Tuesday, May 27, 2008

First review to the book Flow Cytometry with Plant Cells

The last issue of Cytometry part A (Volume 73A Issue 6) has just published the first review to the book Flow Cytometry with Plant Cells: Analysis of Genes, Chromosomes and Genomes that was launched last year (see the side bar for full details). The review was made by Dr. Sergio Ochatt from the INRA, Dijon, France and the author carefully summarized what the book has to offer.You can download it for free by clicking this link.

As an author of one chapter I am very happy to finally see a review to the book. I am positive that it will be a good promotion to the book, helping it to reach an even broader number of researchers.

Just one final remark: on the review there is an error on the link to the FLOWer database. The correct link is: http://flower.web.ua.pt/.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

ISAC Congress - The plant sciences team

For prosperity the picture of the organizing team of the plant sciences sections of the ISAC Congress.

(from left to right: Jaroslav Dolezel, João Loureiro, David Galbraith, Jan Suda, Johann Greilhuber, Brian Husband and Paul Kron)

ISAC Congress - Day 5

And so the last day of the XXIV ISAC Congress came, and since the morning we could see the difference in the number of participants that were present in the Budapest Sportsarena. After 4 long days, the exhaustion was already felt, personally speaking, but there was still time for some last chatting with the commercial exhibiters and most importantly, to profit from another interesting workshop dedicated to the plant sciences. Jan Suda, Brian Husband and Paul Kron brought for the first time the world of plant evolutionary biology, biosystematics and ecology to the ISAC Congress, and I was very happy to witness that at least a dozen participants were interested. As expected, the workshop was very good with the speakers presenting several examples on the potentialities that flow cytometry has on such fields together with some "controversy" related topics on best practices.

Then was time to relax, drink some hungarian beers in a local pub and eat some typical food, before going to rest with the idea that everything was done to fulfil the objectives of the Congress. Of course, we leave the evaluation for the participants... and we hope that they have enjoyed as much as I did.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

ISAC Congress - Day 4

The Day 4 of the now International Society of Advancements on Cytometry saw the comeback of the plant sciences, first by the presence of Jaroslav Dolezel in the Parallel Session of "High Throughput, High Content Analysis" with the very interesting talk on "Development of Flow-Based Strategies for Genomics of Crop Plants". There were also some interesting talks on the Advances in Flow Cytometry Instrumentation, especially those related with Acoustically Focused Sample Streams.

The day continued with the presentation of the FlowJo Software, this time dedicated to the bare basics. It seems quite a powerful tool, but still I would like to test it myself to evaluate which features may be of particular interest for plant DNA flow cytometry purposes. Again, and as with the new instruments, I will soon dedicate a post to the new software that was presented in the Congress.

In the afternoon the first Workshop dedicated to plants took place "Plant Genome Structure and Gene Expression", and to our surprise up to 25 people were present, which clearly surpassed our best expectations. The Workshop was wonderfully conducted by Jaroslav Dolezel and David Galbraith, and we had nice talks made by Jan Suda, Johann Greilhuber and by both chairmans, which covered several topics on the application of FCM in plant sciences, from sample preparation and storage, standards and standardizations, chromosome sorting for studies of genome structure and protoplasts and nuclei sorting for studies of gene expression. I had the opportunity to present some slides on the effect of cytosol on the quantitative staining of DNA, which despite being well received, w perhaps too technical for what was intended. However in each talk, some interesting questions were made and in the end we were satisfied with the overall output and reception of the workshop.

The poster session was just afterwards and again it was a nice opportunity to present the FLOWer database to many different people. The reception was good and it was a very nice idea of the congress organizers to put all the poster of similar areas close to each other.

By the end of the day, I was almost "dead" but there were still some forces for some good dinner and fruitful discussions.

ISAC Congress - Day 3

The ISAC continues and the Day 3 was for me mostly dedicated to the commercial exhibitors. The Exhibit Hall presents many interesting offers and we can see the rise of smaller companies that are providing very interesting and competitive instruments. From what concerns the plant flow cytometry world, where the Partec flow cytometers rule, tough competition may start to appear. Partec itself presented their latest offers in the lunch commercial tutorial, but later on, in a different post, I will make a more dedicate overview of which (new) instruments were presented in the congress that might be of interest to plant flow cytometrists. The Congress itself was not very attractive, i.e., after the extraordinary Sunday it came the more so... so Monday...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Some more ISAC photos

The Budapest Sportsarena, home of the ISAC Congress for 5 days:

The exhibit hall:

The main auditorium:

ISAC Congress - Day 2

The second day of the ISAC congress may well be remembered as one of the most interesting, despite three days are still to come.

The day couldn't have started better with the interesting parallel session on the "Advances in Flow Cytometry Instrumentation I" where I would like to highlight the innovative approach directed to increase the measurement rates of current flow cytometers, laser rastering. The session was pretty full has it can be easily perceived from the picture.

Further highlights from Sunday include the impact that cytometry has been having in Marine Microbiology, as impressively presented by Ger van der Engh, and the High-Throughput microscopy analysis of the cytoskeleton, showed by Ronald Vale.

The commercial tutorial given by Tree Star, Inc. on the FlowJo software and on what advanced features will be present in the upcoming versions of the software was also quite interesting.

