March 12, 2020, Symposium: Accelerated domestication of orphan crops and wild plants

Nine plant species provide almost all the world’s food intake, and all are refined. By comparison, there are about 380,000 wild plant species. Nature therefore offers us huge genetic variation that we do not exploit today. Instead of examining how to make the refined plants more robust, the symposium addressed how to harness the hardiness of wild plants as a starting-point to make crops that are resilient to diseases and extreme weather events.

Invited speakers included John Doebley (Univ. Madison Wisconsin), Nils Stein (Gatersleben), Lee DeHaan (The Land Institute),  Sergey Shabala (Univ. Tasmania), Dan Voytas (Univ. Minnesota), Caixia Gao (Chinese Academy of Sciences), Stefan Jansson (Umeå Plant Science Centre, Sweden), Pablo Cerdan (Fundación Instituto Leloir, Argentina) and Robin Buell (Michigan State University).

The symposium was supported by the Carlsberg Foundation and the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

Updated information

Presentations are available

Videos are available

Time and place
12th March, 2020.

The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, H. C. Andersens Blvd. 35, 1553 Copenhagen, Denmark

Registration for the symposium was closed.

Local organizing committee
Prof. Henrik Brinch-Pedersen (AU), Dr. Rosa Lopez-Marques (KU), Dr. Stephan Wenkel (KU), Prof. Michael Palmgren (KU).

Contact persons
Prof. Michael Broberg Palmgren
Xu Zhai, project manager, 

Final Program

Thursday 12 March, 2020:



Prof. Michael Palmgren, University of Copenhagen

09:30-10:10 Dr. Lee DeHaan, The Land Institute, USA
Domestication of Thinopyrum intermedium as a new perennial grain.
10:10-10:50 Prof. Nils Stein, Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research, Gatersleben, Germany
Harnessing the allelic diversity of genetic resources and elucidating the genetic basis of important characteristics of barley
10:50-11:00 Coffee break
11:00-11:40 Dr. Pablo Cerdan, Fundación Instituto Leloir, Argentina
Discovery research towards alfalfa improvement
11:40-12:20 Prof. Stefan Jansson, Umeå Plant Science Centre, Sweden
Gene‐edited plants on the plate: the ‘CRISPR cabbage’ story.
12:20-13:00 Lunch
13:00-13:40 Prof. Sergey Shabala, University of Tasmania, Australia
The potential of the halophytic plant quinoa to be cultivated in the face of diminishing fresh water resources and increasing soil salinization
13:40-14:20 Prof. Caixia Gao, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
A CRISPR way for wild tomato domestication
14:20-14:30 Coffee break
14:30-15:10 Prof. John Doebley, University of Madison Wisconsin, USA
The molecular basis of domestication: from maize to orphan crops
15:10-15:50 Prof. C. Robin Buell, Michigan State University
Evolutionary history and targets of domestication in the cultivated potato.)
15:50-16:30 Prof. Dan Voytas, Director of the Center for Precision Plant Genomics, University of Minnesota, USA
Overcoming Bottlenecks in Plant Gene Editing.

Closing remark

Prof. Michael Palmgren, University of Copenhagen