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The 2013 EMBO Green viruses conference was held on the secluded peninsula of the Mediterranean coast, on the French Riviera. It was the ideal location to hear about the most recent advances in plant virology as well as providing a beautiful setting to network with academics. The conference was limited to approximately 120 delegates, with very few places for PhD students.
Academics from all over the world attended the conference, including many leaders in their field. The conference programme was split into six sessions, over four days and consisted of talks from a wide variety of areas, from discussing the diverse mechanisms of resistance to plant viruses right through to epidemiology, population genetics and evolution. The conference was fast moving and interesting. The quality of platform presentations and posters was impressive. There was ample time for the poster presentations and I had a lot of interest in my poster ‘How does broad-spectrum resistance to Turnip mosaic virus work in Brassica rapa’. My poster described the novel mechanism of resistance we have identified in Brassica rapa which provides broad spectrum resistance to Turnip mosaic virus. It was really useful to talk to other academics about the implications of my work. It was also useful and educational to be exposed to the posters and chat informally with people about their work.
The most interesting aspect of the conference for me was the session on resistance mechanisms other than silencing as this directly relates to my PhD project. Having the opportunity to talk to specialists in the field about my project was invaluable. In particular, meeting Dr. Christophe Robaglia and Dr. Miguel Aranda, who are both leading experts in the field of recessive resistance to plant viruses, was enlightening and inspiring. Hearing both them speak was very interesting, especially in terms of the amount of work that had been done in my particular area of interest, plant eIF4E/ eIF(iso)4E-virus interactions. Hearing about similar work in different crops has provided me with insight into other methods and possible future directions for my own work.
As well as focusing on the scientific developments, there was time set aside for an excursion to the island of Porquerolles on the second day. This gave us the perfect chance to stretch our legs, explore some of the history of the region and interact with other delegates.
The conference was a great experience and extremely useful for keeping up to date with new advances in the field. It was a great opportunity to talk informally to the delegates at the conference and to discuss interesting concepts. I would like to thank the BSPP for their financial support and enabling me to at tend this informative conference and present my poster. I plan to use the knowledge and contacts obtained, in my BBSRC and Syngenta funded PhD project on ‘The Deployment and Mechanism of Broad-spectrum Resistance to Turnip mosaic virus in Brassica rapa’ and also benefit my future career.
Charlotte Nellist University of Warwick