Cutting Edge Plant Technology Inspires the Danforth Center's Fall Symposium

The event will focus on Genetics and Genomics approaches to enhance crop productivity.

St. Louis, MO, September 28, 2016 --( The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center’s 18th annual Fall Symposium kicks off this week, September 28-30. The three-day event’s theme of this year is Genetics and Genomics of Crop Improvement. This area is particularly timely as the Center continues to grow after a recent expansion as one of the world’s largest independent plant science institutes this Spring and the progressive growth and development of crop-focused biotech in the St. Louis region.

Co-host of the event and assistant member at the Danforth Center, Andrea Eveland stated, “This an exciting time for agriculture right now. With unprecedented advances in genomics and phenotyping technologies, we now have the capacity to predict crop performance in various environments and use these predictions to design better-yielding varieties and inform breeding programs. This symposium brings together leading researchers from across the globe that are making great strides in both basic and applied approaches to enhance the productivity of important crop species, from food to fuel to fiber.”

The symposium will focus on various aspects of translational research that leverage genetics and genomics approaches to enhance crop productivity. Topics will include biomass and yield traits, abiotic stress tolerance and disease resistance, nutrient allocation, plant architecture, and crop domestication and improvement. Work in these areas will be highlighted in the context of recent advances in quantitative genetics, genomic selection, network-based gene predictions, epigenomics, and genome editing technologies.

“In recent years, due to remarkable advances in genomic technologies coupled with genetics, breeding, agronomics, and detailed phenotypic data, our understanding of the molecular basis of agronomic traits has helped better explain how crops grow, respond to stress, and can be more rapidly and efficiently improved,” said Blake Meyers, Ph.D., member at the Danforth Center, professor, Division of Plant Sciences, University of Missouri and co-host of the event. “This combination of genetics and genomics in agriculture promises to serve as the basis for the continued improvements to yield, production, and quality that the world needs for sustainable agriculture.”

This year, the Symposium has 290 registrants and 14 sponsors along with 23 speakers that include computer scientists, digital imagers, crop scientists, toxicologists and behavioral scientists, quantitative geneticists and genome scientists.

For the most up-to-date information, please follow us at: Facebook & Twitter and use the hashtag #FallSym2016.

About The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Founded in 1998, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is a not-for-profit research institute with a mission to improve the human condition through plant science. Research, education and outreach aim to have impact at the nexus of food security and the environment, and position the St. Louis region as a world center for plant science. The Center’s work is funded through competitive grants from many sources, including the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

To keep up to date with Danforth Center’s current operations and areas of research, please visit,, featuring information on Center scientists, news, and the “Roots & Shoots” blog. Follow us on Twitter at @DanforthCenter.
Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Melanie Bernds
Follow us on Twitter: