26-28 February 2018
Location TBC

Day One
Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Day Two
Thursday, February 23, 2017

Registration & Networking

Chair’s Opening Remarks

The Next Disruptive Innovation in Agriculture

The Phytobiome: An Industry Perspective on Accelerating Crop Production


  • Building superior microbial strains through careful combination of genomics with plant pathology
  • Outlining a new view of crop production by integrating current practice with future inputs
  • Establishing a path to future products through advances in microbial tools

Plant-Microbiome Engineering to Influence Agricultural Practice


  • 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

Manipulating the Interactive Rhizosphere Network for Plant Health


  • Summarizing the development of our consortia-based biostimulant (Mammoth P) through directed selection
  • Presenting a network-based conceptual framework for beneficial microbiomes
  • Proposing new strategies for engineering the rhizosphere

Enabling Access to Microbes – A Next Generation Platform for Exploring the Microbiome


  • The importance of high throughput research tools to understanding the complexity of the microbiome
  • Cultivation as a bottleneck in microbial product development
  • GALT’s novel array based platform enables a highly parallelized approach to cultivation and screening

Morning Refreshments & Speed Networking

Building a Robust Discovery Platform

Developing Full Scale Models to Compliment Experimental Research


  • Computational platform for decoding plant – microbiome interaction enabling the discovery and development of microbial based products
  • The power of interplay between computational analysis and in-planta testings for discovery of efficacious and stable microbials
  • Translation of predictions to field – case study

Using the Information Revolution For Prescriptive Crop Protection

Looking Below the Tip of the Microbial Iceberg

  • Daniel Joo Head of Trait Discovery US, Bayer Crop Science


  • What are the challenges of metagenomics, when applied to agriculture?
  • Studying function and gene activity through advances metatranscriptomics
  • Assessing sequencing advances

Leveraging Comparative Metagenomics of the Corn and Soy Microbiome to Develop Sustainable Agricultural Solutions


  • Can the root-associated microbiome of a crop determine crop health?
  • Robust inference: how the functional capacity of the root microbiome is aided by a high-quality reference metagenome
  • How can differences in metagenomic pathways between corn and soy highlight the potential for diverse microbial products?

WineSeq: The Disruptive Microbiome Tool for Vine Health


  • New techniques for microbial discovery
  • Use case of microbiome based diagnostic platform in grapevines
  • Crowdsourcing the microbiome knowledge

Lunch & Networking

Greenhouse and Field Trial Validation

Successful Field Trial Strategy and Analytics for Improved Microbial Understanding


  • Assessing the efficacy of running the largest microbial research program in the US
  • Utilising field trial data to identify new ways soil microbial solutions can deliver improved harvests from existing land
  • How to best complement agricultural chemicals and fertilisers with emerging microbial products

Translating Laboratory and In-Field Efficacy Data for Successful Product Design


  • Understanding the main discrepancies between laboratory, greenhouse and in-field research
  • How to record ecological microbe-plant interactions when assessing the efficacy of a biocontrol or biofertility product

Integration of Biologics with Standard Farmer Processes: Advancing Wide-Scale Adoption


  • With a natural transition into biologics, how do we best educate farmers to integrate traditional synthetics with microbial products?
  • Tackling consistency issues with microbial-based solutions
  • Using current methodology to design a diagnostic tool for famers

Panel Discussion: Field Efficacy – Guidelines and Parameters to Successfully Valid a Product


  • At what point can you start to test, in the field, a new biological product?
  • What are the required physical characteristic of a product to ensure it can be tested appropriately in the field?
  • How do you use information from earlier field testing after you have reformulated your product?
  • How much information (trials) is necessary to engage distributors, seed companies, chemical companies?
  • Is the amount of information different when you want to sell to the farmer? How important is multiple years of information?

Afternoon Refreshments & Networking

Cutting through the Complexity of the Microbiome: Roundtable Discussions

Cutting through the Complexity of the Microbiome: Roundtable Discussions


This Session will focus on cultivating solutions that cannot be obtained in presentation format and will give you actionable takeaways to overcome the biggest challenges in widescale microbial adoption. Access the nuggets of information that are only obtainable through frank and open discussion around crucial topics in the field:

How does bench science translate to the producers field?

  • How to outline a successful microbial strategy that can be scaled from a regional to global level
  • Conditions that result in a successful agricultural product
  • Commercial considerations including manufacturing and regulation

Identifying the Players: Dealing with Diversity

  • With system dynamics so diverse, what are the best ways to isolate and identify key microbial species?
  • Building catalogues to fuel research and developmentHow to consider the viral and fungal communities

Sustaining and Enhancing the Vitality and Productivity of Soil

  • Soil health concepts, what it is and the challenges to be addressed
  • The Soil Health Institute: its mission, goals, and partnerships opportunities
  • Current activities and projects of the Institute

Chair’s Closing Remarks

End of Day 1