Experts at an Aberdeen research centre have helped organise the largest ever gathering of plant scientists in Scotland to focus on crop pests and diseases.
Professor John Jones, leader of the James Hutton Institute’s cell and molecular sciences group is the co-organiser of the International Society for Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions World Congress- which began yesterday and will run to Thursday at the Glasgow SECC.
The gathering will result in more than 1400 plant scientists from 52 countries descending on the centre.
Some of the pressing issues that will be discussed include global population growth, pests and diseases, climate change and an increasing resistance to pesticides.
Prof Jones said: “In order to develop new ways to combat the plethora of pests and diseases in the environment it is essential to develop a full understanding of how different plants either survive or succumb to disease.
“In this fast-moving scientific field, timely communication between researchers is vital to uncover and learn from the molecular battles that occur between plants and the pests and parasites that infect them.”
Professor Paul Birch, head of the division of plant sciences at the University of Dundee and a co-organiser of the gathering, added: “Delegates will hear about the latest advances in our knowledge of how pathogens infect plants and of how research can help to improve the plant immune system to fight off infection.”
The conference is attended by members from around the world who research molecular aspects of how microorganisms interact with plants and the consequences of such interactions.