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Session themes and downloadable program PDF.

In addition to two Keynote Lectures, TNAM 2019 features a broad scientific program highlighting frontier plant research on

  • Chromatin Biology
  • Development
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • From Arabidopsis to Crops
  • Membrane Biology and Trafficking
  • Metabolism
  • RNA-Based Epigenetics
  • Stress Responses
  • Technology Development

wednesday, april 10, 2019

08:30 – 10:00

10:00 – 10:15

10:15 – 11:00

Registration and poster set up

Welcome by Wilhelm Gruissem (ETH Zurich, Switzerland)

Visualization and manipulation of plant reproduction by live-cell and synthetic-chemistry approaches
Tetsuya Higashiama (Institute for Transformative Biomolecules, Nagoya University, Japan)

Session 1


11:00 – 11:30

11:30 – 12:00

12:00 – 12:30

12:30 – 12:45


12:45 – 12:50

13:00 – 15:00


Chair: Sara Simonini (University of Zurich)

Signal integration in apical stem cells
Jan Lohmann (University of Heidelberg, Germany)

Cytoskeleton dynamics shape lateral root formation in Arabidopsis
Joop Vermeer (University of Zurich, Switzerland)

Nitrate regulated root growth in Arabidopsis thaliana
Eva Benkova (Institute of Science and Technology, Austria)

Short talk from abstracts
Mechanistic insight into CIF peptide ligands binding on SGN3 receptor in Casparian strip formation
Satohiro Okuda (University of Geneva, Switzerland)

Flash talks from abstracts
Strigolactone controls PIN-formed proteins accumulation pattern in the Arabidopsis stem via a region of the PIN hydrophilic loop, Fabrizio Ticchiarelli (University of Cambridge, United Kingdom)
– Light dependent regulation of differential growth in Arabidopsis thaliana, Elke Barbez (BOKU University, Austria)

Lunch and Poster Session

Mentorship-Workshop on April 10th at 13:00 (registration required) – “Creating an interactive Research Community & Carrier Perspectives in Academia 1”
Funding by the UZH Graduate Campus via a GRC Short Grant is gratefully acknowledged

Session 2


15:00 – 15:30

15:30 – 16:00

16:00 – 16:30

16:30 – 16:45

16:45 – 16:55


Membrane Biology and Trafficking

Chair: Clara Sanchez-Rodriguez (ETH Zurich)

Ubiquitin-dependent intracellular trafficking in plant endocytosis and autophagy
Erika Isono (University of Konstanz, Germany)

Cytoplasmic HSP90 provide plasticity to auxin transport
Markus Geisler (University of Fribourg, Switzerland)

Intracellular sugar compartmentation in plants: Impact on yield and stress tolerance
Ekkehard Neuhaus (University Kaiserslautern, Germany)

Short talk from abstracts
O-glycosylation plays a role in the structure and function of the plant cytoskeleton
Birgit Wimmer (BOKU University, Austria)

Flash talks from abstracts:
– NKS1 coordinates cell wall secretion during de-etiolation, Heather McFarlane (University of Melbourne, Australia)
– Regulation of vacuolar and cytosolic pH during stomatal movements, Zaida Andrés Gonzalez (University of Heidelberg, Germany)

Coffee break

Session 3


17:30 – 18:00

18:00 – 18:30

18:30 – 19:00

19:00 – 19:15

19:15 – 19:25



Chair: Yvonne Steinbach (University of Zurich)

Vitamin B6, more than just a coenzyme?
Teresa Fitzpatrick (University of Geneva, Switzerland)

Sucrose signalling and regulation of sucrose metabolism by trehalose 6-phosphate
John Lunn (Max-Planck-Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Germany)

Mathematical models of plant metabolism in a pan-genome perspective
Oliver Ebenhöh (University of Düsseldorf, Germany)

Short talk from abstracts
Tetratricopeptide Repeat (TPR)-proteins are critical regulators of starch degradation
Laure C David (ETH Zürich, Switzerland)

Flash talks from abstracts
– The plastidic PII protein: Different functions in bacteria and plants?, Natalie Krieger (University of Tübingen, Germany)
– A plant-specific degradation pathway for proteins with amino-terminal Leucine, Nikola Winter (University of Vienna, Austria)

Conference Reception
Dozentenfoyer ETH Zurich
HG K 30.5 (floor K)
Main Building, Rämistrasse 101, 8092 Zürich

Thursday, april 11, 2019

08:30 – 09:15

Engineering pathogen resistance faster than bacteria evolve new virulence mechanisms
Wolf Frommer (University of Düsseldorf. Germany)

Session 4


09:15 – 09:45

09:45 – 10:15

10:15 – 10:30

10:30 – 10:40

10:40 – 11:00

Technology Development

Chair: Stefan Grob (University of Zurich)

CRISPR/Cas mediated genome engineering in Arabidopsis: The end of the beginning
Holger Puchta (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany)

Mapping the Arabidopsis metabolic landscape by untargeted metabolomics at different environmental conditions
Yariv Brotman (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel)

