The 2022 AAB Advances in Plant Virology meeting was held in Cankerjev Dom, Lljubljana, Slovenia from 5th-7th October 2022, in collaboration with the European INEXTVIR project (https://inextvir.eu/). The meeting was set up in a hybrid format. attendance rate was great with 120 in person and 60 online delegates. Both oral and poster presentations were made available to participants in an online format. The meeting was split up onto 9 sessions, with more than 50 oral and 60 poster presentations. It was very much an international meeting with keynote speakers from the USA, France, Italy, and Vienna. In-person meeting participants came from European countries, UK, USA, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Pakistan, Japan. Online participants further widened our engagement with the global community of plant virologists, where online attendees from Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Japan, Australia were present. The theme of this meeting was focused on how the impacts of globalisation, climate, and environmental changes relate to the transmission, adaptation, and pathology of plant viruses.
I am part of the AAB Virology steering committee whereby for this IAPV meeting, it was myself and Charlotte Nellist (NIAB) who were in charge for the meeting programme and to select and invite the invited speakers. I applied for and was awarded a ‘BSPP Plant Pathology Promotion Fund’ which was used to cover the cost of the four excellent invited speakers to come to Slovenia. We had Carolyn Malmstorm (Michigan State University, USA), Israel Pagan (UPM-INIA/CSIC, Madrid, Spain), Marco Incarbone (Gregor Mendel Institute, Vienna, Austria), and Thierry Candresse (Université de Bordeaux, France). Carolyn gave a talk about the ecological role of viruses in shaping the plant community in the landscape. Israel gave a talk about the role of seeds as shelters for plant viruses. Marco talked about how the hormone-activated mobile RNAi mechanism defend plant stem cells from RNA virus invasion. Lastly, Thierry spoke about benchmarking high throughput sequencing approaches for viral diagnostics and metagenomics.
The meeting covered a wide variety of topics which ranges from epidemiology and community analysis, omic analysis, characterisation of novel viruses, cell biology, immunity to infection, gene expression, control strategies, and technical developments. The presentations and quality of science discussed were great and audience engagement was high where multiple questions were asked at the end of each presentation. Day 1 of the meeting includes talks which highlighted the ecological role of viruses to shape the ecology and evolution of wild plants, virus flow between crop and non-crop plants, and the influence of cropping system on virus diversity in the community. Insightful talks were given on the role of seeds as virus shelter under climate change condition, detection and transmission of a plant virus in wastewater and irrigation system. The rest of the presentations on Day 1 were given on bioinformatic analysis pipeline, a deep learning artificial intelligence method to detect novel viruses, and characterisations of novel viruses. Poster sessions accompanied with buffet dinner were held on the evening of Day 1, where judging panels for the Raymond/Roger Hull student poster prize had a chance to speak to the students about their posters.
Day 2 of the meeting shifted the focus to cellular and molecular pathways with topics in the area of gene expression, plant immune responses, and gene expression. Illuminating talks were given on host cellular components and their role during virus infection such as nucleoporins, the role of role RNA granules during Cauliflower mosaic virus infection, and how a Potexvirus induces early gene expression involved in unfolded protein response in the host plant. Day 2 of the meeting was ended by a walking tour around Lljubljana under the sun and followed by the conference dinner.
Day 3 of the meeting covered topics on technical developments, detection methods, and control strategies. Great talks were given which highlight the need to benchmark high throughput sequencing (HTS) approaches for metagenomics and viral diagnostics, live imaging of virus infection in real time, and an optimised, fast, and sensitive detection of soil-borne cereal mosaic virus from leaf extracts which will ease future field surveys. Overall, the meeting covered a complete range of talks from the ecological perspective down to cellular biology of virus infection. Fantastic imaging of virus localisations within the host cells were shown in several talks. Various pipelines to streamline data analysis from HTS and metagenomics studies were introduced.
Student participation was very high with excellent quality of presentations at this meeting and the judging panels for the Raymond/Roger Hull poster and Bryan Harrison platform presentation student prizes found it challenging to pick a winner. The judging panels awarded three Bryan Harrison prizes for Gesa Hoffman (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden), Babalola Bisola (CBGP, Madrid), and Grigorii Sukhorukov (University of Bordeaux, France) for their excellent oral presentations. For the Raymond/Roger Hull poster prize, the winner was Jesus Ubeda (CEBAS-CSIC, Spain). In summary, the meeting ran smoothly with great collective effort from the AAB, colleagues from the National Institute of Biology in Lljulbjana, Slovenia, and the conference team from Cankerjev Dom. The next location for IAPV meeting in 2024 has not been decided yet. AAB IAPV meeting remains as one of the major international meeting for plant virologist which is held every 18-months. We sincerely thank the BSPP for the funding which enables us to invite four fantastic, international invited speakers for this AAB IAPV 2022 meeting.
TOP IMAGE: IAPV22 delegates at Cankerjev Dom, Lljulbjana, Slovenia
Trisna at the conference centre
BSPP leaflets and participants’ name badges