Thursday, November 15, 2007

ISAC - XXIV International Congress

The next congress of ISAC - International Society for Analytical Cytology will be held next May (17th to 21st) in Budapest. It is with great pleasure that we announce that a tutorial session and two workshops focused on plant flow cytometry were approved for presentation.

Scientific tutorial: Estimation of genome size in plants using flow cytometry
Tutors: Jan Suda, João Loureiro and Johann Greilhuber
Abstract: The last two decades have seen a significant increase in the use of flow cytometry for estimation of genome size in plants (either in absolute terms or in relative units, as an indicator of ploidy level), with the data being successfully utilized in various fields of plant sciences, including biosystematics, ecology, evolutionary biology and biotechnology. This tutorial will focus primarily on the biological significance of genome size variation in plants and on the methodological approaches used to analyse the nuclear DNA content of cells. A set of best practice rules will be presented, and special attention will be given to the strategies that may be employed to investigate recalcitrant plant material. The practical session will include basic protocols using several different isolation buffers and DNA-selective fluorochromes for staining intact plant nuclei. The effect of chemical additives (antioxidants, preservatives) on the quality of histograms will be demonstrated. The tutorial is aimed at newcomers in plant flow cytometry as well as at workers in other fields interested in learning more about specific features of plant material.

Workshop: The impact of flow cytometry on plant evolutionary biology, biosystematics and ecology
Organizers: Brian Husband and Jan Suda
Abstract: Since the 1980s, use of flow cytometry (FCM) in plant population and evolutionary biology, biosystematics, and ecology has expanded dramatically both in scope and frequency. With its ability to collect several quantitative parameters, simultaneously, for large numbers of particles, FCM is widening the diversity of attributes that can be explored on a population scale and the taxonomic, spatial, and temporal scope of these investigations. As a result, the technique has enabled large-scale comparative analyses of genome size evolution, taxonomic identification and delineation, and is advancing new research programs in polyploid evolution and reproductive biology. In combination with other methodological approaches, FCM promises qualitative advances in our understanding of genome multiplication and the population biology of vascular plants. Workshop facilitators will introduce some of the recent developments, problems and applications of FCM in plant population biology, biosystematics and evolution, and then lead a discussion on some or all topics. Two themes that will recur throughout these discussions are: (i) novel applications of flow cytometry as a result of the higher sample throughput and larger sample sizes possible compared to traditional methods; and (ii) the potential benefits of combining FCM with other, notably molecular, techniques.

Workshop: Plant genome structure and gene expression
Organizers: Jaroslav Dolezel and David Galbraith
Abstract: This 90 min workshop will comprise invited talks and talks selected from submitted abstracts. The talks will focus on the most advanced applications of flow cytometry in plants, with an emphasis on the analysis of plant genome structure and function. This includes, but is not restricted to, chromosome sorting for physical genome mapping and gene cloning, and global analysis of gene expression in specific cell types. This workshop is intended to attract a broad range of audience members, ranging from PhD students to senior researchers. To our knowledge, this will be the first scientific workshop at an international conference entirely devoted to advanced applications of flow cytometry in plants that focus on plant genome structure and function.

As soon as we know further details, we will update this post. So check regularly for updates.

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