Current Challenges in Plant Genetics, Genomics, Bioinformatics, and Biotechnology



The Fifth International Scientific Conference “Plant Genetics, Genomics, Bioinformatics, and Biotechnology” (PlantGen2019) held in Novosibirsk on 24–29 June 2019 put together 353 scientists from 19 countries. The participants considered the most recent updates about the structural and functional organization of plant genomes and how these data are and can further be used in plant breeding practice.
In 2010, when Novosibirsk was hosting the first PlantGen conference, most papers were about wheat. That was because the Institute of Cytology and Genetics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences had obtained important wheat-related data and become a member of the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC), wheat being an extremely important crop to humans.
With a decade gone since that event, the Conference’s scope has become broader. Now it covered quite a diverse range of crops, their use in plant breeding and functional nutrition, the assessment of plant resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, the development of plant biotechnology in the postgenomic era, plant systems biology, and digital technologies. Because separate methods like effective approaches to supporting plant selection deserved additional emphasis, special sessions related to plant selection in the XXI century, plant cytogenetics in the genomic and the postgenomic era, and genome-wide association studies were arranged.
The world’s and Russia’s renowned experts in plant genetics and breeding took the floor as plenary speakers and keynote speakers.
Plant Genetic Resources for Breeding and Producing Functional Nutraceutical Food was the session related to the success and issues of the storage and use of plant collections in gene banks as study material. The main focus was placed on some most important trends in using plant collections for addressing genetic and selection problems, and developing functional foods.
Plant Resistance to Pathogens and Other Biotic Stresses was the session largely related to the search for new genes for resistance to biotic factors.
Genetic and Epigenetic Mechanisms of Plant Resistance to Abiotic Stresses was the session related to the mechanisms of acquiring resistance to drought, frost, lower temperatures, soil salinization and toxic metals. Special focus was given to the search for genetic and epigenetic factors controlling plant resistance to abiotic stresses.
Because several approaches can be seen as being special in modern plant biotechnology seeking to develop new plants with improved properties, the session Plant Biotechnology in the Postgenomic Era was related to the approaches associated with methods for genetic, chromosome and cell engineering, and genome editing. Special focus was given to studies seeking to arrive at a rapid development of plants with desired genotypes using combined biotechnological approaches.
Plant Systems Biology and Digital Technologies was the session related to genomic and postgenomic approaches to analysis of the structural and functional organization of the genome and to the integration of knowledge into plant systems biology. During this session, the development and use of genetic models for systems biology were discussed. Special focus was given to the methods for bioinformatics analysis and the assembly of de novo sequenced plant genomes. In recent years, the range of whole-genome sequenced plants has expanded substantially. The question arises: how can these data be successfully integrated into the settings of systems biology so as to reach an understanding of patterns in the structural and functional organization of plant genomes executing themselves during plant organisms’ development and interactions with the environment? To address the question, systems biology methods were considered for use in plant organisms with different genome sizes and ploidy.
Plant Breeding in the 21st Century, a parallel session, was related to important problems in plant breeding and the ways to address them with reliance on marker-oriented selection, genome-based selection, and modern approaches to genome editing, for in recent years genetic technologies have been actively making their way to breeding processes.

GWAS for Dissecting Traits and Pinpoint Candidate Genes was the session in which the importance of this approach to studying the genetic bases of commercially important traits was demonstrated. Genes that control commercially important traits can be identified using many ways. The session attendees were shown the most effective methods for plant genome-wide association mapping, and approaches to increasing the significance of the results being obtained.
In recent years, the uses of cytogenetic methods for studying plant genomes have changed substantially due to the whole-genome sequencing of a broad range of plants. The parallel session Plant Cytogenetics in the Genomic and Postgenomic Era considered important trends in plant cytogenetics, factoring in the modern technologies of studying genetic material and new approaches to analysis of digital images.
As an important part of any conference is made up by socializing instances, which at times results in joint projects, so was with PlantGen2019, some of whose participants have come to important agreements.
A selection of the PlantGen2019’s best papers awaits ahead.

Alexey Kochetov, Conference Chair
Elena Salina, Conference Сo-Chair


Program of the PlantGen2019


Information letter


The Federal Research Center Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (ICG SB RAS) invites you to take part in the 5th International Scientific Conference “Plant genetics, genomics, bioinformatics, and biotechnology” (PlantGen2019), 24-29 June 2019 Novosibirsk, Russia.

The Conference will present results of the latest research in plant genetics, genomics, bioinformatics, and biotechnology. We plan to discuss promising areas of inquiry (including collaborative studies) in the basic and applied fields of plant genome research.


The conference sessions:

  1. Plant genetic resources for breeding and producing functional nutraceutical food.
  2. Plant resistance to pathogens and other biotic stresses.
  3. Genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of plant resistance to abiotic stresses.
  4. Plant biotechnology in the post-genome era.
  5. Plant systems biology and digital technologies.

The working languages of the Conference are English and Russian.

The organizing Committee provides an opportunity to arrange workshops on topical areas of plant breeding, genetics, and biotechnology within the conference.


Important dates:

Opening online registration and abstract submission – November 10, 2018
Extension of registration until February 15, 2019
Deadline for abstract submission – March 15, 2019
Notification of acceptance – April 1, 2019
Deadline for registration fee payment – May 15, 2019
Arrival of participants – June 24, 2019
Conference sessions – June 25-28, 2019
Post-conference tour – June 29-July 3, 2019