At Phenome 2018, researchers and developers in the phenomics space—including plant biologists, engineers, data scientists, ecologists, agronomists, and computer scientists—will come together to learn, innovate, and network in sunny Tucson, Arizona. Don’t miss out this year! Registration is open for Phenome 2018: Connecting Biology, Systems, and Tools, to be held on Feb. 14–17 in Tucson, AZ.

The first general session of Phenome 2018 will highlight Phenomics-Enabled Biology and speakers will showcase the diversity of phenomics approaches used in biological research. This session will focus on how phenomics technologies contribute to our theoretical and applicable understanding of how plants develop, grow, and interact with their surroundings. Speakers will touch on current challenges in the field, the benefits and limitations of current techniques, and how their own research applies phenomics to address biological questions.

The keynote speaker for Session I is David Houle (Florida State University), who studies the relationship of genotype and phenotype variation in fruit flies, focusing on wing development and how phenotypic variation relates to biological fitness.

Other speakers will provide examples of how phenomics can be applied to a variety of systems, from the single cell to big data, and in the field. Carolyn Rasmussen (UC Riverside) will review her work on plant cell division and cell plate orientation, and Ross Sozzani (NC State University) will update us on plant stem cell niche maintenance. Andrew Leakey (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign) will discuss water usage efficiency in C4 plants using phenomics of stomata, and Wolfgang Busch (Salk Institute) will present "From Phenotypes to Mechanisms: Approaching Root Growth Control Using Systems Genetics”  and outline how phenomics makes it possible to discover important novel molecular mechanisms.

Highlighting current research in crop plants, speaker Maria Salas Fernandez (Iowa State University) uses a field side-view image-based approach to characterize plant architecture parameters in sorghum that will facilitate gene discovery and breeding for a plant ideotype. Candice Hirsch (University of Minnesota) and Roland Pieruschka (Forschungszentrum, Jülich, Germany) develop ways to handle big data and high throughput phenotyping in individual plans and in the field, and Therese LaRue (Carnegie Institute) will give a talk entitled “Uncovering the genetic basis for natural variation in root system dynamics,” about the GLO-root system for large-scale phenotyping of root architecture. Additionally, the development and use of technology and analytical programs for quantitative phenotyping is an important component to genomic research, as we will hear from Nadia Shakoor (Danforth Plant Science Center).

GENERAL SESSION I: Phenomics-Enabled Biology will take place Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. Concurrent Sessions will also focus on this topic; submit your abstract by December 1st to be considered for a talk.