Schedule and Program Book

Download 2024 Schedule Only

Download the full Program and Abstract Book

2024 Joint MAS-ASPB & UMD Plant Symposium Schedule

May 29 & 30, 2024

Venue: Room 1224, Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center (Bldg #226)

University of Maryland, College Park


Day 1: Wednesday (May 29)
8:00 – 9:00 am Registration
8:30 – 9:00 am Light breakfast provided; Set up presentations for Session I
9:00 – 9:05 am Welcome Remarks
9:05 – 9:10 am Keynote Speaker Introduction
9:10 – 10:00 am Keynote address – Dr. Maria Harrison (Boyce Thompson Institute, NY) Title: Reprogramming root cells for symbiosis with AM fungi
10:00 – 10:15 am Coffee Break
10:15 – 11:50 pm Session I: Plant Genetics and Genomics

(session chairs Drs. Mark Zander and Nicholas Santantonio)

10:15 – 10:40 am Dr. Richard Boyle (Clemson University, SC)

Title: Recent genetic discoveries and advances to develop safer and more resilient cereal grains

10:40 – 11:05 am Dr. Daniel Rodriguez Leal (University of Maryland, College Park) Title: Engineering Quantitative Traits by genome editing in tomatoes
11:05 – 11:30 am Dr. Qi Mu (University of Delaware)

Title: Developmental dimension and genetic effects of crop phenotypic plasticity

11:30 – 11:40 am Graduate student Alexis Perry (Virginia Tech)

Title: Developing low-GN and GN-zero winter malt barley varieties for the eastern united states

11:40 – 11:50 am Graduate student Ya-Chi Nien (Penn State University)

Title: DICER-Like 1 generates trans-species microRNAs in the parasitic plant Cuscuta campestris

11:50 – 12:35 pm Lunch provided for all registered attendees
12:35 – 1.45 pm Poster Session (Odd numbers present) Set up presentations for Session II
1:45 – 3:20 pm Session II: Plant Biotechnology (session chair Dr. Yiping Qi)
1:45 2:10 pm Dr. Bing Yang (Donald Danforth Plant Science Center)

Title: Prime editing enables recapitulation of natural genetic variations in rice


2:10 2:35 pm Dr. Jesus Beltran (University of Delaware)

Title: Reprogramming plant hormone perception modules enables new ligand- controlled functionalities

2:35 3:00 pm Dr. Daniel Barletta Sulis (North Carolina State University, Raleigh) Title: Multiplex CRISPR editing of wood for sustainable fiber production
3:00 3:10 pm Dr. Zhengyu (Allen) Wen (KeyGene, USA)

Title: Translation initiation factors edited for resistance against maize lethal necrosis

3:10 3:20 pm Graduate student Nayara Sabrina Freitas-Alves (University of Maryland, College Park)

Title: Genotype-independent regeneration of gene-edited carrots through CRISPR-Combo

3:20 – 3:35 pm Coffee Break; Set up presentations for Session III
3:35 – 5:10 pm Session III: Plant Biotic Interactions (session chair Dr. Nidhi Rawat)
3:35 – 4:00 pm Dr. Rong Di (Rutgers University, NJ)

Title: CRISPR-gene editing of sweet basil to improve downy mildew resistance

4:00 – 4:25 pm Dr. Murli Manohar (Ascribe Bioscience Inc)

Title: Microbial metabolites to empower plants’ natural defenses for crop protection

4:25 – 4:50 pm Dr. Bret Cooper (Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, MD)

Title: Common bean and its bacterial pathogen respond to each other through a biochemical feedback loop of isoflavonoids and cyclic dipeptides

4:50 – 5:00 pm Postdoc Dr. Zizhang Li (University of Maryland, College)

Title: Chromatin-remodeling factor PICKLE (PKL) is required for host and nonhost resistance against powdery mildew in Arabidopsis

5:00 – 5:10 pm Postdoc Dr. Prem Kymar Ganesan (University of Maryland, College Park)

Title: Broad spectrum resistance of wheat pore-forming toxin-like protein against fungal pathogens

5:10 – 5:15 pm Short Break
5:15 – 6:15 pm Career Development Workshop (conveners: Drs. Hua Lu and Daniel Rodriguez Leal)

