

Speakers:

  • Fish Cell Lines from Atlantic Salmon and Lumpsucker – Development and Characterization
    Anita Solhaug, Norwegian Veterinary Institute
  • Michael Saad, Tufts University, and Sophie Letcher, Tufts University
  • Improved Media Formulations for Primary Cell Cultures of Botryllus schlosseri
    Andy Qarri, Institute for Regenerative Biology and Medicine (IRBM)
  • Heterogeneity in Spodoptera frugiperda Midgut Cells: A Comprehensive Single-Cell RNA Sequencing Study
    Surjeet Arya, University of Kentucky

Current and Future Applications of Invertebrate and Fish Cell Culture Systems*

Speakers:

  • Lucy E.J. Lee, University of the Fraser Valley
  • A Walk of 25 Years with Insect Cell Cultures: From Midgut Development Towards Screening for RNAi Targets and Delivery
    Guy Smagghe, Ghent University and Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • A Cellular Model for Measuring the Impact of Thermal Stress on Florida Reef Sponges
    Megan Conkling
    , Florida Atlantic University
  • Using the RTGill Cell Line to Assess Acute Fish Toxicity Via Cell Painting
    Gyan Harwood
    , Corteva Agriscience
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8:30 AM - 11:30 AM

PRECONFERENCE WORKSHOP

Mastering Plant Transformation Vector Design Workshop*
Convener:  PlantGENE

Panelists:

    • Joyce Van Eck, Boyce Thompson Institute
    • Veena Veena, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
    • Keunsub Lee, Iowa State University

In the evolving field of plant bioengineering, the ability to design and construct transformation vectors for precise genetic engineering is key for achieving desired outcomes in crop improvement, functional genomics, and bioengineering applications. Successful outcomes largely depend on the careful design and optimization of transformation vectors. We will focus on the best practices in vector design through discussion of the principles of construction, the selection of promoters and regulatory elements, reporter genes, selectable marker genes, and optimization for specific plant species. The workshop will feature experts in vector design who will share their insights and expertise. Participants are encouraged to bring their laptops to follow the online vector design resources that will be shared by the workshop speakers. The format will be interactive giving participants the opportunity to ask questions and share their experiences in designing vectors, thus providing a unique opportunity to network and share experiences. Whether you are a seasoned researcher or new to the field, this event will offer valuable knowledge and resources to enhance your vector design skills. By the end of the workshop, attendees will be better equipped with the knowledge to design vectors that can significantly advance their research.

The goals of the workshop are to:

1) Explore the fundamental principles of vector design for plant transformation.

2) Discuss the latest advancements in vector technologies and tools.

3) Share insights into selecting suitable promoters, regulatory elements, and marker genes.

4) Recommend techniques for assessing vector integrity, stability, and gene expression to ensure robust and reliable transformation results.

5) Foster networking to provide a resource for consultation on vector design.

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12:30 PM - 4:00 PM

PRECONFERENCE WORKSHOP

Plant Tissue Culture Medium and Practices for Successful In Vitro Tissue Culture Systems for Crop Genome Engineering*
Convener: Pierluigi Barone, Corteva Agriscience

Sunday, June 9

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8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

PLENARY SYMPOSIUM

Michael E. Horn Emerging Technologies Symposium: From Cells to Solutions: Unlocking the Secrets for 21st-Century Bioprocesses*
Conveners: Pon Samuel, Corteva Agriscience, Mayandi Sivaguru, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Zoe Zhu, Tufts University

Speakers:

  • Biomanufacturing Technologies
    Steven Webb, Global Institute for Food Security
  • Universal Mechanisms Controlling the Mineralization
    Bruce Fouke, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Unlock New Research Possibilities with Real-time Imaging and Spectral Flow Cytometry Using the BD FACSDiscover™ S8 Cell Sorter
    David Morris, BD Life Sciences

Imagine a world where living cells become miniature factories, crafting solutions for some of humanity’s greatest challenges. In this plenary session, we embark on a captivating journey From Cells to Solutions, unlocking the secrets within and charting the course for groundbreaking 21st-century bioprocesses. We’ll delve into the fascinating world of biomanufacturing, where cells become efficient protein production powerhouses, fueling the future of sustainable materials and innovative medicines. Next, we’ll explore the captivating realm of biomineralization, a process where living cells orchestrate the creation of intricate mineral structures, from seashells to kidneys. This dance between biology and chemistry holds groundbreaking potential, impacting everything from basic understanding to producing large scale protein production and curing diseases. And at the heart of it all lie the revolutionary tools of cell technologies, allowing us to decipher the unique whispers of individual cells for applications. Throughout this session, you’ll be enthralled by world-renowned experts who are shaping the future of in vitro biology. They’ll unveil groundbreaking discoveries, illuminate unexplored pathways, and inspire you with a vision of how these innovative technologies can tackle the ever-increasing complexities of our world.

