PAG 2024 Speaker Profiles

PAG 2024 Speaker Profiles

PAG 2024 Speaker Profiles

The following scientist presented their research at the IWGSC Workshops at PAG31

IWGSC Main Workshop - Saturday 13 January

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Shaobin Zhong

Shaobin Zhong

Professor
Department of Plant Pathology
North Dakota State University, USA

Research Interests
- Fusarium head blight (FHB) of wheat
- Plant-fungal interactions in cereal crops

Current Projects
- Molecular mapping and cloning of QTL for FHB resistance
- Use of genome editing for improving resistance to FHB

PAG talk
Date: Saturday 13 January 2023
Title: Site-Directed Mutagenesis and Gene Insertion in Wheat through Wheat x Maize Hybridization Coupled with Genome Editing Technology.

Links
LinkedIn
- Lab page
- Google Scholar

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Marek Glombik

Marek Glombik

Postdoctoral Researcher
John Innes Centre, UK

Research Interest
I am interested in homoeolog interaction, expression and regulation in allopolyploid organisms.

Current Projects
The project I am currently working on focuses on the inheritance of homoeolog expression in wheat and the genetic and epigenetic factors that control the inheritance of homoeolog expression.

PAG talk
Date: Saturday 13 January 2024
Title: Tracing Homoeolog Expression Bias Inheritance in Wheat

Links
- Twitter
- LinkedIn

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Sophie Carpenter

Sophie Carpenter

Postgraduate Researcher
John Innes Centre, UK

Research Interest
My research interests lie in crop genetics and developmental biology. 

Current Projects
During my PhD I am exploring how the wheat spike develops by looking at the complex interactions between transcription factors and microRNAs (miRNAs) at key growth stages. The developmental decisions made when spikes are just a few millimetres tall have significant effects on the final shape of the wheat spike and, consequently, its yield. I am particularly fascinated by the pivotal role that miRNAs play during these initial phases, where even subtle changes to miRNA target sequences can lead to outsized impacts on eventual spike structure. An illustrative example is the Q domestication allele, which imparts the compact spike phenotype observed in modern varieties. Remarkably, this distinctive phenotype is governed by a single base pair change situated in the miR172 binding site. Through my work I hope to increase our understanding of the roles played by miRNAs and their interactions with other genes during early wheat spike development, which would offer wheat breeders new opportunities to enhance the traits of elite varieties. 

PAG talk
Date: Saturday 14 January 2024
Title: Small RNAs, Big Impact: Understanding the Role of miRNAs in Wheat Spike Development.

Links
- Twitter
- LinkedIn

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Junli Zhang

Junli Zhang

Assistant Project Scientist
University of California, Davis, USA

Research Interest
Identify genetic resources for wheat improvement; gene expression regulation; effect of nutrition level on wheat apex development

Current Projects
1.    Transfer Rht25 and other GA-sensitive reduced-height genes into elite wheat cultivars
2.    Cis regulators that affect gene expression
3.    Effect of nutrition level on wheat apex development

PAG talk
Date: Saturday 14 January 2024
Title: Sequencing 4.3 Million Mutations in Wheat Promoters to Understand and Modify Gene Expression

Links
- Twitter
- LinkedIn
- Lab page 
- Personal website 

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Luigi Cattivelli

Luigi Cattivelli

Director
CREA Research Centre for Genomics and Bioinformatics, Italy

Research Interests
Genetics and genomics of wheat and barley

Current Projets
- AGRITECH project funded by Next Generation EU program, WP1.1.1: Genome-wide analysis of genetic diversity and pan-genome reconstruction.

PAG talk
Date: Saturday 13 January 2024
Title: Advancing Durum Wheat Genomic Resources: From the Platinum-Quality Svevo Genome Assembly to the Tetraploid Wheat Pangenome

Links
- LinkedIn

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Carolyn Mukiri

Carolyn Mukiri headshot

Scientific Researcher
University of Bonn, Germany

Recipient of the 2024 IWGSC Early Career Award - Read her interview here

Research Interests
Exploring how plants adapt to stressful conditions and their potential to remember environmental stress across generations

Current Projects
- investigating intergenerational, transgenerational, and accumulated drought stress memory in winter wheat
- unravelling the phenotypic consequences of induced drought stress in wheat by analyzing extensive multi-generational datasets

PAG talk
Date: Saturday 13 January 2023
Title: Memory of past drought stress exposure effects plant responses in subsequent generations in winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)

Links
Lab link
- LinkedIn

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IWGSC - From Structural to Functional Workshop - Tuesday 16 January

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Adam William Schoen

Adam William Schoen

PhD Student
University of Maryland, USA

Research Interest
Molecular isolation of yield-related traits in wheat for the purpose of cultivar improvement.
Utilization of mutant resources for the discovery of agronomically important genes.

