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DEC. 2 - 5, 2019

This is the archived site of a previous miCROPE symposium! You can access the current/upcoming symposium here

This was miCROPe 2019

Dear colleagues,

Angela SessitschOur awareness on the importance of naturally occurring microorganisms, frequently referred as to microbiomes, has increased substantially. Plant microbiota are diverse and provide important functions for their host’s performance, and mediate functions like nutrient delivery, fitness, stress tolerance, and pathogen or pest control. Current understanding of plant-microbe interactions is helping to develop microbial products, new applications to improve crop production, and create alternatives to chemicals. Microbial ecology is an important asset for understanding the fate of applied microorganisms in a natural environment, and for affecting product development. Greater understanding of microbiome functioning will also lead to new routes of exploration.

The increasing awareness of and interest in plant microbiota is linked to the urgent need to find solutions for current challenges in global crop production such as climate change and global demographic development. Difficulties to be overcome include world-wide population increases, extreme weather events and highly variable weather conditions, emerging pathogens and pests, and diminishing land resources. Furthermore, the use of chemical pesticides pose a threat to human health, animal welfare, and biodiversity. Innovations based on the functioning of plant microbiota have the potential to contribute to combating these challenges.

The symposium “Microbe-assisted crop production – opportunities, challenges and needs” (miCROPe 2019) addresses basic and applied aspects of applying beneficial microorganisms in crop production. Scientific sessions will address mechanistic understanding of holobiont interactions, functional understanding of microbiomes, plant understanding, microbial control of pests, pathogens and weeds, microbial application to improve nutrition and abiotic stress as well as disruptive approaches in microbiome applications. Our aim is to promote innovation as well as implementation of new technologies and to enable discussions between academia and industry.

The symposium will be held in the newly renovated Apothekertrakt and Orangerie of the famous Schönbrunn castle, easy to reach from the Vienna city center and with one of the most beautiful Christmas markets close by. We invite you to present exciting results, engage in discussions with experts from academia and industry and enjoy the Christmas atmosphere of Vienna.

Looking forward to meeting you in Vienna at the miCROPe 2019!

Angela Sessitsch
on behalf of the Organizing Committee

Greetings from the miCROPe 2019 participants

More photos are posted on our miCROPe Facebook page Facebook logo

Follow the official event hashtag: #micrope19


Successful microbial applications

Mechanisms mediating holobiont and multipartite interactions

Plant understanding of interactions with beneficial microbes

Microbiome understanding beyond profiling

Microbial biocontrol of pests, pathogens and weeds

Microbial applications for improving nutrition and abiotic stress tolerance

Disruptive approaches for engineering the phytobiome & microbial delivery


Richard Jefferson (Keynote)
Queensland Univ. of Technology; CAMBIA; The Lens, AU

Steven Lindow (Keynote)
Univ. Berkeley, US

Jos Raaijmakers (Keynote)
Netherlands Inst. of Ecology, NL

Karen Bailey
Agriculture & Agri-Food, CA

Gabriele Berg
Graz University of Technology, AT

Günter Brader
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, AT

Trevor Charles
University of Waterloo, CA

Philipp Franken
University of Applied Sciences Erfurt, DE

Paolina Garbeva
Netherlands Institute of Ecology, NL

Heribert Hirt
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, SA

Michael Ionesco
Lavie-Bio, IL

Jennifer Kao-Kniffin
Cornell University, US

Adam Schikora
JKI Braunschweig, DE

Klaus Schlaeppi
University of Bern, CH

Steven Vandenabeele
Aphea.Bio, BE

Alga Zuccaro
University of Cologne, DE

Organizing Committee

Angela Sessitsch
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, AT

Günter Brader
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, AT

Alexandra Khassidov
ÖGMBT Austrian Association of Molecular Life Sciences and Biotechnology, AT

This was miCROPe 2017


Didier Lesueur, CIRAD UMR Eco&Sols and CIAT-Asia, Hanoi, VNDidier Lesueur

It was a great opportunity for me to share part of our results with all the participants whom attended the Micrope 2017 conference. It was also challenging because many of them are working with private companies dealing with microbial commercial products and our conclusions were not so optimistic about what is currently available on the market. But we all share the same goal, having microbial solutions for sorting out the problems agriculture has been facing all around the world. This is definitively the way forward and by participating to International conferences such as Micrope 2017, we significantly contribute to the elaboration of effective microbial products relevant for end users. 

Michael Ionescu, Evogene Ltd.,Rehovot, ILMichael Ionescu

The miCROPe symposium, which I attended twice (2015 and 2017), was very successful also this year and had proven again to provide a comprehensive interdisciplinary scientific review addressing aspects of beneficial plant-microbe interaction relevant for both academy and industry. It was a great place to hear scientist who are opinion-leaders and get an up-to-date picture of the current understanding of the field. To my opinion, the program was tailored nicely to allow the participants to identify scientific trends and challenges, get a sense of the potential of microbes as plant producers and learn about the practical considerations toward successful development of an application. In addition, as a scientist coming from the industry, I find miCROPe an excellent place where potential collaborators can be approached, technologies for licensing can be identified and I can communicate my perspective as an industry on the field.

Ross Mann, AgriBio, Centre for AgriBioscience, Bundoora, AURoss Mann

miCROPe17 was a very comprehensive conference, covering all aspects of microbial products in agriculture related fields, from discovery and evaluation to scale up (e.g. fermentation) and product regulation.  The program was well structured catering to a range of audiences including researchers, private industry and the farming community, and created an environment that facilitated open discussion, interaction and collaboration.  Overall, miCROPe 17 was the best conference I have attended, in the most amazing location in the grounds of the Schonbrunn Palace.  This conference is a must for anyone interested in microbial products in agriculture.

Shubahngi Sharma, Leibniz-Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops (IGZ), Erfurt, DEShubahngi Sharma

It was a pleasure to attend miCROPe 2017. Meeting so many people from diverse fields of research was quite impressive. As an early stage researcher working on endophytes, it was very encouraging for me to network with people working on different aspects of plant-endophyte interactions. The unique aspect of miCROPe was the perfect mix of researchers from industry and academia presenting their work in a collaborative atmosphere. The talks from the keynote speakers were particularly inspiring! I would like to thank the organizers for giving me the opportunity to present my work to the pioneers in the field of plant-microbe interactions.
I am looking forward to miCROPe 2018.

Slavica Djonovic, Indigo Ag Inc., Boston, USASlavica Djonovic

The use of endophytes as agricultural products is a rapidly emerging field across academia and industry. The miCROPe 2017 organizing committee did an excellent job of bringing together international experts in the field. As a representative of a company dedicated to harnessing nature to help farmers sustainably feed the planet, I was pleased to see and discuss advancement in this area. The symposium was organized very thoughtfully, providing lots of opportunities for networking, discussions, and brainstorming. The size of the symposium was just right to enable those interactions, the venue was beautiful, and the hosts were exceptional.  I would love to see this meeting take place each year in Vienna.

Visit the Website of the Micrope2017 Symposium.


Visit the Website of the Micrope2015 Symposium.