MICROBE-ASSISTED CROP PRODUCTION-
OPPORTUNITIES, CHALLENGES & NEEDS
NOV. 23 – 25, 2015
SCHLOSS SCHÖNBRUNN TAGUNGSZENTRUM
APOTHEKERTRAKT | VIENNA, AUSTRIA
The global demographic development and climate change pose a threat on crop production in many areas. There is a need to intensify agricultural production in a sustainable manner and to find solutions to combat abiotic stress, pathogens and pests. Plants are associated with complex microbiomes, which are known to promote plant growth and stress tolerance, support plant nutrition and antagonize plant pathogens. The integration of beneficial plant-microbe and microbiome interactions might represent a promising solution to improve agricultural production.
The symposium “Microbe-assisted crop production – opportunities, challenges and needs” (miCROPe 2015) with more than 250 participants from 47 countries addressed basic and applied aspects of applying beneficial microorganisms in crop production. This symposium, which was the final conference of the COST Action FA1103 (Endophytes for Biotechnology and Agriculture), covered mechanistic understanding of beneficial plant-microbe interactions, microbiome interactions, transfer of microbial applications from lab to field, formulations and registration issues. In addition, a roundtable discussion, with stakeholders from different sectors, was held to discuss registration and farmer-relevant issues.
The “miCROPe 2015” symposium successfully combined basis and applied aspects of beneficial plant-microbe interactions, which was highly appreciated by participants from academia and industry. We hope that this event further advanced the application of microorganisms in crop production.
on behalf of the Organizing Committee
miCROPe 2015 was the best symposium I ever attended. In many fields one sees that fundamental and applied research are split fields. However, in Vienna the organizers brought together both research fields as well as a large number of people from industry. The talks were very stimulating, with good discussions. I met many inspiring colleagues. The atmosphere was very friendly and the venue was marvelous. It would be a great support for the field if such a meeting could be held every year.
It was a pleasure to attend this very well organized symposium. For me it has been a great opportunity to get in touch with researchers that work on topics related to my PhD project. Also, it was interesting to have a more practical approach to the issue, through the sessions "from lab to field", "application" and "registration".
The Micrope 2015 conference was first of all a great opportunity to present my work at a great venue and to have discussions with colleagues from all over the world. The size of the conference was ideal for fruitful interactions. Moreover the conference offered a wide diversity of attendees and presenters representing a wide cross-section of research topics. All sessions were very informative and provided insight in top research in the field of microbe assisted crop production.
The MiCROPe Symposium was an excellent opportunity to gain an overview of research and commercialisation activity that uses microbial endophytes with a range of beneficial traits to improve crop performance and reduce the need for synthetic chemistry. The meeting provided networking opportunities with representatives of the research, commercialisation and regulatory communities. One note of concern that was expressed more than once was that the regulatory systems and processes in Europe will constrain releases of new biocontrol agents using biocides – despite the drive for sustainable agriculture. The value created by this meeting must encourage the organisers to consider future meetings that will provide an ongoing forum for the exchange of ideas, concepts and technologies between the research and commercial sectors.
A very successful event which showed me as a farmer what today is already possible, where are the potentials, and where are the challenges for a successful field application.
It showed that there is still a lot of potential for a more ecological production, which is waiting to be successfully used in practice. Research and development should continue to focus more on practical solutions for agricultural production.
The international symposium miCROPe 2015 highlighted the need of inter- and transdisciplinary interactions. The great interest of more than 230 participants in the registration session was impressive and pointed out that besides all scientific breakthrough findings of the delegates their results should be brought to practice by developing safe, registered products.
Endophytes are a promising as a tool in order to bring microbial traits to plants. From an industry perspective the symposium was relevant, refreshing and bringing lots of different parties together. Personally for me it was motivating by seeing the reality of bringing more sustainability towards agriculture. Which is already happening by using endophytes.
Successful microbial products
Need for microbial solutions
Colonization and mechanisms of beneficial plant–microbe interactions
Involvement of multitrophic and microbiome interactions
Microbial applications from lab to field
Application technologies and formulations
Benefits and potential concerns for consumers and farmers
Registration requirements of microbial products