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10:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Plant Symposium

Applications and Challenges of Gene Editing in Difficult and Non-Model Crops and Prospects in Food Security

Conveners: Raj Deepika Chauhan, Pairwise, and Marceline Egnin, Tuskegee University

Speakers:

  • Tackling Lodging in Tef (Eragrostis tef) with Genome Editing
    Getu Beyene Duguma, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
  • Developing traits through Gene Editing for the Global South: Perspective of CIMMYT
    Anindya Bandyopadhyay, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)
  • The More the Merrier? – Editing the Highly Polyploid Sugarcane Genome
    Fredy Altpeter, University of Florida
  • Genome Editing in Cassava and Cacao
    Myeong-Je Cho, University of California – Berkeley

The world’s population is growing at a very fast pace and is expected to reach 9.7 billion in 2025 with approximately 2 billion in the next 30 years. This increase poses enormous challenges to our present agricultural systems that are currently challenged by the eroding biodiversity and climatic changes. Traditional plant breeding is widely used for crop improvement and development of new varieties, but the process is time consuming and labor intensive, especially for polyploid, root/tuber, and vegetatively propagated species. Genetic modification techniques have offered an expedite alternative for crop improvement; however, the adoption of these improved varieties is restricted to few crops due to cost and time required to meet the regulatory requirements. Genome-editing techniques, that enable precise and targeted change in the organism’s genome, provide an attractive alternative to overcome these challenges. Therefore, recent advances in genome editing of crops for improved yield, pest and pathogen resistance, abiotic and biotic stress tolerance, and to overcome the ploidy breeding impediments will be discussed in this session. An update on challenges and prospects in gene editing of difficult/recalcitrant, non-model and polyploid plant species will also be presented.

Animal Symposium

Cryopreservation and Biobanking: A Bridge Between In Vitro and In Vivo
Conveners: Xu Han, Wake Forest University, and Cynthia L. Goodman, Cryocrate, LLC

Speakers:

  • Life in Nano Ice – A Biocompatible Cryopreservation Technology Platform
    Xu Han, Wake Forest University
  • Multiscale Technologies for Augmenting Cryopreservation
    Xiaoming He, University of Maryland
  • Cryobanking Marine Invertebrate Cells for Biodiversity Conservation and Restoration
    Shirley Pomponi, Florida Atlantic University

We are at the dawn of a new medical era, characterized by the widespread use of cell-based therapeutic materials for cutting-edge applications. These applications span from adaptive immunotherapies and regenerative medicine to in vitro drug discovery and screening. Cryopreservation and biobanking are integral to the supply chain management and distribution of these so-called ‘living’ drugs and tools, including but not limited to, genetically engineered cells, transplantable bioartificial tissues, and patient-derived organoids. However, conventional cryopreservation methods not only rely on high concentrations of cell-permeating and biologically reactive agents but also require the use of cryogenic liquid nitrogen facilities, which pose significant technological and operational challenges, especially in affecting quality control in functionality and impacting safety and efficacy in storage and transportation. Our session will spotlight recent breakthroughs in the development of safe and biocompatible cryopreservation technologies. Certain cells, tissues, and organoids can now be efficiently and safely stored in regular -80°C deep freezers without the use of permeating cryoprotectants. Additionally, we’ll introduce novel tissue engineering methods that reduce cryodamage and enhance cell functionality by post-thaw cell culturing. And excitingly, we’ll reveal new discoveries that enable the extended storage of cells in regular mechanical freezers at -20°C and hence offer considerable advantages for field studies and certain industrial operations. These presentations will unveil an evolutionary cryopreservation technology platform that bridges the gap between in vitro production and in vivo transplantation, while holding the potential to promote the operational efficiency of the emerging ‘living drug’ industries.

Plant Symposium

Unlocking the Power of Synthetic Apomixis: A Paradigm Shift in Plant Breeding*
Convener: Todd Jones, Corteva Agriscience, and Heqiang ‘Alfred’ Huo, University of Florida

Speakers:

  • Seeding the Future: Enabling Hybrid Crop Propagation through Clonal Seeds
    Imtiyaz Khanday, University of California-Davis
  • Hy-Gain: Harnessing Apomixis in Self-reproducing Sorghum Hybrids for Smallholder Farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa
    Marissa Simon, Corteva Agriscience
  • Opportunities and Challenges for Realizing Apomixis in Crops
    Peggy Ozias-Akins, University of Georgia

Apomixis is a form of asexual reproduction that bypasses meiosis and fertilization and generates clonal seeds, genetically identical to the maternal genotype. Apomixis has evolved independently in more than 40 different plant families, but it is still rare in major crop species. Given that apomixis can fix and propagate any genotype, including F1 hybrids, the applications for plant breeding are potentially revolutionary. Harnessing apomixis would enable the efficient creation of self-reproducing hybrids capable of maintaining heterosis, generation after generation, even in crops that are not typically cultivated as hybrids. For crop species where no natural apomicts exist, synthetic apomixis has been demonstrated to be a promising approach. Synthetic apomixis requires engineering a plant to bypass meiosis and repress recombination while simultaneously inducing parthenogenesis. This workshop will focus on recent strides in developing efficient apomictic systems for agriculture, bridging the gap between research and practical applications. Join us to explore the realization of the elusive “Holy Grail” of synthetic apomixis and self-reproducing hybrid plants.

