Day 2 :
Noble Research Institute, USA
Keynote: Identification of Novel sources of resistance against Asian soybean rust in Medicago truncatula
Time : 9:00-9:30
Kirankumar S Mysore is a Professor at the Noble Research Institute. He joined Noble in 2002. He also holds Adjunct Professorship at the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Oklahoma State University. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture at the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore (India), Master’s degree in Horticulture at Clemson University and PhD in Genetics at Purdue University in 1999. He did his postdoctoral training at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, Cornell University. His main research interests center on molecular plant-microbe interactions. Research approaches in his group include genetics and genomics to better understand how plants defend against pathogens. In addition, he has developed genetic resources (Tnt1 insertion lines) in Medicago truncatula that is now widely used by the legume community. He has published over 180 papers and book chapters in international journals.
Retrotransposons, retrovirus-like elements which encode proteins required for their own replication and transposition, can be used for insertional mutagenesis. Tobacco retrotransposon, Tnt1, has been used to mutagenize and tag the whole genome of a model legume, Medicago truncatula. Tnt1 is very active and transpose into, on average, 25 different locations during M. truncatula tissue culture. Mutations induced by Tnt1 insertion are stable during seed to seed generation. We have generated over 20,000 independent Tnt1-containing lines encompassing more than 500,000 insertion events. Over 400,000 Tnt1 flanking sequence tags (FSTs) have been recovered and a database has been established. We have pooled genomic DNA from all the lines for customized reverse-genetic screening, and the frequency of insert identification in this pool for average-sized-gene is approximately 85% percent. The range and diversity of mutant phenotypes obtained to date suggest that M. truncatula offers a great opportunity to dissect symbiotic and developmental pathways for a comprehensive understanding of legume biology. A forward genetics approach using Tnt1 tagged M. truncatula lines has been established to identify genes that confer nonhost resistance to Asian Soybean Rust pathogen, Phakopsora pachyrhizi. Several M. truncatula Tnt1 mutants with altered response to P. pachyrhizi have been identified and being characterized. irg1 (inhibitor of rust germ-tube differentation1) mutant inhibited pre-infection structure differentiation of P. pachyrhizi and several other biotrophic pathogens. IRG1 encodes a Cys(2)His(2) zinc finger transcription factor, PALM1 that also controls dissected leaf morphology in M. truncatula. Characterization of other mutants will also be presented.
Ibaraki University, Japan
Keynote: Establishment of plant vaccinating system by a dark septate endophytic fungus (DSE) - DSE fungi alter the root-associated microbial communities and suppress soil borne diseases of plant
Time : 9:30-10:30
Kazuhiko Narisawa has a great deal of expertise in the isolation of soil fungi that can be used as a biocontrol against plant pathogens. Dark septate endophytic fungi, or DSE fungi, are not very common in the soil but are often associated with the roots of many plants, forming “symbiotic” relationships. DSE fungi may have great potential as biocontrol agents; however, their specific roles in ecosystems remain speculative. His research is unique in that it not only contributes to solving some of Japan’s agricultural problems, hampered by administrative problems of effectively developing and distributing biocontrol agents against diseases of commercial plants, but also similar agricultural and environmental problems worldwide.
Crop production has been dependent on chemicals to control pest organisms and supply nutrients for growth. These chemicals have caused considerable negative impacts on agricultural soils since their introduction. It is today’s aim to reduce the use of chemicals and switch to a biological control method for pest control purposes, i.e., create a natural and organic agricultural system. However, the scientific basis for many biocontrol methods, which proves the validity of the organic production system, is insufficient. Fusarium crown and root rot (FCRR) of tomato caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lycopersici (FORL) is a common disease observed worldwide. Our Previous study showed the suppressive role of a DSE fungus, Veonaeopsis simplex Y34 against Fusarium disease of Chinese cabbage, suggesting a potential bio-control agent to suppress FCRR of tomato. The solid-substrate, incubated by combining V. simplex Y34 with sterilized litter compost (solid-cultures of V. simplex Y34), was applied in a nursery pot to assess the bio-control of the disease. Results showed that V. simplex Y34 decreased the disease severity of FCRR for the two cultivars. The colonization of V. simplex Y34 in root was determined by re-isolation and terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis targeting fungal ITS-LSU region. Moreover, the application of the endophyte increased the diversity of the fungal community in root-endosphere and decreased the colonization of FORL in the root. The T-RFs-based multivariate analysis showed that the fungal communities in root-endosphere with inoculation of V. simplex Y34 were clustered away from those of non-inoculation, suggesting a correlation between the root-endospermic community and disease incidence. In conclusion, this study indicates that the application of V. simplex Y34 altered the diversity, evenness, and structure of root-endospermic fungal community by the endosymbiosis of endophyte, and decreased pathogen colonization in the root, which opens a new way to control of tomato FCRR disease.
Texas A&M AgriLife Research, USA
Time : 11:00-11:30
Richard Teague is Professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management at Texas A&M University. The purpose of his research is to conduct a ranch-scale, multi-county assessment that addresses objectives in the context of improving Soil Health and ecosystem services in grazing ecosystems as the foundation to improving ranch-based livelihoods and as they relate to Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation. This involves determining: 1) the extent that grazing strategies influence key ecosystem services of soil and vegetation carbon sequestration, soil fertility and stability, water quality, net primary and secondary production, and the economic viability of working ranches that contribute to the retention of open space and rural community health in the Southern Plains of the USA; and 2) the extent that different grazing management strategies can be used by livestock producers to mitigate and adapt to alternative climate change scenarios.
