American Society of Plant Biologists Annual Meeting August 5-9 in Boston

Boston -- The American Society of Plant Biologists will meet jointly with the Canadian Society of Plant Physiologists at their annual meeting August 5-9, 2006 in the Hynes Convention Center, Boston.

Approximately 1,500 plant scientists from the United States and throughout the world will attend the annual meeting. The ASPB annual meeting program will feature symposia with presentations on exciting new advances in plant research.

The major symposium "Plants Mitigating Global Change" 4:20 p.m. August 5 will feature presentations on how plant research initiatives could dramatically reduce emissions of stored carbon dioxide into the atmosphere while at the same time meet the goals set by President Bush to transition to use of cellulosic ethanol in cars and trucks. Scientists making presentations in this symposium will discuss research conducted at the University of Illinois, Carnegie Institution, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, West Virginia University, Joint Genome Institute, University of Ghent, University of Tennessee, and The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation

A mini symposium on "Global Change" will also be held 2 p.m. August 7. Research findings presented will explain how corn crops acclimate to atmospheric carbon dioxide enrichment. Also in this mini symposium, a talk will explain studies on UV-B induced DNA damage in Antarctic mosses. The study demonstrates how "it's safer to be dry" protection is offered from plant dessication.

Molecular research findings on how plants learn to count the number of cold days to avoid blooming before a late winter frost will be presented during the ASPB President's Symposium on Plant Responses to the Environment, which will begin 2 p.m. Wednesday, August 9. This research conducted at the University of Wisconsin will give plant scientists tools for averting late-winter, early-spring crop freeze disasters. The symposium will also include a talk on the role of proteins and small regulatory RNAs in salt and drought stress tolerance in plants. This research is being conducted at the University of California, Riverside. Research on plant mechanisms of micronutrient uptake could lead to crops more nutritious for human consumption. Research findings in this area will be explained in the talk, "Seeing is Believing: Metal Homeostasis in Arabidopsis." The talk will explain research conducted at Dartmouth College, University of Chicago and Purdue University.

The minisymposium on "Phytoremediation" 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, August 9 will feature talks on how advances in research at the University of Washington, University of York, and other institutions are leading to plants that can cleanse pollutants from the soil and water.

The minority affairs symposium "Medicinal Plants and Ethnobotany" will include five presentations, including a talk on how plant research conducted at Michigan State University could lead to production of taxol, now derived from Taxus plants, from another host. This could help in balancing taxol production needs with preservation of Taxus plants. Taxol is used in pharmaceutical therapy for patients suffering from cancer and other pathological conditions. This symposium begins 2 p.m. Monday, August 7.

The minisympoium on "Biotechnology" 10:40 a.m. Wednesday, August 9 will include a presentation on research related to arsenic-contaminated soils and water supplies are major sources of food chain contamination and thereby endanger human health. The "Biotechnology" minisymposium will include a talk on research conducted at the University of Massachusetts that led to identification of an arsenate reductase that reduces arsenate and arsenite in plants.

Major symposia at the ASPB annual meeting and organizers of the program will be:

  • Plants Mitigating Global Change Stephen P. Long, University of Illinois
  • Legumes: Genomes to Biology Douglas R. Cook, University of California-Davis
  • Ion Channels and Cellular Signaling Julian I. Schroeder, University of California-San Diego
  • Gibbs Medal Symposium: Genome Scale Biology Joseph R. Ecker, The Salk Institute
  • ASPB President's Symposium: Plant Responses to the Environment Michael F. Thomashow, Michigan State University
  • CSPP President's Symposium - Tree Physiology and Genomics Dr. Robert D. Guy, University of British Columbia

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Perspectives of Science Leaders program Speaker Dr. Mary Clutter, former Assistant Director of the National Science Foundation heading the Biological Sciences Directorate, will share her predictions for future directions in biology research 7:30 p.m. Saturday, August 5. Dr. Clutter will receive the ASPB 2006 Leadership in Science Public Service Award for outstanding contributions to science.

For registration and additional information on the ASPB annual meeting in Boston, visit http://www.aspb.org/meetings/pb-2006/ Press registrations can be made by contacting Brian Hyps, ASPB Public Affairs Director, at bhyps@aspb.org or at 301-251-0560, ext. 114

Founded in 1924, the American Society of Plant Biologists is a non-profit society of 5,000 plant scientists from the United States and more than 50 other nations. ASPB publishes the two most widely cited plant science journals: Plant Physiology and The Plant Cell. More information on ASPB, which is headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, visit www.aspb.org


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