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12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Education Workshop

Student Networking Luncheon: The Proper Use of English in Scientific Writing
Conveners: Babak Senfi, Tufts University, and Prasanna Valavanur Shekar, Clemson University

Speaker:

  • The Proper Use of English in Scientific Writing
    Barbara Gastel, Texas A&M University

Scientific writing requires clearly stating a hypothesis that contributes to new knowledge, and logically presenting the background used to develop the hypothesis, the experimental approach to test the hypothesis, and a clear presentation and discussion of the results. The international language of science is English. Thus, the proper use of written English is a “must” to provide precise and accurate descriptions of the science to be shared internationally. Activities will include addressing common mistakes in scientific English such as avoiding jargon and redundancies, using the active voice, appropriate tense usage, problem words and expressions, etc. Prizes will be awarded.

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1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Plant Symposium

Saving Plant Diversity for Use by Future Generations. Can Plant Diversity Be Saved?
Conveners: Maria M. Jenderek, United States Department of Agriculture

Speakers:

  • The Clue Is in the Name: Diversity Is
    Charlotte Lusty, CGIAR Genebank Initiative
  • And Still We Lose Ground: What Will It Take to Reverse the Massive Genetic Erosion of Crop Diversity That Has Been Ongoing for Over a Century?
    Colin Khoury, San Diego Botanical Garden
  • The Big Chill!!  The Global Plant Cryopreservation Initiative
    David Ellis, International Potato Center

The key to food security for future generations is preserving the genetic diversity of crops and their crop wild relatives. Conservation of diversity is a mechanism and insurance policy for ensuring material is available for continued genetic gains in agriculture to meet the demands of a changing climate, water shortages, increased diseases and pests and the need to feed a growing human population. Unfortunately, the availability of these genetic resources for our grandchildren is not a certainty.  In this session we will discuss the state of the art of conservation of plant genetic resources and look into the future of how we can bring forth this diversity to posterity.

Animal Contributed Paper Session

In Vitro Animal Cell Sciences Contributed Paper Session
Moderator: Mae Ciancio, Midwestern University

Plant Contributed Paper Session

Plant Biotechnology Post-Doctoral Oral Presentation Competition
Moderator: Bin Tian, Syngenta Crop Protection

We are delighted to present the 2024 Post-Doctoral Oral Presentation Competition for the Plant Biotechnology Section. This dynamic session brings together a diverse group of researchers who have recently completed their doctoral degrees and entered the exciting realm of postdoctoral research. The symposia aim to showcase cutting-edge advancements and discoveries in plant biotechnology, fostering a platform for insightful discussions, interdisciplinary collaborations, and networking opportunities. With ever-growing techniques and their applications in plant biology, these symposia promise to be both intellectually stimulating and inspiring. Please join us as we celebrate the outstanding contributions of these talented postdocs, as they present their innovative research in plant biotechnology during this enlightening session. 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.

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3:15 PM - 5:30 PM

Keynote Symposium

Opening Ceremony and Keynote Symposium*

Synthetic Biology to Support Human Exploration of Deep Space
Keynote Speaker: Mark Settles, PhD, Synthetic Biology Investigator at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Ames Research Center and Emeritus Professor at University of Florida, Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Program and Horticultural Sciences Department

Mark Settles received a B.A. in Biological Sciences from the University of Delaware, and a Ph.D. in Genetics from Stony Brook University. He completed dissertation research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and a post-doc at the University of Florida. From 2000-2021, Dr. Settles was the Vasil-Monsanto Professor of Plant Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Florida. His UF program focused on genomics, maize seed development, environmental stress tolerance, and synthetic genes for biotechnology applications. Dr. Settles was a Program Director in the National Science Foundation Plant Genome Program in 2020 and transferred to NASA Ames in 2021. His program at NASA focuses on the application of synthetic biology to deep space exploration and aeronautics. Dr. Settles has published 53 articles and book chapters and is an inventor for two patents in artificial intelligence and synthetic biology, respectively.

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7:30 PM - 9:30 PM

Education Workshop

Student Workshop: Single Cell RNA Sequencing*
Conveners: Babak Senfi, Tufts University, and Prasanna Valavanur Shekar, Clemson University

Single cell RNA sequencing (SC-RNA-seq) is the state-of-the-art technique for transcriptome analysis that allow the dissection of gene expression at single-cell resolution, which greatly revolutionizes transcriptomic studies. SC-RNA‐seq can unravel the heterogeneity and complexity of RNA transcripts within individual cells, as well as revealing the composition of different cell types and functions within highly organized tissues/organs/organisms. The typical workflow consists of experimental design, sample and library preparations, sequencing, and data analysis.  This workshop aims to provide students with the basic skills and techniques used in the typical workflow to make the best decisions while implementing their SC-RNA-seq experiments. Students will be provided with real data sets to analyze, graph, and learn how to interpret the data.

