PlantEd – COST Action CA18111 – Genome editing in plants

Reporting from the 1st PlantEd conference

PlantEd successfully organised its first conference in Serbia 5-7 November - here you can read about it. At the end of the page, you will find the Book of abstracts and several of the speakers´ presentations.

1st PlantEd conference
Plant Genome Editing – State of the Art 

5 – 7 November 2019
Novi Sad, Serbia 
Including: Open conference; Working Group meetings; Management Committee Meeting 

1st PlantEd Conference

PlantEd arranged its first major event on 5-7 November 2019, in the beautiful city of Novi Sad in northern Serbia. The conference was hosted by the Institute of Lowland Forestry and Environment, University of Novi Sad, in the newly built and well-equipped University Rectorate building overlooking the river Danube. A total of 114 participants joined from all over Europe and beyond and contributed to make this event successful and promising for the future of our Action.

Extending over three days, the conference started with one-day Action Working Group meetings, including WG1-Technical platforms, WG2-Impact assessment, WG3-Policies and regulations, WG4-Perceptions and opinions. The general conference, inaugurated on the morning 6 Nov by opening statements from the University leadership and the Provincial Secretaries, covered a number of perspectives related to genome editing in plants. After plenum presentations that introduced the topics and gave a general overview of the technology and its application in research and breeding across the world, parallel sessions took place each with a more specific disciplinary focus.

The parallel sessions gave the opportunity for many of the active researchers in our COST Action, including many young researchers, to present their research and get feedback from a multidisciplinary audience. The atmosphere was overall very enthusiastic and people engaged in a lot of constructive discussions.

Several of the powerpoint presentations have been made available by the speakers and you will find the links here below and you will also find them represented in the Book of abstracts.

These are some of the general impressions that were picked up from the participants:

“The interdisciplinary approach: experts and speakers from different fields are involved.”

“The event was very well-organized, and I had the opportunity to meet with researchers from Europe and make collaborations with them. It was excellent.”

“There were many occasions for networking, I met a lot of new people relevant for my research and research in my institute”

“The format of the conference was such that many short meetings were easily organized on the outskirts of the main talks and events which meant overall better productivity of the action in the long run”

“I wish I could attend some of the other WG sessions.”

“Congratulations to organizers for really high professionalism”


The Working Group meetings

The Working Group meetings were arranged in parallel and provided the first opportunity, after about six months since the kick-off of our Action, for many of the WG members to meet in person and discuss the various topics and details that are part of their WG in terms of expected deliverables and output. Understandably, many participants in the Action have an interest in more than one WG, however with the meetings arranged in this way it provides a stimulus for the participants to focus their engagement.

After initial free-flowing discussions, the WG meetings got well organized into various Focus groups (when relevant) and produced several concrete ideas for action and output. Finalizing with a brief discussion about overlaps and interactions between the Action WGs, we concluded with a good prospect of getting people engaged and working together.

Here are some of the impressions:

“It was a good first exchange which will hopefully result in concrete action. I think the challenge is to get those people who participate in the action, but did not attend the meeting involved.”

“Very productive, would be interested in attending more than one Working Group, but could not clone me”

“We managed to be constructive and build concrete responsibility and deliverables”



This first major PlantEd event was very much about getting to know each other and to network among the peers in the Action. It was clear that many participants benefitted from the interactions during and in between the presentations and sessions:

“I got new potential collaborations and new ideas for projects to work on.”

“I got several new ideas and also got to talk to people working in my field that had solved some problems we are experiencing. And also could give me ideas and tips on how to continue our work.”

“I have got a lot of new contacts, insights, and the most important thing is a completely new perspective into all potentials of genome editing. I will also participate on some follow-up events such as writing a review paper, engaging in workshops etc.”

“I did. I mainly got in contact with experts in other domains (legal, perception, and so) and learned a lot. Contacts have been established now and will help us to address genome editing from a more multidisciplinary approach in the future.”

Poster session and award

The poster session, which mainly took place during the coffee breaks, had a lot of good contributions and all of the abstracts of these posters are available in the Book of abstracts. The 2019 PlantEd Poster Award went to Dr. Simon Bull from ETH Zurich and the poster “Implementation of genome editing for apple breeding”.


Book of Abstracts

Speakers´ presentations

European CRISPR campaign


Here below you find links to an overview of the programme and to the preliminary detailed programme.


Institute of Lowland Forestry and Environment, Rectorate Building, No 1 Dr Zorana Dindica Street, University of Novi Sad, Serbia

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