Although there were a few hiccups today with planting, we had the very generous help from 4 postdocs from Xuemei Chen's lab. Here's a photo before we got started....
The Maize Meeting was held in Jacksonville, FL this year. It was a fun meeting, starting off with a beautiful talk by Karen Koch. I admired Hilde Nelissen's talk on increasing leaf size using a combined transgenic approach. The thoughtful use of the wide variation of genes within maize populations to enhance mutants was presented by Kin Lau from Cliff Weil's lab and Norman Best from Brian Dilke's lab. Karina van der Linde from Jinny Walbot's lab presented a unique approach using pathogens to deliver proteins to rescue mutant phenotypes while Zhikai Liang from James Schanble's lab gave a neat talk on the population structure of the inbred B73. Although I'm not very familiar with the topic area, Tingting Guo from Jianming Yu's lab gave a compelling talk on breeding strategies. Pablo Martinez gave a great talk (despite my bias!) based on the questions he got throughout the meeting.
We've gotten three very cool invitations to speak this summer. Pablo Martinez is speaking first at the maize meeting, Ricardo Mir Moreno is speaking next at the ASBP Plant Biology 2016 meeting and Carolyn Rasmussen is speaking last at the Plant and Microbial Cytoskeleton Gordon Conference. We're looking forward to sharing our work!
Pablo Martinez organized and led a great hands on experiment for local elementary student that included tangled and wild-type plants, super glue, glass slides and microscopes last Thursday! It was tremendously busy (maybe 100 students?) so the only picture we got was before it started highlighting the more and less useful microscopes provided by the school. It was a lot of fun. The students had great questions. The school provided excellent support coordinating this event with a bunch of other community members. I am certain the students that participated won't soon forget the importance of plant building blocks (cells). Thanks also to McKenzie Pickle for your help with this event.