Monday, June 10

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8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

PLENARY SYMPOSIUM

F(e)ast Forward ⏩ Feeding Tomorrow*

Conveners: Pierluigi Barone, Corteva Agrisciences, Vivian Dayeh, University of Waterloo, Georgina Dowd, Plant and Food Research New Zealand, and Raj Deepika Chauhan, Pairwise

Speakers:

  • Michael Saad, Tufts University
  • Amit Dhingra, Moolec Bioscience
  • Kathleen L. Hefferon, Cornell University

The development of a truly sustainable agrifood system relies heavily on the diversification of edible protein sources. In recent years Plant Molecular Farming (PMF) and Cellular agriculture (CellAg) have emerged as additional approaches to produce meat, seafood, dairy, and other animal-derived products. PMF relies on plant biotechnology techniques to produce recombinant proteins using plants as bioreactors. Numerous different proteins have already been produced successfully in plants, including pharmaceutical proteins such as antibodies, vaccines, hormones, and enzymes, as well as dairy protein and proteins for diagnostic and growth factors for use in cultivated meat production. At the core of CellAg technology are cultivated cells, media formulations, and scale-up technologies. This trifecta represents the primary technical aspects of cell-based products. Advancements in cell culture techniques, such as scaffolding, and bioreactor technologies have enabled the growth of cells into tissue-like structures. Efforts into optimizing culture media composition, had enhanced cell growth, differentiation, and nutritional value, without the need for animal-derived serum. The world is preparing itself for cell-based products as global regulatory frameworks are established, consumer acceptance increases, and economic viabilities improve. These technologies have the potential to revolutionize the food industry ensuring food security and helping meet the dietary requirements/preferences of a growing global population. Multi-disciplinary collaboration between researchers and stakeholders will be essential to fully realize the potential of this technology.

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10:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Animal Symposium

Emerging In Vitro Methods for Livestock Performance*
Conveners: Matheus Costa, University of Saskatchewan, and Michael K. Dame, University of Michigan Medical School

Speakers:

  • Bacteria, Are You There?: Next-Generation and OG Approaches to Studying the Microbiome in Low Biomass Body Sites
    Vanessa Hale, The Ohio State University
  • Investigating Host – Pathogen Interactions by Using Porcine Intestinal Organoids
    Bethany Redel,
    USDA-ARS
  • Exploring Viral Co-infections Using the TELSVirus Workflow
    Mariana Meneguzzi, University of Minnesota

This session will focus on improving our understanding of livestock fitness through the use of advanced in vitro culture systems such as 3D organoids and microbe co-cultures to model various animal organs and tissues. Novel genomic tools and methods will be discussed to interrogate these in vitro systems. This will include the characterization of microbes, bacterial and viral, to better understand their unique role and effect on health, disease, and production. Innovative techniques used to overcome technical challenges associated with limiting biomass and intricate samples will be explored, such as metagenomics, bait enrichment, and long-read whole genome sequencing.

Plant Contributed Paper Session

Bob V. Conger Plant Biotechnology Student Oral Presentation Competition
Moderator: Andika Gunadi, JR Simplot

Panel of Plant Biotechnology Experts Evaluating the Contestants: Nathan Reem, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Declan Lafferty, Boyce Thompson Institute, Hui Duan, USDA-ARS, and Qingzhen Jiang, Boyce Thompson Institute

The Plant Biotechnology Section is pleased to announce the inaugural 2024 Bob V. Conger Plant Biotechnology Student Oral Presentation Competition. This session is being supported by the Bob V. Conger Fund which was established in memory of Bob V. Conger (1938-2022), an active member of the Society for In Vitro Biology (SIVB) for many years. This fund has been established by Bob’s family with contributions from students, visiting scientists, and colleagues to recognize quality student oral presentations at the SIVB Annual Meeting. 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 to present it. Winners will be presented with a certificate and a cash award at the meeting.

Plant Symposium

Innovative Delivery Approaches for Transgene-Free Gene Editing
Conveners: Zuzana Kocsisova, CTC Genomics, Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira, and Matthew R. Willmann, Arana Biosciences

 Speakers:

  • Co-editing Strategy for Plantlet Selection
    Nian Wang, University of Florida
  • Viral Delivery of Editing Reagents
    José-Antonio Daròs, CSIC-Universitat Politècnica de València
  • Nanoparticle Delivery Using Minicells
    Ameer Shakeel, Agrospheres
  • RNP Bombardment of Meristems
    Ryozo Imai, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO)

Plant DNA delivery methods, including Agrobacterium, particle bombardment, and protoplasts, are well established for making transgenic varieties of many plants. The advent of gene editing and the demand for transgene-free editing have created a need for novel delivery methods, particularly for clonally propagated plants, complex hybrids, or crops with long generation times. In this session, the invited speakers will share their experiences developing innovative and diverse approaches to deliver gene editing reagents to regenerable plant cells and to recover edited plants without unwanted integration of transgenes.