Panelists: Drs. Murli Manohar (CTO & Co-Founder Ascribe Biosciences,) Liwei Yuan (Sr. Scientist, Bayer), and Zhengyu (Allen) Wen (KeyGene, USA)

6:30 – 9:00 pm Reception/Dinner at The Hall CP for all registered attendees:

4656 Hotel Dr., College Park, MD 20742


Day 2: Thursday (May 30)
8:15 – 9:00 am Registration
8:30 – 9:00 am Light breakfast provided; Set up presentations for Session IV
9:00 – 9:08 am Remarks by Dr. Crispin Taylor, ASPB Executive Director
9:08 – 9:10 am Keynote Speaker Introduction
9:10 – 10:00 am Keynote Address – Dr. Hong Ma (Penn State University, State College)

Title: Part I. ASPB – promoting interactions, collaborations, and mentoring young plant biologists; Part II. Identifying and understanding novel regulators of plant development using a combination of molecular genetic, multi-omic and evolutionary approaches.

10:00 – 10:15 am Coffee Break
10:15 – 12:05 pm Session IV: Plant Development and Cell Biology (session chairs Drs. Hua Lu and José Feijó)
10:15 – 10:40 am Dr. Mark Zander (Rutgers University, NJ)

Title: Dissecting the environmentally responsive plant epigenome

10:40 – 11:05 am Dr. Ross Sozzani (North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC) Title: The Goldilocks principle: Just the right amount of growth
11:05 – 11:30 am Dr. Shan He (Princeton University, NJ)

Title: Biogenesis and regulation of the CO2-concentrating organelle, the pyrenoid

11:30 – 11:45 am Dr. Arif Ashraf (Howard University, Washington, DC)

Title: Nuclear membrane proteins and their functions beyond the nuclear membrane

11:45 – 11:55 am Graduate student Jakob Adkins (Marshall University, WV)

Telomere Length Regulation by the H3.3 Deposition Pathway in Arabidopsis

11:55 – 12:05 pm Postdoc Dr. Xiaoyu Wang (University of Maryland, College Park)

Title: Broad range plastid genome editing with monomeric TALE-linked cytosine and dual base editors

12:05 – 12:45 pm Lunch provided for all registered attendees
12:45 – 1:45 pm Grant Development Workshop (Conveners: Dr. Shunyuan Xiao and Dr. Vijay Tiwari)

Panelists: Drs. Kan Wang and Pankaj Jaiswal (NSF), Christian Tobias (USDA- NIFA), and V.K. Sharma (DOE)

1:45 – 3:00 pm Poster Session (Even numbers present) Set up presentations for Sessions V and VI


3:00 – 4:25 pm Session V: Omics-based Approaches in Plant Biology (session chairs Drs. Gary Coleman and Edward Eisenstein)
3:00 – 3:25 pm Dr. Sean McSweeney (Brookhaven National Laboratory, NY)

Title: Imaging at multiple scales: allowing the light source to illuminate plant biology

3:25 – 3:50 pm Dr. Grey Monroe (University of California, Davis)

Title: Mechanisms and origins of epigenome-recruited DNA mismatch repair in plants

3:50 – 4:15 pm Dr. Holly P. Bartholomew (Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, MD)

Title: Fighting fungus with fungus: utilizing non-pathogenic Penicillium spp. in apple fruit for fundamental and translative applications

4:15 – 4:25 pm Graduate student Husan Turdiev (University of Maryland, College Park)

Evidence of homeostatic regulation of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC), the precursor of the plant hormone ethylene

4:25 – 4:35 pm Session VI: Undergraduate Session
4:25 – 4:30 pm Undergraduate Dalia Chen (University of Maryland, College Park)

Title: High temperatures reduce growth, infection, and transmission of a naturally occurring fungal plant pathogen

4.30 – 4:35 pm Undergraduate Victoria Swiler (Athens University, Ohio)

Title: The role of the AHA2 protein in Arabidopsis gravitropism

4:35 – 4:45 pm Short Break
4:45 – 4:55 pm Poster and Oral Presentation Awards
4:55 – 5:00 pm Closing Remarks (followed by poster take-down and departure)