A​bout the 2021 IS-MPMI Congress eSymposia Series​​​​

President remarks for eSymposia:

Dear Colleagues --
Happy Spring to those in the Northern Hemisphere and Happy Autumn to those in the Southern Hemisphere!

I am grateful to those who have provided updates regarding research and activities happening at your institutes. I am inspired to know that your research is moving forward, even if it is not at the pace you would all prefer. Your dedication to keep science moving forward in light of the challenges of the past year speaks to the heart and soul of our society.

We have postponed our meeting in JeJu Korea until June 2022 to ensure the safety of our community and the successful implementation of the congress program. We look forward to the time when we will be able to share our science in-person again.

In lieu of the normal congress format this summer, IS-MPMI is launching the 2021 IS-MPMI Congress: eSymposia Series to provide you with the opportunity to share your exciting research findings and meet up with colleagues around the world. Three eSymposia will be offered between July and December to keep lines of communication open throughout the year, and maximize our ability to engage colleagues in different time zones for half-day sessions. The themes for the eSymposia track the “Top 10 Unanswered Questions in MPMI” inspired by our discussions at the IS-MPMI Congress in Glasgow in 2019.

We will be offering the following three eSymposia this year:

Molecular mechanism and structure – Zooming in on plant immunity -- This symposium will be held July 12-13, 2021, hosted by Jian-Min Zhou (Beijing, China) and Jane Parker (Cologne, Germany). This event will highlight key, recent advances in our mechanistic understanding of the activation of immune signaling gleaned from structural biology, biochemistry and functional genomics.​

Pathogen-Host coevolution – Combating resistance breaking in agriculture -- This symposium will be held September 15 -16, 2021, hosted by Melania Figueroa (Canberra, Australia) and Daniel Croll (Neuchatel, Switzerland). This session will explore the mechanisms by which pathogens evolve novel virulence activities and question why some pathogens need numerous effectors while others need only a few. It will also address effectiveness of resistance traits in the field though under high pathogen pressure.

Plant-microbe interactions in the environment – Navigating a complex world​ -- This symposium will be held December 1-2, 2021, hosted by Cara Haney (British Columbia, Canada) and Paul Schultze-Lefert (Cologne, Germany). This event will investigate how plants engage with beneficial microbes while restricting pathogens. These networks of interactions are complex and influenced on numerous interactions in the environment. Researchers will reveal new insights into the factors that influence the outcomes of plant and microbe interactions in response to diverse stimuli.

Here are some highlights to expect for each eSymposia:
  • Two consecutive half-day virtual events
  • Two plenary sessions with speakers reporting their latest findings
  • Live panel discussion following each plenary session
  • Two poster sessions with live poster pitches followed by moderated Q&A
  • Pre-eSymposia access to poster presentations and materials
  • Moderators working in the research field facilitating Q&A sessions
  • eSymposia social networking to connect with attendees
  • Post-eSymposia access to recordings
We can’t wait to share more about the eSymposia as the programs develop. Keep an eye out for updates and make sure to submit your abstract by May 17!

In addition, I encourage you to keep an eye out for monthly free virtual events offered by the MPMI Journal hosted by Jeanne Harris and IS-MPMI CONNECT hosted by Ally MacLean and Ambassadors of our community. I look forward to seeing you all at our upcoming events!


Mary Beth Mudgett
IS-MPMI President ​