AAB - President





Systems Approaches to Crop Improvement
To be held at
Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, UK
14-15 April 2011
BASIS Points have been awarded as follows (5): 2 CP, 2E, 1PD


Nigel Halford, Mikhail Semenov and Paul Verrier (Rothamsted Research)

Systems approaches for crop improvement study the interactions between the components of biological systems, e.g. a plant or a population, exploring how these interactions give rise to the function and behaviour of that system in response to variations in climatic and environmental conditions. These approaches, including mathematical modelling and computational biology, are powerful techniques to underpin a rational design of new crop ideotypes suitable for target environments. They help to identify traits for crop improvement and to accelerate the breeding process. For example, new crop cultivars with specific physiological traits will be required for a rapidly changing climate characterised by shifts in weather patterns and increases in extreme weather events. However, the uncertainty of climate predictions poses a challenge to breeders and crop scientists who have limited time and resources and who must select the most appropriate traits for improvement. Mathematical modelling and computer simulation enable testing of the performance of crop ideotypes in a variety of environments in silico.

The aim of this conference is to facilitate knowledge exchange on systems approaches for crop improvements and to identify new frontiers in this exciting area of interdisciplinary research.

Confirmed invited speakers:

1. Dr  François Tardieu, INRA-Montpellier SupAgro, Joint Research Unit for the Ecophysiology of Plants under Environmental Stress, France

2. Prof. Charlie Hodgman, University of Nottingham at Sutton Bonington, UK

3. Dr Pierre Martre, INRA-Clermont-Ferrand, France

4. Prof Andrew Millar, School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Scotland

5. Dr Xinyou Yin, Wageningen University, The Netherlands

Papers and posters from the conference will be reproduced in a volume of Aspects of Applied Biology, which will be available to delegates at the conference. Please send your offer to the AAB office. (Email to Rebecca@aab.org.uk; Fax +44 (0)1789 470234). Alternatively, you can submit an offer online, giving the title of the paper, authors, affiliations and a short synopsis of your paper. Click on ABSTRACTS in the left hand column of the AAB home page, then click on the conference title. You can register your email and, after being sent a password, can upload your offer. Please indicate whether your offer is for a platform presentation or a poster. Please ensure your pop up blocker is off, otherwise the Abstract may not upload properly.

Booking is now available.  Registration fees are as follows: 

AAB Member £185.00; AAB Retired Member £150.00; AAB Student Member £90.00

Non Member £235.00; Student Non Members £110.00


There will be an admin fee of £25.00 on all cancellations.  No cancellations after 31 March 2011. Book by 10 April to avoid the late booking charge.


We have arranged preferential rates at a few local hotels.  Please click here for the llist.
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