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1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Animal Contributed Paper Session

IVACS Contributed Paper Session

Moderator: Kolla Kristjansdottir, Midwestern University

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3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Joint Symposium

Templated Editing in Eukaryotic Systems for Gene Therapy and Agriculture*

Conveners: Aaron Hummel, Pairwise, and Jasmyn Hoeger, University of Iowa

Speakers:

  • High-efficiency Prime Editing in Rice for Disease Resistance
    Bing Yang, University of Missouri
  • Eric Kmeic, Gene Editing Institute at ChristianaCare
  • Aaron Hummel, Pairwise 

CRISPR cutters and base editors continue to make late-stage advancements as medicines in human gene therapy and as enablers of genetic improvement in numerous agricultural crops and animals. This is further increasing the awareness of genetic progress that can be provided by larger, precise edits, causing steady investment and exciting advances in templated editing tools for the efficiency and range of sequence changes they can deliver. This session will bring developers of templated editing capabilities from across the diverse application space for these tools to report on progress and challenges in therapeutics, plant, and animal applications.

Plant Symposium

Combating Climate Change with Gene Editing and Metabolic Engineering of Plants

Conveners: Shujun Chang, Bayer U.S. – Crop Science, and Yumin Tao, Living Carbon

Speakers:

  • Engineering Tree Metal Pathways to Enhance Carbon Sequestration and Retention
    Yongxian Lu, Living Carbon PBC
  • Using the Power of Root Genetics to Enhance Plants’ Ability to Capture and Store Atmospheric Carbon in Soil
    Tim Ulmasov, Cquesta Inc.
  • Improve Crop Adaptability Through Gene Editing
    Wan Shi, Syngenta
  • Agricultural Sustainability at Bayer Crop Science
    Jeff Ahrens, Bayer Crop Science

 

The upward trend in atmospheric CO2 level shows no sign of slowing down despite decades of conscious efforts from public and private sectors. Current concentrations of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the air are at levels never before seen in human history causing climate changes with profound impact on food productivity, human health, and other socioeconomic aspects. Plants play a major role in the carbon cycle as carbon sinks. However, the contribution of plants towards net biome productivity is limited due to autotrophic respiration and soil heterotrophic respiration. Recent advancement in gene editing and metabolic engineering opens the door to bioengineer plants to combat climate change not only in the area of crop productivity to secure food supply but also in other areas such as perennial bioengineering to increase net biome productivity. Leading researchers in this field will present their latest progress and discoveries on various aspects of improving the natural power of plants to increase net biome productivity via gene editing and metabolic engineering in food and non-food plant species.

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5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Animal Symposium

Developing Synthetic Materials to Control Natural Biological Processes*

Convener: Joshua Z. Gasiorowski, Midwestern University

Speaker:

  • Developing Self-assembled Peptides for Vaccine Systems
    Jai Rudra, Washington University
  • Synthetic Hydrogels as Drug Screening Platforms and Biotherapeutic Delivery Devices
    Silviya Zustiak, Saint Louis University 

 

Biomaterials can be used to direct behaviors of cells and tissues, both through chemical signals and physical cues. However, it can be a challenge to design or select a scaffolding or biomaterial that has a tight range of desirable properties for in vitro or in vivo applications. For that reason, researchers often rely on synthetic materials because they offer precise compositional control of the end-product and typically have a reduced risk of contamination. This session will highlight some recent advancements in the development of synthetic biomaterials as scaffolds for tissue engineering, as a means to direct specific cellular behaviors, and as modalities to elicit controlled immune responses.

Plant Contributed Paper Session

Plant Contributed Paper Session

Moderator: Omar Zayed, University of California – Riverside

Plant Contributed Paper Session

Plant Contributed Paper Session

Moderators: Tao Jiang, University of Florida, and Nagesh Sardesai, Corteva Agrisciences

Tuesday, June 11

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8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Plenary Symposium

Advances in Epigenetics and Epitranscriptomics to Advance Crop Production and Human Health*

Conveners: Kolla Kristjansdottir, Midwestern University, Hong Luo, Clemson University, and Murug Mookkan, Plastomics Inc.

