These reports are written by the beneficiaries of our event organisation fund.
Click here to read more about the fund and apply yourself
This meeting was devoted to fundamental and applied studies of plant viruses, particularly focusing on potential and actual biotechnological uses that plant viruses can be put to. Plant virus particles are natural nanoparticles and in recent years they have been manipulated experimentally to produce novel amended molecules that can be produced in large quantities in plants and other heterologous systems. The objectives of this workshop were to discuss the most up-to-date research into the structural, physical and genetic properties of plant viruses that underpin virus self-assembly, replication and accumulation in plants. Having a greater understanding of these processes is vital if we wish to exploit plant viruses for biotechnology in fields such as bio medicine (for therapy and diagnostics), bioengineering and electronics in a more rational and directed way. The workshop was cross-disciplinary bringing together virologists, biophysicists, informaticists and nanotechnologists to share new perspectives and concepts at the cutting edge of virus molecular and cellular biology. There were five sessions of oral presentations with accompanying poster sessions. The first 3 sessions of the meeting concentrated on the topics of (1) Virus genome replication and movement, (2) Overcoming host defence, (3) Host immunity/RNA Silencing. These were followed by two related sessions concentrating on (4) Nanobiotechnology – virus delivery, and (5) Nanobiotechnology – applications. Highlights of the meeting were presentations by Dr Isabelle Jupin (Pasteur Institute, Paris) Viral deubiquitinases (DUBs): new players in the regulation of plant viral infections; by Professor Steve Lommel (North Carolina State University) Plant virus capsids as facile medical and agricultural nanoparticles; and by Professor Christina Wege (University of Stuttgart) Redesigning TMV: RNA-directed growth of smart nano-objects advancing biohybrid technology. This meeting was attended by 55 dele gates from 12 countries (44% each from the UK and Europe, with the remainder from the US and Canada). Six teen talks were given by invited speakers and 14 talks were given by speakers selected from the remainder of conference participants. Twenty two posters were also presented at the meeting. Social events included a reception at tended by the Provost of Perth and Kinross Council and a Conference Dinner. These events provided an unstructured opportunity for delegates to discuss their research with one another and identify where future collaborations would be appropriate.
Organisers: Lesley Torrance, Michael Taliansky and Stuart MacFar