Plant Cell Walls; Cell Wall Research in a Post-Genome World

The cell walls of plants play critical roles in numerous aspects of their growth and development, responses to the environment and interactions with other organisms. Plant walls also provide sources of food, fiber and a spectrum of biomaterials. Most notably, the last few years have seen a major resurgence of interest in wall biology as a consequence of their enormous potential as a bioenergy resource. Accordingly, the 2012 Gordon Conference of Plant Cell Walls will cover a broad range of topics that are aimed at attracting researchers interested in both basic and applied aspects of the field. The sub-theme of this year’s meeting, ‘Cell Wall Research in a Post-Genome World’, will be a consideration of the dramatic technological changes that have occurred in the three years since the previous cell wall Gordon Conference in the area of DNA sequencing. New generation sequencing technologies are revolutionizing essentially every aspect of the life sciences and we are now in an era where access to huge amounts of genome and gene expression data are readily available and at low cost. What are the consequences of this paradigm shift to the study of plant cell walls? What are questions related to the structure, function and practical applications of cell walls that could not previously be addressed, but are now within our reach? Are we witnessing the end of ‘model organisms’? Will biodiversity be the next major frontier of wall research? How can we best translate sequence information into enhanced understanding of fundamental cell wall biology and biochemistry? In addition to sequencing, such questions will be asked in the context of a wealth of other innovative technologies that are being brought to bear on wall biology at unprecedented levels of resolution and at many temporal and spatial scales: molecular, cellular, organismal and evolutionary. This meeting will serve as a major forum for scientists from diverse backgrounds to present, debate and craft the future of cell wall research and it can be argued that there has never been a more important time to do so.

+ show speakers and program
Cell Wall ‘Omics’: Moving Beyond Model Systems
(Jocelyn Rose / Chris Somerville / John Vogel / Staffan Persson)
Cell Wall Growth and Morphogenesis
(Maureen McCann / Dan Cosgrove / Herman Höfte)
Cell Walls, Signaling and Environmental Interactions
(Nick Carpita / Julia Davies / Jens Tilsner / Giulia de Lorenzo)
Cell Wall Evolution
(Zoé Popper / William Willats / Jochen Zimmer / Stephen Fry)
Cellulose Structure and Synthesis
(Deborah Delmer / Seth DeBolt / Mei Hong / Simon Turner)
Matrix Glycan Structure and Synthesis
(Ken Keegstra / Breeanna Urbanowicz / Markus Pauly)
Non-polysaccharide Wall Components
(Mary Tierney / Lacey Samuels / John Ralph / Jose Estevez)
Cell Wall Disassembly and Degradation
(Debra Mohnen / Harry Brumer / Kiyohiko Igarashi)
Cell Wall Imaging and Analytical Tools
(Paul Knox / Andy Round / David Ehrhardt / Federica Brandizzi)

5 Aug - 10 Aug 2012
Waterville
United States of America
meeting website