Intellectual Merit: Rapid advances in technology are fundamentally altering the biological sciences. Once relegated to extremely expensive and ponderously slow 'Big Science' projects, the sequencing, assembly, and annotation of large genomes, such as those found in plants, is increasingly becoming the province of smaller, less expensive consortia. Full inventories of expressed genes can now be obtained for any organism at very modest cost. This 'genomics revolution' is touching all aspects of biology, not the least, the study of plant biology. With the increasing ease of obtaining genomic data, the focus must now turn to producing information from the data and synthesizing approaches from sub-disciplines which have historically operated separately. In particular, a detailed understanding of genome evolution, not just individual genes, is becoming an attainable goal. Correlating these molecular data with physiological responses, ecosystem interactions, and crop productivity is a major scientific goal. Towards this end, the 18th Penn State Symposium in Plant Biology: Plant Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics will be held May 18-21, 2011 at Penn State's University Park campus. This meeting will bring together both leading scientists and early-career researchers to exchange results and develop collaborations in this rapidly evolving field. The symposium is the 18th in a very successful series of Plant Physiology / Plant Biology Symposia, which have been held at Penn State since 1986.
Broader Impacts: This meeting will provide critical educational opportunities to undergraduate students, graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, and to early-career faculty members in the following ways: 1) Several speakers will be invited to deliver short talks based upon the quality of submitted poster abstracts. These decisions will emphasize inclusion of early-career faculty members and members of groups under-represented in American science. 2) Travel awards to offset costs of attendance to the meeting will be distributed to select attendees, based upon demonstrated need and upon other factors, with a preference towards undergraduates at small, non-research intensive colleges/universities. 3) Ample time in the symposium schedule will be 'unstructured' time at poster sessions and in proximity to refreshments. This arrangement allows maximum interaction between students and the cadre of distinguished scientists serving as plenary speakers. In addition, it is important to note that the topic of our symposium is in a critical area of current science: Increased understanding of plant genetics and genomics may play a key role in the development of a sustainable biofuels industry in the United States and world-wide.
|Effective start/end date||4/1/11 → 3/31/12|
- National Science Foundation: $26,140.00