Speakers:

  • Jon Schmuke, Aferna Bio
  • Controlling Transposable Elements for Efficient Plant Genome Engineering
    Keith Slotkin
    , Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and University of Missouri, Columbia

Epigenetic regulation of gene expression via DNA methylation, histone and posttranscriptional RNA modifications is a powerful mechanism that allows for fine-tuned regulation of developmental processes and responses to environmental adversities in all kingdoms of life. A diverse spectrum of epigenetic changes, including chemical modifications on genomic DNA, histones and several types of RNA molecules, lead to remodeling of chromatin structures, silencing or activation of transposable elements, and alteration of transcript turnover and translation. Together these changes contribute to precise regulation of gene expression critical to normal development, environmental adaptations and, in some cases, to disease processes. In recent years, significant progress has been made in providing key insights into molecular mechanisms underlying epigenetically mediated fine tuning of gene expression in both mammals and plants. This allows the development of novel molecular and biotechnology approaches in crop improvement and to combat diseases in crops and mammals. This session will cover recent advances in deciphering aspects of epigenetic regulation of gene expression that govern a coordinated and harmonious life cycle in both plant and animal systems and their application in epigenetically engineering crops and animals for enhancing agricultural production and improving human health.

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10:30 AM - 12:10 PM

Animal Contributed Paper Session

In Vitro Animal Cell Sciences Student Oral Presentation Competition

Moderator: Addy Alt-Holland, Tufts University

The In Vitro Animal Cell Sciences Section (IVACS) of the Society for In Vitro Biology is pleased to announce the first 2024 Student Oral Presentation Competition during the SIVB Annual meeting in St. Louis, MO. This competition encourages the exchange of scientific information between the student presenters, attendees, and judges. Additionally, it provides an invaluable opportunity for students to practice and improve their presentation delivery and public speaking skills. Students who wish to participate in this competition should check that option during the submission of their abstract to the 2024 World Congress on In Vitro Biology. The oral presentations will be presented in-person at the meeting and a panel of expert judges will select the top presentation. Evaluation criteria will include experimental design, data analysis, proper interpretation of the results, originality of the study, technical difficulty, professionalism, the ability of the finalist to explain the research and answer questions, and, importantly, adherence to the allocated time for the presentation. The Student Oral Presentation Competition session serves to recognize and reward the research and achievements of outstanding students. The three finalists will be presented with a certificate and a cash award during the 2024 World Congress on In Vitro Biology. Should you have any questions, please contact the SIVB Office or the session moderators. We are looking forward to reviewing your abstract!

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10:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Plant Symposium

Trevor A. Thorpe Symposium: Advances in Plant Transformation Methods to Accelerate Crop Improvement*

Convener: Raj Deepika Chauhan, Pairwise, Heqiang `Alfred` Huo, University of Florida; Yurong Chen, Bayer U.S. – Crop Science, and Peizhen Yang, Bayer U.S. – Crop Science

Speakers:

  • Engineering Agrobacterium to improve plant transformation and regeneration
    Kiran Mysore, Oklahoma State University
  • Simultaneous Transformation and Editing of Multiple Lines in Soybean and Maize
    Michelle Valentine, Bayer U.S. – Crop Science
  • Non-integrating Wuschel2-assited Transformation and Gene Editing of Recalcitrant Maize B73
    Keunsub Lee, Iowa State University

Plant genetic engineering and gene editing typically start with a reliable plant transformation system to introduce desirable traits into crops of interest. The success of plant transformation depends on the ability of transformed cells to regenerate and develop into plants with heritability. Despite significant progress made in understanding the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms, many important plant species and germplasms remain recalcitrant to transformation and regeneration process.  Among several transformation methods currently available, Agrobacterium mediated transformation is still a lead method with still relatively low efficiency, which hinders the crop improvement programs.   To address challenges in crops and germplasms limitation, low efficiency of Agrobacterium mediated transformation, researchers have been devoted in developing new and improving transformation processes. This session will cover recent advances in plant transformation method developments, including Agrobacterium engineering, tissue culture free, as well as simultaneous delivery to multiple germplasms.  

Plant Symposium

Biomanufacturing and Bioprocessing Cell Free Technologies

Conveners: J. Pon Samuel, Corteva Agriscience, Veena Veena, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, and Jeffrey Beringer, Inari

Speakers:

  • Affordable Oral Proinsulin Bioencapsulated in Plant Cells Regulates Blood Sugar Levels Similar to Natural Insulin
    Henry Daniell
    , University of Pennsylvania
  • Metabolic Engineering with Cell-free Protein Synthesis Platforms
    Krishna Madduri, Corteva Agriscience

Cell-free technologies are a promising new approach to biomanufacturing and bioprocessing. These technologies offer a number of advantages over traditional cell-based approaches, including flexibility, speed, robustness, and scalability. Cell-free technologies are being used to produce a variety of biological products, including proteins, enzymes, vaccines, and chemicals. Cell-free technologies are also being used to develop new tools and technologies for research and drug discovery. Cell-free technologies are still under development, but they have the potential to revolutionize the biomanufacturing and bioprocessing industries. Here are some examples of how cell-free technologies are being used today: 1) Protein production: Cell-free systems are being used to produce a variety of proteins, including therapeutic proteins, industrial enzymes, and food ingredients. For example, cell-free systems are being used to produce insulin for the treatment of diabetes and to produce enzymes for the production of biofuels; 2) Vaccine production: Cell-free systems are being used to develop and produce new vaccines, including vaccines for emerging infectious diseases. For example, cell-free systems have been used to develop vaccines for COVID-19 and Ebola and 3) Metabolic engineering: Cell-free systems are being used to engineer new metabolic pathways for the production of valuable chemicals and fuels. For example, cell-free systems have been used to engineer pathways for the production of bioethanol and biodiesel.

