The conference consists of seminar talks given by international invited speakers and local speakers selected from our Centre of Excellence.                              Additional talks will be selected based on abstracts submitted by scientists of all career stages. To download the abstract book, please follow below link: 


Wed, 6 Nov 2019

Meeting Room 302 - 303

15:45                                   Welcome Reception with Tea and Coffee

16:20                                   Welcome Address

                                             CoE Chair Eva-Mari Aro (University of Turku) & CoE Co-chair Jaakko Kangasjärvi (University of Helsinki)

Session 1                       

                                            Chaired by Kirk Overmyer & Natalia Battchikova

16:30 – 17:00                     Keynote Speaker Cheryl Kerfeld (Michigan State University, USA)

                                             Building on new insights into carboxysome structure, function and dynamics

17:00 – 17:30                     Marc Nowaczyk (Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany)

                                             Structural adaptations of photosynthetic complex I enable ferredoxin-dependent electron transfer

17:30 – 18:00                     Hannes Kollist (University of Tartu, Estonia)

                                             Stomatal CO2 signaling for designing water-saving plants

18:00 – 18:30                     Frank Van Breusegem (VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology, Belgium)

                                             Mining for protein S-sulfenylation in Arabidopsis uncovers redox-sensitive sites

18:30 – 19:00                     Silke Robatzek (Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany)

                                             How PRR signaling regulates immunity

19:00 – 19:30                     Simone Ferrari (University of Rome Sapienza, Italy)

                                            Peroxidase-mediated reactive oxygen species at the intersection between plant cell wall integrity, growth and resistance to biotic                                                    and abiotic stresses

19:30 -                                 Poster setup (Sirkus Foyer)


Thu, 7 Nov 2019

Sirkus Room

8:00 – 9:00                         Poster setup (Sirkus Foyer)

Session 2                       

                                            Chaired by Mikael Brosché & Eevi Rintamäki

 9:00 – 9:30                        Donald Ort (University of Illinois, USA)

                                            Improving photosynthetic efficiency for improved crop yield

 9:30 – 10:00                      Eva-Mari Aro (University of Turku, Finland)

                                            Regulation of photosynthetic light reactions – an evolutionary view

10:00 – 10:30                     Alan Schulman (University of Helsinki, Finland)

                                            A path towards climate resilience for barley

10:30 – 10:45                     Cezary Waszczak (University of Helsinki, Finland)

                                            The role of GDP-L-fucose biosynthesis in stomatal closure

10:45 – 11:00                     Lauri Nikkanen (University of Turku, Finland)

                                            Flavodiiron proteins and NDH-1 cooperatively maintain the redox poise of the photosynthetic electron transfer chain during                                                            fluctuations in light intensity and carbon availability in Synechocystis

11:00 – 11:30                     Coffee Break + Poster Session

11:30 – 12:00                     Keynote Speaker - Phil Mullineaux (University of Essex, UK)


12:00 – 12:30                     Yagut Allahverdiyeva-Rinne (University of Turku, Finland)

                                             Redirecting photosynthetic electrons into targeted chemicals

12:30 – 13:00                     Claudia-Nicole Meisrimler (University of Canterbury, New Zealand)

                                            Plant membrane-associated NAC transcription factors – key player in fast stress response mechanism?

13:00 – 14:00                     Lunch

Session 3                         

                                            Chaired by Pauli Kallio & Kaisa Nieminen

14:00 – 14:30                     Lecture sponsored by the EMBO Young Investigator Programme:                    


                                             Emmanuelle Bayer (National Centre for Scientific Research, Bordeaux, France)

                                            Staying tight: membrane contact at plasmodesmata intercellular junctions

14:30 – 15:00                     Ari-Pekka Mähönen (University of Helsinki, Finland)

                                            Stem cell regulation in the Arabidopsis root vascular cambium

15:00 – 15:30                     Jaakko Kangasjärvi (University of Helsinki, Finland)

                                             Coordination of chloroplastic and mitochondrial ROS signaling in stress aclimation

15:30 – 15:45                     Melis Kucukoglu (University of Helsinki, Finland)

                                            Cytokinin regulation of cambium activity and wood formation in hybrid aspen

15:45 – 16:00                     Peter Gollan (University of Turku, Finland)

                                            Photosynthetic redox homeostasis triggers chloroplast signalling and influences plant metabolism

16:00 – 16:30                     Coffee Break + Poster Session

Session 4                         

                                            Chaired by Paula Mulo & Alexey Shapiguzov

16:30 – 17:00                     Barry Pogson (Australian National University, Australia)

                                             Intracellular communication of abiotic stress: from model systems to crops

17:00 – 17:30                     Saijaliisa Kangasjärvi (University of Turku, Finland)

                                             Protein phosphatase 2A as a regulator of plant stress responses

17:30 – 18:00                     Michael Wrzaczek (University of Helsinki, Finland)

                                             CRK2 coordinates abiotic and biotic stress responses

18:00 – 18:15                     Pawel Roszak (Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge University, UK)

                                             Phloem development at the single-cell resolution

18:15 – 18:30                     Martina Jokel-Toivanen (University of Turku, Finland)

                                             Improving H2 photoproduction – lessons learned from photosynthesis research

18:30 -19:30                      Poster Session

19:30 –                               Conference Dinner


Fri, 8 Nov 2019

Sirkus Room

Session 5                       

                                            Chaired by Hiroaki Fujii & Triin Vahisalu

 9:00 – 9:30                        Keynote Speaker - Ove Nilsson (Umeå Plant Science Centre, Sweden)

                                            FT paralogs control the annual growth cycle and latitudinal adaptation in Aspen trees

 9:30 – 10:00                      Pauli Kallio (University of Turku, Finland)

                                            New optimization standards for cyanobacterial pathway engineering

10:00 – 10:30                     Arun Sampathkumar (Max Planck Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology, Germany)

                                            The mechanics of invaginations and outgrowths in plant cells

10:30 – 10:50                     Roosa Laitinen (Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Germany)

                                            What causes altered shoot growth in Arabidopsis hybrids?

10:50 – 11:10                     Paula Elomaa (University of Helsinki, Finland)

                                            Developmental patterning of head-like inflorescences in Asteraceae

11:10 – 11:30                     Coffee break + Poster Session

11:30 – 12:00                     Christine Raines (University of Essex, UK)

                                             Future proofing plant productivity by engineering leaf photosynthetic carbon metabolism to future proof

12:00 – 12:30                     Ykä Helariutta (University of Helsinki, Finland; Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge University, UK)

                                             Integration of hormonal and transcriptional control during vascular development

12:30 – 13:00                     Farewell

13:00                                   Lunch + Departure