February 26-28, 2018
North Carolina, USA

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Day One
Tuesday 27th February 2018

Day Two
Wednesday 28th February 2018


Microbiome Discovery Platforms

08.00
Registration Opens

08.50
Chairperson Opening Remarks


MOVING FROM CORRELATION TO CAUSATION – DEMONSTRATING FUNCTIONAL PLANT-MICROBE INTERACTIONS FOR PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT


Synopsis

Recent commercial efforts to successful manipulate naturally occurring microbial populations into wide scale products has become feasible through advances in novel system-based strategies to study fundamental plant-microbiome interactions. The purpose of this theme will be to review challenges in elucidating  functional mechanistic aspects between microbes,  plants and agriculture systems to help take discoveries from the lab to a commercial setting.

09.00
Plant-Microbiome Engineering to Influence Agricultural Practices

Synopsis

  • Alleviating a declining trend of productivity gains
  • Establishing R&D platforms for accurate microbial selection, analysis and refinement
  • Key metrics to consider when building a pipeline of products that increase productivity whilst decreasing farmer input costs

09.20
Translating Microbial Complexity into Rational Products

Synopsis

  • How an increased understanding of the crop microbiome can unleash additional yield potential
  • Computational tools to help with the discovery of important microbial consortia with commercial potential
  • Addressing key product development challenges to deliver consistent products of the future

09.40
Determining Microbial Contributions to Plant Phosphate Accumulate Phenotypes Using Controlled Simplified Communities

  • Gabriel Castrillo Postdoctoral Researcher, Dangl Lab, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

10.00
Patterns and Consequences of Breeding-Induced Microbiome Variation in Maize

Synopsis

  • Plant phenotype influences microbiome assembly
  • Intensive crop breeding can have direct or indirect effects on the microbiome
  • Can we predict how plant microbiomes will change over the course of a breeding program?

10.20
Can a Single Fungal Endophyte Improve Crop Productivity and Stress Tolerance?

10.40
Speed Networking

11.10
Afternoon Refreshments


CULTURING THE UNCULTURABLE – SCREENING AND ISOLATING NEW MICROBES FOR CROP ENHANCEMENT


Synopsis

One key challenge slowing the development of  effective microbial products is the ability for researchers to study complex processes predominantly constituted by unculturable microbes. The purpose of this theme will be to review novel culture-independent methodologies that are available to researchers/organizations for advanced microbiome analysis.

11.30
High-Throughput Microbial Screening to Identify New Biologicals with Complementary Modes of Action

11.50
Novel Approaches to Discovering Biosolutions for Agriculture

12.10
Driving the Tidal Wave of Microbiome Discovery – a next Generation Platform for Exploring the Microbiome

  • Peter Christey Co-Founder and CEO, General Automation Lab Technologies, Inc

Synopsis

  • Traditional microbiology tools lack scale required for microbiome level insights
  • New research tools are critical to understanding the complexity of the microbiome
  • GALT’s novel array based platform enables a highly parallelized approach to cultivation and screening of microbes


REGULATORY CONSIDERATIONS FOR REGISTRATION OF BACTERIAL INOCULANTS


Synopsis

International regulatory guidelines and the ability to register a microbial product will guide the adoption and therefore, commercial success of microbial based products. As the function of a biological (biopesticide or biostumulant) can dictate the length and complexity of registration, these guidelines must be taken into account during every stage of product development. The purpose of this theme will be to have a discussion around current regulatory frameworks, the potential pitfalls of the future and methods to streamlining regulatory registrations for commercial microbial products.

12.30
From Simple to Complex – Phytobiomes and the 2050 Vision for Agriculture

  • Kellye Eversole Executive Director, International Alliance for Phytobiomes Research

12.50
Panel Discussion: Understanding the Regulation of Microbial Products to Support Future Agricultural Practice

  • Terry Stone VP, Regulatory Affairs and Sustainability Programs, Agrinos
  • Mariola Kopcinski Director, Scientific Alliances, Plant Health Care
  • Eda Reinhot VP, Head of Regulatory, Quality and Bioprocessing, Indigo

Synopsis

  • Is the current regulatory framework in the US appealing for organizations to continue to develop microbial products?
  • Can the current regulatory system be fast-tracked or improved for future product development?
  • How does registration for a microbial based product differ from standard chemistry?
  • How can companies work alongside regulatory agencies in a complimentary manner to make best use of the plant microbiome’s potential in agriculture?