Short talk from abstracts
Imaging plant germline differentiation in the context of developing flower by light sheet microscopy
Karel Riha (Masaryk University, Czech Republic)

Flash talks from abstracts
– Building and using genome graphs in Arabidopsis thaliana, Christian Kubica (Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Germany)
– External regulation of nuclear transgenes by synthetic riboswitches, Dietmar Funck (University of Konstanz, Germany)

Coffee break

Session 5


11:00 – 11:30

11:30 – 12:00

12:00 – 12:30

12:30 – 12:45

12:45 – 12:55

13:00 – 14:00

Evolutionary Biology

Chair: Kentaro Shimizu (University of Zurich)

Arabidopsis thaliana’s African roots
Angela Hancock (MPI for Plant Breeding Research, Germany)

Epigenetic variation in Arabidopsis thaliana
Magnus Nordborg (Gregor-Mendel-Institute, Austria)

The genetic basis for diversification of leaf form: from understanding to reconstructing
Miltos Tsiantis (MPI for Plant Breeding Research, Germany)

Short talk from abstract
Transcriptome analyses in Arabidopsis thaliana hybrids using platinum genomes
Maximilian Collenberg (Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Germany)

Flash talks from abstracts
– Unraveling the extend of gene duplication in Arabidopsis thaliana using GWAS, Benjamin Jaegle (Gregor Mendel Institute, Austria)
– Novel epigenetic changes in a synthetic Arabidopsis allopolyploid, Stefan Milosavljevic (University of Zurich, Switzerland)


Session 6


14:00 – 14:30

14:30 – 15:00

From Arabidopsis to Crops

Chair: Wilhelm Gruissem (ETH Zurich)

Dissecting cryptic variation with impact on crop productivity in tomato
Sebastian Soyk (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, USA)

Developmental innovations of stomatal form and function in grasses
Michael Raissig (Heidelberg University, Germany)

Session 7


15:00 – 15:30

15:30 – 16:00

Panel Discussion

16:00 – 17:30

17:30 – 18:30


RNA-Based Epigenetics

Chair: Olivier Voinnet (ETH Zurich

Functional characterization of Arabidopsis ARGONAUTE 3 in reproductive tissue
Pauline Jullien (University of Bern, Switzerland)

Regulation of gene expression by small RNAs in plants
Hervé Vaucheret (Institute Jean-Pierre Bourgin, INRA, France)

What’s next after the European Court of Justice decision on gene editing?

Panel discussion (in German) with the following invited guests:
– Prof. Holger Puchta (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany)
– Franziska Schwab (Small Farmers Association, Switzerland)
– Prof. Jean-Marc Neuhaus (Institut de Biologie, Université de Neuchâtel Member of the Swiss Ethics Commission for Non-Human Biotechnology)
– Prof. Matthias Mahlmann (Faculty of Law, University of Zurich, Member of the Swiss Ethics Commission for Non-Human Biotechnology)
– Prof. Eva Benková (Institut of Science and Technology IST, Austria)
Moderation: Andreas Hirstein (Journalist at NZZ)

Room: Audimax ETH Zurich (HG F30)
The 200 participants take a tri-national view on the main issues and potential consequences of the ruling of the European Court of Justice (EJC) on organisms obtained by mutagenesis.

The panel discussion is organized by PlantHUB- European Industrial Doctorate funded by European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 722338

Coffee break & Poster Session
Mentorship Workshop on April 11th at 17:30 (registration required) “Woman in Science & Carrier Perspectives in Academia 2”
Funding by the UZH Graduate Campus via a GRC Short Grant is gratefully acknowledged

Conference Dinner
Restaurant Altes Klösterli, Klosterweg 36, 8044 Zürich
– Tram 6 from Zürich -ETH/Universitätsspital to Zürich – Zoo (10min)
– Then, walk head north on Zürichbergstrasse (towards Forrenweidstrasse) and then, slight left onto Klosterweg

Friday, April 12, 2019

Session 8



08:30 – 09:00

09:00 – 09:30

09:30 – 09:45

09:45 – 11:15

11:15 – 11:30

11:30 – 11:45

11:45 – 12:15

12:15 – 13:15

Stress Responses

Chair: Diana Santelia (ETH Zurich)
This session is sponsored by Frontiers in Plant Science and will result in a Research Topic collecting selected contributions in the form of Original Research, Methods, and Review articles. Discover more here.

