July 29–August 2, 2012 • Kyoto, Japan
Nippon Banzai Kyoto! The XV International Congress on Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions
The XV International Congress on Molecular Plant-Microbe Interaction was held for the first time in Asia, from Sunday, July 29, to Thursday, August 2, 2012, in Kyoto, Japan. We appreciate that so many people gathered from throughout the world, and some of them actually flew halfway around the world.
We are grateful that so many people could make it to Kyoto, despite postponement of this congress by one year. This congress was originally supposed to be convened in the summer of 2011. Then, the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred on March 11, 2011. With the congress approaching, we had to make a decision. We appreciate that many of participants understood and accepted our decision to reschedule. On top of that, right after the incident, we received so many e-mails from all over the world expressing heartfelt sympathy for the victims of the earthquake and the tidal waves. We deeply thank each of you for your concern.
For IS-MPMI 2012, the final turnout was 978 from 42 countries worldwide: 377 from Japan, 119 from the United States, 73 from Germany, 57 from China, 46 from Taiwan, 43 from the United Kingdom, 41 from South Korea, 26 from France, 24 from Australia, 21 from the Netherlands, 17 from Denmark, 15 from Canada, 14 from Brazil, and so on. We are glad to find that an increasing number of Asian scientists joined the IS-MPMI meeting this time. We hope we provided them with an opportunity to experience exciting research in the field and to get stimulated by exchanging views with colleagues.
The scientific program started with six workshops, followed by eight plenary sessions and 21 concurrent sessions covering a wide range of topics, from plant signaling to plant immunity to plant-microbe interactions. For each concurrent session, four presenters were selected from those who submitted an abstract to make an oral presentation together with invited speakers.
In the evening of the first day, the opening lecture was delivered by Shizuo Akira of Osaka University, one of most renowned immunologists in Japan, on the innate immunity in mammals, followed by the award lecture presented by the awardee of the 2012 IS-MPMI Award, Eva Kondorosi, on the innate immunity effectors and virulence factors in symbiosis.
Poster awards by Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, Journal of General Plant Pathology, Plant and Cell Physiology, and Wiley-Blackwell were presented in the Closing Ceremony. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions Poster Award winners were Yogesh Gupta, University of Exeter, for “Secretion of effector proteins in rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae” and Li-Qing Chen, Carnegie Institution for Science, for “SWEET sugar transporters identified with the help of FRET sensors are highjacked for nutrition of pathogens.” Winners of the Journal of General Plant Pathology Poster Award were Shigeyuki Tanaka, Max Planck Institute, for “Functional analysis of the tumor and anthocyanin-inducing effector protein Tin2 of Ustilago maydis” and Allyson M. MacLean, John Innes Centre, for “Phytoplasma effector SAP54 induces indeterminate leaf-like flower development in Arabidopsis plants.” The Plant and Cell Physiology Poster Award went to Chong S. Kim, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, University of Western Ontario, for “Lotus japonicus AMP1 and HAR1 act synergistically to regulate root architecture” and Eva Miedes, Polytechnic University of Madrid, for “SignWALLing: Signals derived from Arabidopsis cell wall activate specific resistance to pathogens.” The Wiley-Blackwell Poster Award went to Miriam
Oses-Ruiz, University of Exeter, for “Transcriptional regulatory circuits necessary for appressorium-mediate plant infection by M. oryzae” and Naoyoshi Kumakura, University of Tokyo, for “Assessment of RNA exosome as a viral resistance factor.”
We thank those sponsors for assisting the poster awards as well as the selected award recipients from an enormous number of posters. On the first day, the Welcome Reception was held in the Banquet Hall and in the garden, where participants enjoyed food, drink, and conversation with friends and colleagues. As mentioned in a remark by the governor, Kyoto takes pride in its rich traditional culture, including Kyoto cuisine. We hope the participants enjoyed the city of Kyoto through the social program excursion and the Congress Dinner. Despite the outside heat of August, close to 400 participants joined the sightseeing tour to Gion Hanamikoji dori and to Kiyomizu-dera, a World Heritage site. During the Congress Dinner, the traditional dance of Maiko was presented. We are pleased that the entire program concluded successfully. We deeply thank each of you who were involved in this congress for your effort, commitment, and enthusiasm. To view photographs from the event, visit mpmi2011.umin.jp/photo_galleries.html.
See you in Rhodes Island in two years.
Chair, IS-MPMI 2012 Local Organizing Committee