13.30
Lunch and Networking


MINING THE MICROBIOME WITH METAGENOMICS – WHO IS THERE? AND WHAT ARE THEY DOING?


Synopsis

The recent introduction of metagenomics has offered industry a broadened culture- independent view of the plant microbiome and their activities. The discovery of microbe activity will lead to a greater understanding of the mechanistic variation that exist. The purpose of this theme will be to understand how organizations can leverage the power of metagenomics to develop targeted microbial based products.

14.30
Next Generation Microbiome Profiling

Synopsis

  • LoopSeq™ microbiome profiling is the first long-read, high-resolution microbiome sequencing technology that uses existing Illumina sequencers
  • LoopSeq™ technology introduces single-molecule counting for improved microbiome species abundance quantification
  • LoopSeq™ simplifies microbiome sequencing workflows by enabling ‘one pot’, multiplexed sample preparation of up to 96 samples

14.45
Presentation Title To Be Confirmed

  • Adil Anjem Pipeline and Innovation Lead, Monsanto

15.05
Assessing Metabolism and Interspecies Interactions in Microbial Symbioses and Microbial Communities via Metaproteomics

Synopsis

  • How metaproteomics can be implemented to identify and quantify proteins in microbial communities to determine key metabolic pathways
  • Two new metaproteomic approaches to assess species biomass contributions and stable isotope composition
  • Effectively using mock microbial communities to develop robust and reproducible tools

15.25
Afternoon Refreshments and Networking


Afternoon Session Themes- Leveraging Science to Make a Product


APPROACHING FORMULATION TO DRIVE COSTS DOWN FOR GROWERS


Synopsis

When scaling microbial products, formulation of your product is the crucial issue for achieving commercial success or failure of a product that may have observed great performance in initial lab/greenhouse studies. Because chemical formulations of agroproducts have set the ‘gold standard’ for long shelf life, ease of use and resistance, this theme will cover the core components of achieving the same success with microbial products

16.00
Panel Discussion: Formulation, The Secret “Art” of Transitioning a Promising Laboratory Result into a Commercially Viable Product

Synopsis

  • How to maintain viability of microbial products in grower’s warehouse?
  • How to keep long shelf life across a range of potential storage conditions/temperatures?
  • How to optimize formulation to allow for ease of handling for growers using standard machinery etc? Making microbials farm friendly.
  • How will formulation decisions impact deliver of the product?
  • How to balance desired characteristics whilst making an affordable product?
  • How can organizations prepare for large scale-up early on in product development?


DELIVERY AND INOCULATION METHODS FOR STABILITY AND DURABILITY


Synopsis

Linked to formulation methodology, the delivery system employed by organizations to apply microbial products to crops will play an important role in the commercial viability of novel biologicals. Many factors including the MoA of the microbe may dictate delivery method (seed, in-furrow, spray), application site and timing. The purpose of this theme is to review the limitations of delivery methodology for microbial products and efforts made to create more targeted systems that will benefit adoption.

16.45
Following Microorganisms in Furrow and Field

Synopsis

  • Survival of microorganisms is critical to their capacity to deliver a targetable mode of action to the plant
  • Following the survival and colonization of a microorganism can provide evidence to their lifestyle and capacity to provide a benefit to a target crop
  • How does registration for a microbial based product differ from standard chemistry?
  • Focus on the interactions of potential inoculant with the soil environment and native microbiome


GROWER ADOPTION CHALLENGES – DEVELOPING INTEGRATIVE CROP MANAGEMENT TOOLS


Synopsis

To design a successful microbial product, organizations must consider the growers interests who above all, always seeks maximum yield. The main features expected by the grower include compatibility with routine field practices, ease of use, tolerance of abuse during storage and ability to work under varying field conditions. The purpose of this theme will be to review crucial requirements for growers during product development.

17.05
Panel Presentation: Advancing Science, Machinery and Technology to Increase Grower Adoption of Microbial Products

Synopsis

  • Can microbial products ever meet the gold standard of efficacy set by agchemicals?
  • How do organizations develop economically and logistically competitive microbial products that are suitable for the majority of growers
  • How to increase the sharing of knowledge to all stakeholders including growers to improve the adoption

17.50
From Freezers to Farm: Advancing Biological Assets to Farm-ready IPM Solutions

18.10
Chairperson Closing Remarks

18.20
Close of Conference Day 1