Harnessing abscisic acid signalling for more efficient water use of plants
Erwin Grill (Technical University of Munich, Germany)

Signalling salt stress to the chromatin
Claudia Jonak (Austrian Institute of Technology)

Short talk from abstracts
RGG-proteins are translational regulators during stress response and cell proliferation
Philipp Denninger (Universität Regensburg, Germany)

Poster Session & coffee break
Mentorship Workshop on April 12th at 10:00 (registration required) – “Work-life-balance of scientists & Carrier Perspectives Outside Academia”
Funding by the UZH Graduate Campus via a GRC Short Grant is gratefully acknowledged

Short talk from abstracts
RGG-proteins are translational regulators during stress response and cell proliferation
Philipp Denninger (Universität Regensburg, Germany)

Short talk from abstracts session 6
A green toxin; plant’s chlorophyll/chlorophyllase-mediated binary defense against chewing herbivores
Spoorthi Kalleda (University of Zurich, Switzerland)

Short talk from abstracts session 7
Partial preservation of organ-specific epigenomes during asexual reproduction
Anjar Wibowo (Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Germany)

Flash talks from sessions 6 & 7 & 8:
– How columella stem cells in the Arabidopsis root meristem sense and adapt to environmental conditions, Anne-Laure Le Gac (University of Freibourg, Germany)
– Wound-induced shoot-to-root translocation of jasmonates, Debora Gasperini (Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie, Germany)
– The plant and microbial genetic components of allelopathy, Claude Becker (Gregor Mendel Institute, Austria)
– Finger millet genome assembly by optical genome mapping and homeolog specific genomics analysis, Masaomi Hatakeyama (University of Zurich, Switzerland)
– Towards novel signalling functions of mobile mRNAs, Federico Apelt (Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Germany)
– Transcription and export complex (THO/TREX) coordinates transcription termination in Arabidopsis, Ghazanfar Khan (The University of Melbourne, Australia)

Lunch & Removal of poster

Session 9


13:15 – 13:45

13:45 – 14:15

14:15 – 14:45

14:45 – 15:00

15:00 – 15:10

15:10 – 15:20

Chromatin Biology

Chair: Kinga Rutowicz (University of Zurich)

Paternal resetting of H3K27me3-silenced states primes early plant development
Michael Borg (Gregor-Mendel-Institute, Austria)

Plant Lamin-like proteins mediate chromatin tethering at the nuclear periphery
Chang Liu (University of Tübingen, Germany)

Epigenetic regulation of gene expression
Sylvain Bischof (University of Zurich, Switzerland)

Short talk from abstracts
Epigenetic flexibility in stem cells of the shoot apical meristem
Ruben Gutzat (Gregor Mendel Institute, Austria)

Flash talks from abstracts
– Cytidine analog zebularine induces enzymatic DNA-protein crosslinks in Arabidopsis, Klara Prochazkova (The Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic)
– AT-hook proteins increase histone modification H3K9me2 independently of DNA methylation, Hua Jiang (The Leibniz Institute for Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research, Germany)

Farewell remarks

Keynote Speakers

Tetsuya Higashiyama

Tetsuya Higashiyama is a leading plant biologist and expert on plant reproduction. He visualized pollen tube guidance, double fertilization, and early embryogenesis in living plant material. Based on new systems and technologies, his group discovered key molecules for plant reproduction especially for. The LURE attractant peptides and their receptor PRK6 are important for pollen tube guidance, and the AMOR arabinogalactan sugar chain for pollen tube competency. Tetsuya started his research at the University of Tokyo and later moved to Nagoya University. He and his colleagues launched the innovative and internationally leading Institute of Transformative Biomolecules, one of the World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI) institutes in which synthetic chemists, biologists and computer scientists are mixed and working closely to discover novel molecules and their functions. He is currently Vice Director of ITbM and the Past President of the International Association of Plant Reproduction Research.

Wolf Frommer

Wolf B. Frommer is a leading plant biologist and expert on plant nutrient uptake, transport and metabolism. He investigates different transport mechanisms, and in particular SWEET proteins involved in sugar transport through membranes. His research is relevant not only to crop improvement, but medical applications such as understanding metabolism in cancer cells. Wolf was born in Germany where he built his career at the Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Golm and the University of Tübingen. He spent a large part of his career at the Carnegie Institution of Science Plant Biology Department at Stanford where he was Director of the Institute and Full Professor at Stanford University, before he moved to the University of Düsseldorf in Germany as a Humboldt Professor. He is also a Visiting Professor and group leader at the WPI Institute of Transformative Biomolecules in Nagoya. He is associated with CEPLAS Cluster of Excellence, the German Excellence Cluster in Plant Science.


eth center

How to get to the ETH Center.


All talks will be in the ETH main building Audimax conference room (HG F 30).​

ETH Zurich
Audimax ETH Zurich/ HG F 30 (Floor F)
Main Building, Rämistrasse 101, 8092 Zurich

E-Floor Main Hall

Poster and sponsors exhibitions will be on display in the ETH main building in the hall on the E-floor and the galleries on the F-floor.​ Lunches will take place in the E-floor.

F-Floor Galleries

Coffee breaks will be served on the F-floor.​


ETH Zurich
Dozentenfoyer ETH Zurich/ HG K 30.5 (Floor K)
Main Building, Rämistrasse 101, 8092 Zürich

Conference dinner
Restaurant Altes Klösterli
Klosterweg 36, 8044 Zürich
The Restaurant belongs to the Zurich Zoo https://www.zoo.ch/en/node/260 and can be conveniently reached in 10 min by using tram 6 (direction Zoo) at the tram station outside the ETH main building (Zürich, ETH/Universitätsspital).