Current Projects
- Grain number per spikelet gene cloning
- Tiller number gene discovery and cloning (tin3, tin6)
- FHB resistance screening in Barley
- UMD Wheat Breeding program work including field evaluation and analysis

PAG talk
Date: Tuesday 16 January 2024
Title: Elucidation of the Genetic Components behind a Novel Gene Controlling Grains per Spike

Links
- ResearchGate
- Lab page

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Jyoti Saini Sharma

Jyoti Sharma

Postdoctoral Associate
University of Minnesota, USA

Research Interest
- Studies host-pathogens interaction wheat/barberry-rust diseases
- Develop functional molecular tools to aid the deployment/ exclusion of resistance and susceptible genes spanning genomic regions in the breeding pipelines
- Develop genetic characterization of the hybrid barberry.  

Current Projects
1. Detecting hybrid barberry and investigating its role in rust epidemiology. Developing the diagnostic SNP-based markers for the detection of hybrids.
2. Effects of Puccinia species complex on common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica).
3. Genomic analysis of stem rust resistance in the tetraploid mapping population

PAG talk
Date: Tuesday 16 January 2024
Title: Understanding the Interaction between Suppressors and Rust Resistance Genes

Links
- LinkedIn
- Twitter

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James Milson

James Milson

Postgraduate Researcher
John Innes Centre, UK

Research Interest
My research focuses on understanding the genetics controlling quality of hybrid wheat to help inform breeding efforts. 

Current Projects
- Exploring quality alleles within hybrid breeding populations.
- Expression patterns of quality alleles.
- Imprinted gene expression in F1 hybrid embryos and endosperm.

PAG talk
Date: Tuesday 16 January 2024
Title: Hybrid Wheat: Which Alleles Are in Your Bread?

Links 
LinkedIn
- Lab page

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Xianran Li

Xianran Li

Research Biologist (Computational Bioinformatics)
USDA-ARS Wheat Health, Genetics, and Quality Research Unit
Washington State University, Pullman, WA, USA

Research Interest
Integrate genomics, phenomics, and enviromics to explore wheat evolution, selection, and improvement.

Current Projects
- Developing bioinformatics tools to utilize pan-genome data.
- Dissecting genetic and environmental determinants for wheat phenotypic plasticity.
- Repurposing historical long-term variety testing trials to model climate change impacting wheat performance. 

PAG talk
Date: Tuesday 16 January 2024
Title: BRIDGEcereal: A Webapp Streamlines Unsupervised Machine Learning to Survey and Graph Indel-Based Haplotypes from Pan-Genomes for Functional Characterization

Links
Twitter
- LinkedIn
- Lab page

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Meriem Aoun

Meriem Aoun

Assistant Professor
Oklahoma State University, USA

Research Interest
I am a Small Grains Pathologist at Oklahoma State University (OSU). My research focuses on the genetics of disease resistance in wheat. I contribute to the development of wheat cultivars for Oklahoma and the Great Plains as part of the OSU Wheat Improvement Team.

Current Projects
- Genomics to boost durable leaf rust and stripe rust resistance in hard winter wheat: funded by USDA-AFRI
- Genetic Improvement of winter wheat: Integrating classical and novel approaches: funded by Oklahoma Wheat Research Foundation

PAG talk
Date: Tuesday 16 January 2024
Title: Genomics to Boost Durable Leaf Rust and Stripe Rust Resistance in the U.S. Great Plains Wheat.

Links
- Twitter
- LinkedIn
- Lab page
- OSU Wheat Pathology

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Dominique Hirsz

Dominique Hirsz

PhD Student
University of Leeds, UK

Research Interest
The effect of environmental stimuli on development and molecular pathways in hexaploid bread wheat (Triticum aestivum), with a particular focus on cold temperature sensing and response. 

Current Projects
My PhD research involves characterising the locus VERNALIZATION2 (VRN2), a key floral repressor in the vernalization pathway, in Triticum aestivum. I have been working to understand the effect of both photoperiod and temperature on VRN2 expression in different conditions, alongside the protein interactions with the key floral promoter in the vernalization pathway, VERNALIZATION1 (VRN1). I have been investigating specific allelic variants of both VRN1 and VRN2 with the view to generate better adapted and more robust wheat varieties in a changing climate.

PAG talk
Date: Tuesday 16 January 2024
Title: VRNturing into the Unknown: Dissecting the role of VERNALIZATION2 (VRN2) in climate adaptation

Links
- Lab Twitter
- LinkedIn

Modification date : 26 January 2024 | Publication date : 13 November 2023 | Redactor : ic