Newsletter January 2018

Dear Members of the International Society of Root Research,


We would like to welcome you to our fifth 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: Jhonathan Ephrath about the ISRR Ambassador program at ISRR10 in Israel

The organizers of the upcoming ISRR10 meeting in Israel in July 2018 are happy to announce the continuation of the engagement of students initiated at the previous symposium (ISRR9 in Canberra 2015). A network of Student Ambassadors from around the world will stimulate student involvement and ensure the best possible experience for student participants. Fifteen outstanding students, selected by an international committee according to their academic records, will participate in a Pre-Conference Workshop, held between July 4 to July 7, 2018.

The program venue will be the French Associates Institute for Agriculture and Biotechnology of Drylands, the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Sede Boqer Campus of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, which is located in Israel’s Negev Desert. The program is fully sponsored including accommodation, meals, class enrollment, professionally guided field hikes and a sight-seeing trip. More details about this program, who is entitled to register, program time table, topics of the different classes and general information are given in the website of the ISRR10 conference.

The Ambassadors will provide input to the Organizing Committee regarding ideas to foster student engagement in root science, will be given exposure to co-chairs at the meeting, and will be matched with senior mentors. The goal is to build a legacy of confident, well-connected young science leaders to take root research forward.


The deadline for applications is Tuesday, March 20, 2018.

The aims of the program are:

  • To develop and refine the skills for promising young scientists required for plant root science.
  • To provide discussions, demonstrations and lectures by leading experts in the field of root research.
  • To enable and encourage students’ future collaborations and advanced research methods in the various fields that incorporate root and root-rhizosphere research.


To apply, please send your CV to Mrs. Nofar Asa, the Conference Administrator, at

                                                                                                ~ Jhonathan Ephrath, Ben-Gurion University


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

Abstract submission will be open until February 14th 2018 and further information can be found on the conference website, as well as on the ISRR website.


Feature publications:

  • A recent publication by Pound et al. about “deep learning for multi-task plant phenotyping” (link) for automated high-throughput image processing for phenotyping.
  • Suggested by a new member: winter wheat variation in root length and diameter caused by drought stress (link) by Awad et al., can be accessed via the author’s Research gate site (Researchgate).

 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 @RootScientists


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) Root Phenotyping Working Group). Have a look for insights into ongoing root research and phenotyping, 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 April 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