The future of food
More than 200 attendees from 25 countries shared fundamental discoveries in plant
reproduction, which will be used to increase food yield.
Conference organiser Professor Mohan Singh from the Melbourne School of Land and
Environment (MSLE) said, "We made particular effort to design a program
highlighting the translation of basic research, and addressing issues relevant to
improving future food security through enhancing crop yields".
"The feedback from the guests is this conference has set a new benchmark not
only for high quality scientific content, but also quality of service and venue, hospitality
and quality of food, industry participation and quality of social events," Professor Singh
"International guests loved Melbourne, particularly 360 degree views from the
The conference attracted high-calibre scientists from China and Japan. There was a high
level of participation from those countries, indicating their high investment in scientific
Organisers were glad to have distuinguished academics like the Professor Qifa Zhang,
Dean in the College of Life Science and Technology, Huazhong Agriculture University,
China, and Director of the National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement.
Professor Zhang is recognised as one of the world leaders in the application of the
genomics research in solving major problems related to crop genetic improvement.
This year's conference also saw greater industry participation with companies
including Dow AgroSciences, Pioneer Seeds and Monsanto.
Dr Ry Wagner of Global New Ventures and Technology Leader, Dow AgroSciences LLC,
USA, discussed technologies which allow for new possibilities for crop improvement,
and highlighted examples of enhanced crop productivity that will help meet the needs
of the growing world population.
Professor Hugh Dickinson, from Oxford University, discussed the identification of
genes controlling seed formation in crop plants, and Professor Junko Kyozuka from
University of Tokyo, showed how manipulation of shoot branching in rice can lead to
rice yield enhancement.
The conference was organised by Professor Singh and Professor Prem Bhalla, both from
the MSLE, along with Dr Anna Koltunow from CSIRO Plant Industry.