However, the cherry on top of the cake (I hope that this expression also makes some sense in English) was Howard Shapiro talk by the end of the day. As usual, he guided us through the History of Cytometry with his nice, sometimes bitter, sense of humour that pleased all the audience. For the end, a new version of his famous poem, now renamed as "There Is A Business Like Flow Business", was presented, wonderfully accompanied by background music and his still nice voice.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Our poster on the FLOWer database presented in ISAC Congress 2008

ISAC Congress - Day 1

Today, the XXIV International Congress of ISAC started in the beautiful city of Budapest. As promoted in previous posts of the blog, right in early morning the first activity related to plant flow cytometry, the tutorial dedicated to the estimation of genome size in plants, took place. Due to the extra costs of such an activity together with the already high costs of the Congress, only two participants attended to the tutorial. So, it was one of those occasions where the tutors outnumbered the students/participants... what a luxury! More seriously, we were sorry that there were not more people interested in our area, but I must also say that our expectations were not so high, as most of the participants are from the biomedical field. In case you are interested in knowing what you've missed, you can download the presentation in pdf format at: http://rapidshare.com/files/115567579/Tutorial__final_.pdf.html

The poster that we bring to the congress is already mounted in its panel just near the entrance of the main room of the Arena, where the chaos still rules with all the commercial exhibitors preparing their booth's with their top products.

The Congress officially started in the afternoon with the Frontiers talks dedicated to some technological advances in cytometry and with the Keynote Lecture given by Dr. Lansing Taylor on the Evolution of Image Cytometry.

Now, it is time for the Opening Reception, a nice opportunity to meet other researchers while snacking and drinking some "traditional" Hungarian starters.

Monday, May 05, 2008

The ISAC congress is coming...

The XXIV International Congress of ISAC is starting already in the following 17th of May and I look forward for the event. I will make a daily report of the congress, accompanied by some documenting pictures. So keep tuned...

For your appetizing I will leave you with the advertising that will be made of one of the highlights in what concerns plant flow cytometry - the Workshop "Plant Genome Structure and Gene Expression". I hope that all the people in the picture are heading to the Budapest Sportsarena for the workshop. We do not mind the sporty clothes!

Dear ISAC Congress Attendee:

Jaroslav Dolezel and David Galbraith would like to invite you to attend Workshop 5 “Plant Genome Structure and Gene Expression” at the International ISAC Congress in Budapest. This workshop is scheduled for 15:45-17:15 on Tuesday, 20 May 2008, and will be held in the Red Room.

This workshop is aimed not simply at scientists interested in employing flow and image cytometry for the manipulation of plant cells, tissues, organs, and organelles. It also will provide valuable information for Operators and Core Managers having no prior experience with plant samples, who increasingly will encounter plant scientists interested in using their technologies and instruments in their plant-based research.

Topics to be presented and discussed will include:

  • Preparation and storage of samples for DNA flow cytometry.
  • Combating the negative effect of cytosol on nuclear DNA staining.
  • Standardization for reliable estimation of nuclear genome size.
  • Chromosome isolation and sorting.
  • Analysis of gene expression, including flow analysis and sorting of organelles and large cells.

There will also be opportunities provided for questions, comments, etc., from the audience.


Moderators: Jaroslav Dolezel (Olomouc, CR) and David Galbraith (Tucson, USA)

Short presentations on each topic will be given by:

  • Jan Suda (Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic)
  • Johann Greilhuber (University of Vienna, Austria)
  • João Loureiro (Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic)
  • Jaroslav Dolezel (Institute of Experimental Botany, Olomouc, Czech Republic)
  • David Galbraith (University of Arizona, Tucson, USA)

Open Discussion will follow.

ISAC XXIV International Congress, May 17-21, 2008, Budapest, Hungary

List of recently published papers on plant flow cytometry - April

As a usual section of our blog, you can find below the list of papers that came to our hands/knowledge during the month of April.

Genome size:
Nucleotypic effect
Francis D, Davies MS, Barlow PW. A strong nucleotypic effect on the cell cycle regardless of ploidy level. Annals of Botany (2008) 101:747-757.

Sweigart AL, Martin NH, Willis JH. Patterns of nucleotide variation and reproductive isolation between a Mimulus allotetraploid and its progenitor species. Molecular Ecology (2008) 17:2089-2100.

Ploidy level:
Ochatt SJ, Sangwan RS. In vitro shortening of generation time in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture (2008) 93:133-137.

Zale J, Ohnoutkova L, West D, Sams C, Biggerstaff J, Le Pull M. Micropropagation of field-grown perennial teosinte from node culture. Crop Science (2008) 48:651-655.

Soriano M, Cistue L, Castillo AM. Enhanced induction of microspore embryogenesis after n-butanol treatment in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) anther culture. Plant Cell Reports (2008) 27:805-811.

Leskovsek L, Jakse M, Bohanec B. Doubled haploid production in rocket (Eruca sativa Mill.) through isolated microspore culture. Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture (2008) 93:181-189.

Arndt S. Novelties in the Festuca valesiaca group (Poaceae) from the central Alps. Plant Systematics and Evolution (2008) 271:129-142.

Bakos F, Darkó E, Gáspár L, Ambrus H, Barnabás B. A cytological study on aluminium-treated wheat anther cultures resulting in plants with increased Al tolerance. Plant breeding (2008) 127:235-240.