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3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Animal Symposium

At the Forefront of Host-Pathogen Interactions *

Conveners: Vaibhav Tiwari, Midwestern University, and Barbara Doonan, New York Medical College

Speakers:

  • Antiretroviral Toxicity Effect on Myeloid Cell Phenotype and Function
    Jennillee Wallace, RUSH University
  • In Vitro and Ex Vivo Endpoints for Mycobacterium tuberculosis Vaccine Candidate Evaluations
    Sasha E. Larsen Akins, Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Foundation

This symposium will focus on host-pathogen interactions as they impact the development of novel therapy concepts and efficacious vaccine platforms.  The ability to produce m-RNA based vaccines on a massive scale in a short period of time had a profound effect in combating SARS-Co-2 (COVID-19), thus providing a proof-of-concept that RNA-based vaccines may offer a promising new approach for the prevention and/or mitigation of multiple other types of diseases including treatments for several types of cancers. New technologies are urgently needed to expedite large scale vaccine development harnessing the benefits of these RNA-based platforms. This session will present ongoing work directed at – (1) Understanding HIV-1 mediated neuropathogenesis at the molecular level by using three-dimensional human brain organoid models and (2) Development of a vaccine platform against Mycobacterium tuberculosis which addresses a close understanding of host-pathogen interactions while seeking to elucidate immune correlates of protection against this globally deadly disease.

Plant Symposium

Advancing Phytochemical and Nutritional Enhancement in Crops for Human Health through Plant Biotechnology

Conveners: Pierluigi Barone, Corteva Agriscience, and Heqiang ‘Alfred’ Huo, University of Florida

Speakers:

  • Food Fortification In Wheat
    Li Tian, University of California, Davis
  • Phytochemical Enrichment
    Jeongim Kim, University of Florida
  • Genome Editing for Soybean Seed Lipid Modification
    Bing Yang, University of Missouri

Deficiency in micronutrients is a pressing health concern in low-income communities of many developing and some developed countries. Functional ingredients such as vitamins, carotenoids, phenolic compounds, amino acids, and essential oils play a crucial role in human health. Consumption of functional foods rich in these ingredients has been associated with reduced risks of various diseases, including cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, cancers, and neurodegenerative disorders. However, major food crops often lack sufficient levels of these essential micronutrients. Food fortification to enrich micronutrients can address this challenge.  In addition to fortified foods, medicinal plants have long been recognized as valuable sources of phytochemicals with significant nutritional and medicinal importance. Many of today’s drugs are derived from plant-based natural products. Biotechnological tools and techniques, including in vitro regeneration, genetic transformations, and genome editing, offer promising solutions to develop crops with enriched functional ingredients and to enhance the production of valuable secondary metabolites in medicinal plants. This symposium aims to provide a platform for researchers to exchange the latest findings in the application of plant biotechnology for food fortification and phytochemical enrichment. The symposium will feature presentations by four invited speakers who will discuss ongoing research on topics such as the biofortification of vitamins in wheat, optimizing lipid composition in oil crops, and improving bioactive phytochemicals in tomatoes and medicinal plants.

Plant Symposium

Uncovering the Power of 3D Cell Printing and Its Applications in Crop Science

Conveners: Peizhen Yang, Bayer U.S. – Crop Science and Lori Marcum, Corteva Agrisciences

Speakers:

  • 3D Bioprinting in Plant Science: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Enable Next Generation of Plant Sciences
    Ross Sozzani
    , North Carolina State University
  • Plant Cell on a Chip
    Ram Dixit, Washington University
  • Glenn Gaudette, Boston College

As a disruptive technology, 3D Cell Biology has been applied to build different tissues and organs with a blueprint.  This approach has been revolutionizing medical field by producing functional materials, producing in-depth analysis of mode-of actions of gene expression and physiology responses, and ultimately enabling personalized medicines.  Designing novel plants with desired phenotype/genotypes has traditionally relied on breeding and plant biotechnology, which typically take years and huge efforts.  Rapid systems like protoplast can help answer the molecular question but limited at the single cell level.  The 3D bioprinting technology and in vitro cell models have the power to address cell-cell interactions and the potential to build the tissues organs and plants by design.  This session will provide an overview of this technology and discuss its cutting edge research and applications in accelerating basic research and breakthrough in plant transformations.

