Newsletter November 2017

Dear Members of the International Society of Root Research,


We would like to welcome you to our fourth ISRR newsletter, designed to stimulate global communication and advancement of plant root science and inform you about ongoing activities within the root research community and the ISRR. Feel free to share this newsletter with others, ISRR members and non-members.


Feature article: Hallie Thompson about the ISRR ambassador program at ISRR9 in Canberra

John Kirkegaard and Hallie Thompson founded the ISRR ambassador program at the 2015 ISRR9 “Roots Down Under” meeting in Canberra, Australia. The purpose of this program was to engage early career scientists in root biology and to bolster early career attendance at the international meeting.

24 students and postdocs were chosen as the inaugural ambassador program class. They represented 6 continents and numerous institutions and universities. The Program included: field day at Canberra research station, networking event with fellow ambassadors and select senior scientists, student and postdoc poster contest judged by ambassadors, and a crazy roots photo contest organized by the ambassadors for all attendees.

All ambassadors were paired with a mentor for the meeting and were encouraged to use this connection to request introductions to other scientists and to learn more about their mentor’s path to success. It can be difficult for students and post docs to afford travel to a meeting like this and their presence at the sessions is invaluable. Therefore, the program also provided scholarships to ambassador attendees. More surprisingly, the ambassador network also benefitted student attendees, as there was a group of peers that were able to introduce colleagues to other scientists.                                       ~ Hallie J. Thompson (University of Missouri)


All ambassadors are encouraged to stay in touch and reunite at the upcoming ISRR10 meeting in Israel. Support for students/early career scientist will be available at ISRR10, and more information will be provided in the next newsletter (estimated January 2018).


Abstract submission for the ISRR 10 meeting in Israel in July 2018:

Abstract submission will be open until February 28th 2018 and further information can be found on the conference website, as well as on the ISRR website.


Feature publications:

  • A special invited paper about “Visualization of extracellular DNA released during border cell separation from the root cap” published in AJB (website) by Fushi Wen et al. highlighting DNA excretion during root development.
  • A recent paper proving “Root hairs enable high transpiration rates in drying soils” in New Phytologist (link), by Andrea Carminati et al. combining transpiration measurements with barley root hair phenotypes.


Please nominate a recent publication from your group for featuring in the following newsletter!


Some interesting meetings upcoming in the next months:

  • The 60th Annual Maize Genetics Conference 22-25 March 2018 in Saint-Malo, France (conference website)
  • 3rd International Conference on Plant science and Physiology 21-22 May 2018 in Osaka, Japan (conference website)

Please let us know if other interesting conferences, ideally featuring a section about roots, is coming up so that we can promote the meeting on our website and in the next newsletters.


Follow ISRR News on Twitter account @PlantRootScientists

News from members of the International Society of Root Research is now featured on Twitter in an account (hosted jointly with the International Plant Phenotyping Network (IPPN)). Have a look for insights into ongoing research shared by members of either group and feel free to tweet and retweet us.


If you would like to announce something or give feedback to the newsletter or the web site, please write an email to our official address ( The next newsletter should be published in January 2018. Of course you can also retract your agreement to receiving this e-bulletin in the future.


Kind regards,

Dr Josefine Kant (née Nestler) and Prof Michelle Watt,

on behalf of the ISRR President Prof Peter Gregory and the ISRR Executive