Pre-Conference Workshops
Monday, February 24

WORKSHOP A: 10:00 - 12:30pm

Defining Datapoints for Metagenomic & Microbial Classification to Set Industry Standards

Plant-soil microbiome research is currently hampered by the lack of industry standards for metagenomic and microbial classification. This lack of alignment is manifesting in contradictory results when investigations are replicated in different labs and geographies. As such, there is a need to harmonize the methods and standards used to make industry and academic research efforts more efficient

This workshop will give you the opportunity to understand:

  • How and why there is a need for defining a sequence-based classification system for microbes
  • The need for setting a common nomenclature for naming microbes
  • What minimum information is required to be reported on a genome sequence or metagenome?
  • How can these data be used to develop a better understanding of the phytobiome? How can we report soil characteristics and weather conditions in a standard way that will allow for more comparable results?
  • How might a census of microbes and checklist of datapoints to be reported help in the adoption of common regulatory frameworks worldwide for agbiologics?

Workshop Leaders

Kellye Eversole
Boris Vinatzer

Kellye Eversole

Executive Director

International Alliance for Phytobiomes Research & Eversole Associates

Boris Vinatzer


Virginia Tech University

WORKSHOP B 1:30-4:00pm

Understanding & Learning from Extension Programmes to Make Iterative Agbiological Product Improvements 

It is inadequate to develop a product that works perfectly under controlled conditions but loses stability and effectiveness in the grower’s field. As such, engaging with the end users of agbiologicals i.e. the growers, throughout the product development cycle and particularly during product testing, is key for iterative product improvement

This workshop will provide an opportunity to:

  • Learn about the impact of different agricultural soil management on microbial composition and consequent crop health and productivity
  • Identify unmet needs of growers and evaluate how agbiologicals can be used as part of an integrated solution to manage crop disease and productivity
  • Understand university extension and outreach programmes that effectively connect and work with stakeholders such as farmer cooperatives, industry, government agencies and crop producers
  • Gain a better understanding of how you can improve your communication with growers or how to work with university extensions to test agbiologicals

Workshop Leaders

Elizabeth Rieke

Elizabeth Rieke

Project Scientist

Soil Health Institute

Jodi DeJong Hughes

Jodi DeJong-Hughes

Regional Extension Educator & Professor

University of Minnesota