Wednesday, June 12

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8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

PLENARY SYMPOSIUM

Risks and Benefits of Biotechnology and Anti-microbials in Plant and Animal Production*

Conveners: Raj Deepika Chahuan, Pairwise, Tim McAllister, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, John Harbell, JHarbell Consulting LLC, and Veena Veena, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

Speakers:

  • The Path to Market for Gene Edited Plants
    Dan Jenkins, Pairwise
  • Impact of Pesticide Use in Crop Production on Antimicrobial Resistance
    Michael Fruci, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
  • Application of Wastewater-based Monitoring for AMR Surveillance and Stewardship
    Chand Mangat, Public Health Agency of Canada

Biotechnology offers numerous benefits and presents opportunities to overcome several challenges that we are facing today.  Innovation and breakthroughs in this field has led to the discovery of products that enhance food production, fight diseases, conserve energy, combat climate change etc. Gene editing, a technology that allows plant breeders to make a precise change in plant genome to create better and improved crops, offers a novel platform for faster crop improvement. Significant progress has been made in this area and the regulatory policies to commercialize the products.  Therefore, the first part of this session will uncover the path of gene editing in plants to market considering global regulatory policies. One of the areas for global threat and concern is antimicrobial resistance (AMR), the resistance to medicines that are used to kill pathogens in crop production systems when pathogens change over time rendering current antimicrobials ineffective. Stewardship efforts aimed at mitigating the pernicious rise of AMR have long been acknowledged to be best actioned in the multi-compartment “One-Health” disease management model.  While the application of this model is ideal to address the complexities of AMR reservoirs arising from AMR gene mobility and the panoply of AMR hosts – its implementation has lagged. The inappropriate use of antibiotics in agriculture has led to the evolution and spread of disease-causing antimicrobial resistant bacteria that threaten both human and animal health. Unfortunately, reducing antibiotic use in agriculture may not reduce the development and spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria as they may be selected for and maintained by other agents such as metals, biocides, and pesticides.  Metagenomics-based approache can be used to shed light on the role of pesticide use in crops on AMR.   The challenges of applying a One-Health model to AMR mitigation efforts, and the recent intersecting opportunities presented by investments in applying wastewater-based monitoring for SARS-CoV-2 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will be the subject of second part of this session.

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10:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Plant Symposium

Advances in Automation and Lab Designs to Accelerate Plant Biotechnology Research

Conveners: Angela Labrum, Bailey Nurseries, Raj Deepika Chauhan, Pairwise, and Yurong Chen, Bayer U.S. – CropScience

Speakers:

  • Tissue Culture Media Design at Sierra Gold Nursery: How the Sausage Gets Made
    Micah Stevens, Sierra Gold
  • Automated Cell-Based Assays for Discovery Screening at Bayer Crop Science
    Sunran Kim, Bayer Crop Science
  • Enabling Biotech Discovery Using High-throughput Phenotyping
    Katie Murphy, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
  • Rakhi Chaturvedi, Indian Institute of Technology-Guwahati

Research in the field of plant science heavily relies on manual processes such as media preparation, plant tissue culture, genetic transformation, propagation, and growth of quality plants in a controlled environment. It requires trained and skilled researchers, physical space, time, and resources. There is a huge gap in automation of these processes due to variability in the protocols, the need of experienced people to do precise manipulation, lack of automated tools and machinery, cost barriers to develop robots to automate processes. Therefore, this session will be focused on better and cheaper alternatives being used to increase efficiency and productivity, ways to automate and enable large scale manipulation in the laboratory and greenhouse.

PLANT SYMPOSIUM

Integrating New Breeding Technologies and Traditional Approaches for Advancing Ornamental Crops*

Convener: Jon Mahoney, Ball Horticultural Company, and Eva Konecna, Ball Horticultural Company

Speakers:

  • Bioengineering and Molecular Breeding of Native Woody Ornamentals
    Dayton Wilde, University of Georgia
  • Head Start: Building New Genetic Model Systems in the Sunflower Family
    Daniel Jones, Auburn University
  • Bioengineering of Ornamentals
    Heqiang ‘Alfred’ Huo, University of Florida
  • Cytogenetics: Old-fashioned Technologies for Ornamental Crop Improvement
    Hsuan Chen, North Carolina State University

Ornamental plants contribute more than just beauty; they shape our landscapes and impact society’s well-being, holding economic and social value. Traditional ornamental breeding has aimed to enhance novelty, yield, quality, and stress resistance. However, these enhancements have often relied on traditional methods, overlooking innovative new breeding technologies. Although traditional approaches hold significance, they face limitations with ornamental crops due to their high degree of heterozygosity, long juvenile phases, and difficulty in adapting to various environments. New breeding technologies, supported by precise tools like bioengineering, genome editing, and molecular markers, offer effective solutions to overcome these obstacles. This session showcases how both traditional and new breeding technologies can be used to improve ornamental species. Guest speakers with years of experience in content and practice of breeding technologies will share their experiences and address any question(s) from the audience during the session.