Plant Biology 2020 Gibbs Symposium: Epigenetic Inheritance and Reprogramming in Plants

Plant Biology Worldwide Summit: July 27–31

The ASPB has a proud history of bringing the plant science community together. This year, although we can’t meet in person, we will come together online for #plantbio20, The Plant Biology Worldwide Summit 2020, which will be held online July 27–31, 2020. The Gibbs Symposium is currently scheduled for 10 AM–12:40 PM ET on Monday July 27th, with a re-broadcast 8–10:45 PM, but please check the schedule for updates at

The #plantbio20 plenary series continues as we shift our focus to epigenetics, and explore pioneering work that takes a collaborative approach to some big picture issues at the Gibbs Symposium. “Epigenetic Inheritance and Reprogramming in Plants,” features Craig Pikaard (Indiana University, Bloomington) presenting “Enzyme reactions and RNA codes in the biogenesis of siRNAs that guide RNA-directed DNA methylation”, Ian Henderson (University of Cambridge) presenting “Control of the meiotic recombination landscape by ASY1”, Daniel Grimanelli (IRD France) presenting “Dynamics of DNA methylation during maize reproductive development”, and Julie Law (Salk Institute for Biological Studies) presenting “A CLASSY way to regulate DNA methylation patterns”.


This plenary is chaired by Rob Martienssen (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory), the 2019 Martin Gibbs medalist. This symposium is held in honor of Martin Gibbs, who was the editor of Plant Physiology from 1963–1992 and honors “an individual who has pioneered advances that have served to establish new directions of investigation in the plant sciences”.

As the Gibbs Medal award announcement states, “Rob’s research has transformed our thinking about the role of small RNAs in plants and beyond. His work has laid the foundation in many areas of epigenetics involving the functions of small RNAs, the establishment of heterochromatin, the control of replication, the modification of histones, the control and inheritance of transposable elements, the establishment of DNA methylation and the roles of small RNAs in plant development.”

In this session, Epigenetic Inheritance and Reprogramming in Plants, we’ll hear from leaders in the field who bring a multitude of techniques—including genetics, genomics, cell and molecular biology, and biochemistry—to the lab bench, as they explore the many facets of epigenetics and its impacts on a number of wide-ranging issues with global reach: from improving crop biology and reducing the often detrimental impacts of agriculture on the environment, to using plant systems in the study of protein mutations that can result in epigenetic changes linked to developmental defects in animal systems, and the progression of diseases like cancer.

Please join us online for this terrific symposium! Follow #PlantBio20 on Twitter and check the website for updates!

Post by Michelle Woodvine and Jennifer Mach for Peridot Scientific Communications.

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