Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Spain-UK Plant Biotechnology Forum

22 Feb - 23 Feb


Online Event



The Embassy of Spain Office for Cultural and Scientific Affairs, in collaboration with the Society of Spanish Researchers in the United Kingdom (SRUK/CERU), is organising a Forum on Plant Biotechnology on the 22nd and 23rd of February 2022 to bring together researchers and companies working on this topic.


The main objectives of this event are:

– To raise awareness of the importance of plant biotechnology to face some of the challenges we will face in the following decades, such as food provision and the climate crisis.
– To highlight the cutting-edge and world-leading research performed on this topic in Spain and the United Kingdom.
– To enhance the collaboration between academics and Spanish and British companies working in the agricultural sector.

The event will take place online to facilitate the participation of researchers and companies from both countries and span over two days. The first day will start with a short presentation from each of the research institutes participating. Afterwards, there will be four sessions focused on the following topics:

– Alternatives to chemical fertilisers.
– Approaches to increasing crop yield.
– Infection and resistance.
– Food quality and new breeding techniques

Each of the sessions will include some talks from academics and representatives of agri-tech companies and a round table to discuss the future perspectives of the topic and identify those areas where there is room for collaboration.

On the second day, there will be a round table focused on the importance of plant biotechnology research. Academics, companies and policy-makers will take part in this discussion.

Academics from the following research institutions have already confirmed their participation: Centre for Plant Biotechnology and Genomics (CBGP), Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG), Institute of Molecular and Cell Plant Biology (IBMCP), Institute for Mediterranean and Subtropical Horticulture (IHSM), John Innes Centre (JIC), Rothamsted Research, University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, University of Warwick, University of Hertfordshire, The Sainsbury Laboratory.


The registration to the event is free and open to the public. You can already register HERE.
Registered attendees will receive an email with the access details the week before the event.

PROGRAMME All the times indicated here are GMT (London time) – Download programme

Tuesday 22nd February
09:00 – 09:20 Welcome and opening
09:20 – 10:20 Presentation of participating research institutions.

– Centre for Plant Biotechnology and Genomics (CBGP)
– Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG)
– Institute of Subtropical and Mediterranean Horticulture (ISMH)
– Institute for Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology (IBMCP)
– John Innes Centre (JIC)
– Rothamsted Research

10:40 – 12:40 Session 1: Alternatives to chemical fertilisers and soil microbiology

Chair: Javier Pardo-Diaz, University of Oxford
– How do barley plants promote a healthy soil microbiome? – Alba Pacheco-Moreno, John Innes Centre
– Shaping microbial physiology through carbon and nitrogen metabolism –
Carmen Sánchez-Cañizares, University of Oxford
Legumes, getting the time rightBeatriz Lagunas, University of Warwick
Is it possible to engineer nitrogen fixing cereals?Luis Rubio, Centre for Plant Biotechnology and Genomics
Microomics Systems S.L. – Pedro Iñaki González Torres (CEO/COO)
Symbio – Deidre Charleston (Research and Technical Manager)

14:00 – 16:00 Session 2: Approaches to increasing crop yield

Chair: Marina Millán-Blánquez, John Innes Centre

– Dissecting yield: from ovule to seed – Laura Siles, Rothamsted Research
– Increasing fruit and seed production in monocarpic/annual crops – Cristina Ferrándiz, Institute for Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology
– Sustainable strategies to improve yield in horticultural systems –
Iñaki Hormaza, Institute of Subtropical and Mediterranean Horticulture
How to be a root and survive a heat waveJuan Carlos del Pozo, Centre for Plant Biotechnology and Genomics
Abiopep S.L. – Yolanda Hernando Saiz (CEO and Funding Partner)
Corteva Agriscience – Ricardo Carrasco (Senior Research Manager) & Fernando Parques (Field Technician)

Wednesday 23rd February
09:00 – 10:20 Round table: Plant biotechnology to tackle the challenges of the 21st century

Moderator: Javier Pardo – Science Diplomacy Intern, Embassy of Spain in London

– Jose Juan Sánchez – Deputy Director General for Internationalisation of Science and Innovation, Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation
– Emma Markham – Senior Research Portfolio Manager, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
– M. Isabel Díaz – Full Professor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Centre for Plant Biotechnology and Genomics
– Josep Mª Casacuberta – CSIC Associate Professor, Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics
– Cristina Barrero Sicilia – Lecturer in Biomedical Science (Genetics), University of Hertfordshire
– Martí Munar Palmer – Predoctoral researcher, Centre for Plant Biotechnology and Genomics

10:40 – 12:40 Session 3: Infection and resistance

Chair: Berta Gallego Páramo (Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew)
Plant immunity mediated by cell wall derived signals: lessons and applications to sustainable agricultureAntonio Molina, Centre for Plant Biotechnology and Genomics
Developing sustainable approaches to protect wheat roots from take-all diseaseJavier Palma-Guerrero, Rothamsted Research
– New strategies to fight emerging bacterial wilt diseases in plants – Núria Sánchez-Coll, Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics
Unlocking the biocontrol potential of kiwifruit PseudomonasJavier Martinez-Perez, John Innes Centre
Replacing chemistry with genetics for the control of potato late blight Jonathan Jones, The Sainsbury Laboratory
Bioiberica S.A.U. – Nuria Sierras Sierra (Head of R&D Plant Heath)
Syngenta UK Ltd. – Deepak Kaundun

14:00 – 16:00 Session 4: Breeding and quality improvement techniques

Chair: Natalia Miguel-Vior (John Innes Centre)
Targeted breeding and circular bioeconomy of horticultural crops –  David Posé, Institute of Subtropical and Mediterranean Horticulture
Genetic and genomic approaches to understand agronomic and metabolic traits in the Salicaceae Sergio Cerezo Medina, Rothamsted Research
Genomic Assisted Breeding strategies in fruit trees and other plantsAmparo Monfort, Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics
Small RNAs for crop improvementSara Lopez-Gomollon, University of Cambridge
Using wild species and unadapted germplasm to improve crop qualityAntonio Monforte, Institute for Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology
Phytoplant Research S.L – Eva Madrid (Breeding and Cultivation Researcher)
AVASA (Agrupación de Viveristas de Agrios S.A.) – José Cuenca (Technical Director)

16:00 – 16:10 Closing remarks


22 Feb
23 Feb
Event Categories:
, ,
Event Tags:


Online Event
Online, United Kingdom


Embassy of Spain