Roundtables

Roundtables provide a flexible meeting option and should be very different in topic and organization to the 'regular' sessions. All roundtables are open to all delegates.
The format provides an excellent opportunity for active, in-depth discussion and interaction. The focus of the roundtable can either be on a subject area within the field or a methods- or analysis based session run in a tutorial format. 

The Roundtables will take place on Monday and Tuesday evening, 22 and 23 June 2015.

Monday 22 June, 17:45 - 19:15

Auditorium - Multiscale modelling of root-soil interactions based on pore scale 
Keith Daly and Samuel Keynes
University of Southampton, United Kingdom

A subject discussion of the state of the art in pore scale modelling of root-soil interactions based on X-ray Computed Tomography. In recent years we have seen rapid advances in the use of X-ray Computed Tomography and other imaging techniques to provide input for computational models. These models have the specific aim of advancing our understanding of how pore scale processes influence plant—soil interactions. With the ever increasing resolution and access to high performance computational resources we are in a unique position to revolutionize understanding of root—soil interactions. In this session we will discuss the state of the art in multiscale modelling driven by imaging and how these techniques can be used in combination to answer fundamental questions. In addition we will discuss where the challenges lie and how these can be overcome.

We highly recommend the Round Table on Emerging technologies for root system scale imaging and phenotyping organized by Guillaume Lobet, Lionel Dupuy and Rubén Rellán Álvarez. The two Round Tables are complementary since they are focused on different scales of the root-soil interactions and two aspects of root science (imaging and modelling) that retrofeed each other.

0.5 - COST Action - Endophytes
Leo van Overbeek
WUR Plant Research International

FA COST Action FA1103 
Endophytes in Biotechnology and AgriculturePlants are associated with micro– and nanoorganisms: Endophytic bacteria and fungi, which live inter- and intracellularly in plants without inducing pathogenic symptoms, interact with the host biochemically and genetically. Endophytic microorganisms (EMOs) may function as plant growth and defense promoters by synthesising phytohormones, producing biosurfactants, enzymes or precursors for secondary plant metabolites, fixing atmospheric nitrogen and CO2 or control plant diseases as well as providing a source for new bioactive natural products with utility in pharmaceutical, agrochemical and other LifeScience applications. The use of these EMOs to control plant-pathogenic bacteria and fungi is receiving increasing attention as a sustainable alternative to synthetic pesticides and antibiotics. Furthermore, these EMOs are likely to be adapted to the presence and metabolism of complex organic molecules and therefore show useful biodegradation activities. In order to reduce the input of pesticides and fertilizers and to bring European added value to an eco-friendly agriculture, it will be important to develop inocula of biofertilizers, stress protection and biocontrol agents. The aim of the Action is to identify bottlenecks limiting the use of endophytes in biotechnology and agriculture and to provide solutions for the economically and ecologically compatible exploitation of endophytes.
(http://www.cost.eu/COST_Actions/fa/Actions/FA1103)

Tuesday 23 June, 17:45 - 19:15

Auditorium - Emerging technologies for root systems scale imaging and phenotyping
Lionel Dupuy1 , Guillaume Lobet2, Rubén Rellán-Álvarez3
1James Hutton Institute, United Kingdom, 2University of Liege, Belgium, 3Langebio, Mexico

Root research targets hidden processes in soil where our ability to make observations are extremely limited. In the past, major breakthrough have mostly been linked to the development of methods that enable overcoming this limitation. Discovery of new processes in soil have required in particular the identification of a suitable imaging system that optimise the tradeoff between the information provided by the experiment and disturbance introduced by the imaging setup. As our understanding of the rhizosphere increases, technological limitations have even become more critical, with the requirement to accurately monitor and control the root environment and the need to image an increasing number of biological, biochemical and physical variables.

We highly recommend to also attend the Round Table on Pore scale imaging and modelling of rootsoil interactions that our colleagues from the Southampton University Keith Daly and Sam Keyes are organizing. The two RoundTables are complementary since they are focused on different scales of the root-soil interactions and two aspects of root science (imaging and modelling) that retrofeed each other.

0.5 - Root exudate collection: Selecting the most appropriate method
Angela Straathof
the University of Manchester, United Kingdom

The objective of this Roundtable is to engage discussion between participants on the latest methods in root exudate collection and encourage informed decisions when choosing the most appropriate method for their own research. The composition of root exudates is critical for understanding plant-soil feedback mechanisms and they are increasingly being characterised. However, practical obstacles to root exudate collection are numerous: exudates are low in concentration, differ in composition depending on their point of origin, and are released into the soil where they are either rapidly metabolized, adsorbed to the soil solid phase, or become virtually indistinguishable from the background soil solution. Researchers currently use vastly different collection methods, include growing plants in a soilless environment (on agar or hydroponically), or extraction of rhizosphere soil solution. Both approaches overcome some practical obstacles but neglect certain interactions, or introduce artifacts. The purpose of this Roundtable is to review the most current root exudate collection methods, identify their advantages and drawbacks, and move towards a universal method of root exudate collection so that results between experiments become more comparable. This will be done by hearing from four speakers practicing the most current methods of root exudate collection. After a description of these methods from each speaker, the audience will have the opportunity to compare and contrast them through a discussion period. Participants will leave well-informed about methodological considerations and an important potential outcome of this roundtable is a review and/or opinion paper on the methods presented and their appropriateness for different applications.