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Colorado State University Plant Breeding for Drought Tolerance Symposium

March 1, 2013

The purpose of the Plant Breeding for Drought Tolerance Symposium is to provide a forum for exchange between plant physiologists, breeders, agronomists and geneticists in order to continue the positive trend towards crop improvement through plant breeding and genetics.

The meeting will consist of presentations by invited speakers and will feature keynote speaker Dr John Passioura. Dr Passioura currently holds an emeritus appointment at CSIRO Plant Industry in Canberra, and was formerly Chief Research Scientist and Leader of the Crop Adaptation Program there. His research in plant physiology and soil science, particularly in use of water in plants and the interactions between roots and soil, has contributed to drought adaptation in plant breeding.

Other confirmed speakers at the Plant Breeding for Drought Tolerance Symposium include Professor John S. Boyer, E.I. DuPont Professor Emeritus from the University of Delaware. Boyer studies how water availability affects cell enlargement, photosynthesis, and reproduction in plants with emphasis on dry land agriculture.  Using the methods of physiology, biochemistry, and molecular biology, he and his co-workers reversed drought-induced losses in grain numbers in maize, and identified genes controlling the losses.



Talk title

John Passioura


Phenotyping for drought tolerance: when is it useful to plant breeders

John Boyer

University of Delaware

Water deficits and yield in maize

Tom Juenger

University of Texas

Drought adaptation in switchgrass

Amelia Henry

International Rice Research Institute

Root traits behind major-effect drought-yield QTLs in rice

Eduardo Blumwald

University of California at Davis

Cytokinin-induced modifications of source-sink relationships lead to enhanced crop stress tolerance

Sean Cutler

University of California at Riverside

Targeting the ABA signaling pathway for improved plant stress tolerance

Jill Deikman


Developing corn with improved yields under water deficit stress using biotechnology

Andy Pereira

University of Arkansas

Systems level analysis of drought stress response interactions with growth and yield

Mark Cooper

Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.

Breeding for drought tolerance: Taking aim at target environments

Louise Comas


Root dynamics and functioning governed by biological and environmental factors

David Des Marais

University of Texas

The genomic basis of local adaptation to climate in Arabidopsis

Lisa Donovan

University of Georgia

Discussion leader

Registration & Fees
Participants can register online. Early bird registration (up to 18th May 2012) is US$150 for students and US$250 for non- students. Regular registration (after 18th May 2012) is US$250 for students and US$350 for non- students

For more information, visit the Symposium web page. For queries, contact Annie Heiliger.


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