To ensure long-term sustainability and ecological resilience of agro-ecosystems, agricultural production should be guided by policies to ensure regenerative cropping and grazing management protocols. Changing current unsustainable high-input agricultural practices to low-input practices that regenerate ecosystem function will be necessary for sustainable, resilient agro-ecosystems. Effective soil management provides the greatest potential for achieving sustainable use of agricultural land with rapidly changing, uncertain and variable climate. With appropriate management of grazing enterprises, soil function can be regenerated to improve essential ecosystem services and farm profitability. Affected ecosystem services include carbon sequestration, water infiltration, soil fertility, nutrient cycling, soil formation, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, and increased ecosystem stability and resilience. Collectively, conservation agriculture managed regeneratively supports ecologically healthy, resilient agro-ecosystems and enhances watershed function. To accomplish this, it is important for scientists to partner with farmers who have improved the environment and excel financially to convert experimental results into sound environmental, social and economic benefits regionally and globally. Benefits include: addressing questions at commercial scale; integrating component science into whole-system responses; identifying emergent properties and unintended consequences; incorporating pro-active management to achieve desired goals under changing circumstances; and including the potential of the human element to achieve superior economic and environmental goals. Developing and implementing regenerative management protocols that include ruminant grazing animals will be necessary to ensure long-term sustainability and ecological resilience of agro-ecosystems.
Nayudamma Centre for Development Alternatives, India
A Jagadeesh holds a PhD in Wind Energy from the prestigious University of Roorkee (Now IIT Roorkee), India. He published over 150 Research Papers in International/National Journals. He presented over 40 Research Papers at International Conferences abroad. Recipient of 15 International/National Awards including the prestigious ‘Margaret Noble Foundation Seattle Award in Energy Technology’.
The cultivation of nopal (Opuntia ficus-indica), a type of cactus, is one of the most important in Mexico. According to Rodrigo Morales, Chilean engineer, Wayland biomass, installed on Mexican soil, 'allows you to generate inexhaustible clean energy.' Through the production of biogas, it can serve as a raw material more efficiently, by example and by comparison with jatropha. Wayland Morales, head of Elqui Global Energy argues that 'an acre of cactus produces 43,200 m3 of biogas or the equivalent in energy terms to 25,000 liters of diesel.' With the same land planted with jatropha, he says, it will produce 3,000 liters of biodiesel. Another of the peculiarities of the nopal is biogas which is the same molecule of natural gas, but its production does not require machines or devices of high complexity. Also, unlike natural gas, contains primarily methane (75%), carbon dioxide (24%) and other minor gases (1%), 'so it has advantages from the technical point of view since it has the same capacity heat but is cleaner, 'he says, and as sum datum its calorific value is 7,000 kcal/m3. Biogas power generators from KW to MW size are available from China and Vietnam. Wayland Morales, head of Elqui Global Energy argues that “an acre of cactus produces 43200 m3 of biogas or the equivalent in energy terms to 25,000 liters of diesel.” With the same land planted with jatropha, he says, it will produce 3,000 liters of biodiesel. Another of the peculiarities of the nopal is biogas which is the same molecule of natural gas, but its production does not require machines or devices of high complexity. Also, unlike natural gas, contains primarily methane (75%), carbon dioxide (24%) and other minor gases (1%), “so it has advantages from the technical point of view since it has the same capacity heat but is cleaner, “he says, and as sum datum its calorific value is 7,000 kcal/m3. Fruits and Juice: Jams and jellies are produced from the fruit, which resembles strawberries and figs in color and flavor. Mexicans have used Opuntia for thousands of years to make an alcoholic drink called colonche. In Sicily, a prickly pear-flavored liqueur called "Ficodi" is produced, flavored somewhat like a medicinal/aperitif. In Malta, a liqueur called bajtra (the Maltese name for prickly pear) is made from this fruit, which can be found growing wild in almost every field. On the island of Saint Helena, the prickly pear also gives its name to locally distilled liqueur, Tungi Spirit. Mexican and other southwestern residents eat the young cactus pads (nopales, plural, nopal, singular), usually picked before the spines harden. They are sliced into strips, skinned or unskinned, and fried with eggs andjalapeños, served as a breakfast treat. They have a texture and flavor like string beans. They can be boiled, used raw blended with fruit juice, cooked on a frying pan, and often used as a side dish to go with chicken or added to tacos along with chopped onion and cilantro. Fodder: The cattle industry of the Southwest United States has begun to cultivate O. ficus-indica as a fresh source of feed for cattle. The Fruits and Juice are exported from Israel to Europe and US. Cactus yields a number of fruits. The fruits are highly nutritious like Apple and Pomegranate. Cactus has high medicinal value as well. Some health benefits derived from a juice prepared from the San Pedro cactus have prevented the burning of the bladder and kidneys, helps treat conditions of high fever and hepatitis. Hoodia is another cactus-like plant which is popularly grown in South Africa and is renowned for its appetite suppressing quality and hence effectively used in the treatment of obesity. The prickly pear is also known as Opuntia is a very popular herb. Forming an important part of the ancient Mexican culture, the prickly pear is abundant in flavonoids which are an important antioxidant property. Antioxidants have a detoxifying effect on the body thereby preventing cellular damage which is the path to cancers, ageing, and other health problems. The status of cactus has evolved over time from being just a crop to a cure or healer for various human ailments. Dishes prepared from the pulp of the Opuntia fruit have become very popular today. Traditionally, the prickly pear cactus was also used to treat diabetes. Considering the medicinal value of cactus, natural food companies are not only supplying prickly pear cactus but also offering recipes and dishes prepared from the fruit and pads of the cacti plant or herb. Opuntia being a care-free growth, regenerative CAM plant with multiple users can be grown on a Massive Scale in Vast wastelands in Developing Countries. As a CAM plant it will act as Carbon Sink.