The 2016 Editors' choice of Nature – category Genomics – goes to ‘The genome of the seagrass Zostera marina reveals angiosperm adaptation to the sea’. This is a publication of an international research team co-led by Yves Van de Peer (VIB - UGent) and Jeanine Olsen (GELIFES, University of Groningen).

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The genomics revolution has been steering plant life sciences for more than a decade now. At the VIB Conference 'At the Forefront of Plant Research' participants have the opportunity to reflect and look ahead to new opportunities on the horizonThe aim of this conference, taking place on June 15-16, 2017 at the Zebrastraat in Ghent, is to unite leaders from a wide range of pioneering research topics, to give a glimpse of where plant science will lead us to in the coming decade.

As a follow-up of the ad hoc gathering in Hamburg (May 2016), we are pleased to invite you for the next ‘European Molecular Maize Symposium’ in Ghent, Belgium from May 3rd to 5th, 2017. The aim of this event is to bring together European researchers studying molecular aspects using Zea mays as a model system. We are very pleased that Jianbing Yan (Huazhong Agricultural University in China) accepted to be our keynote speaker. We look forward to welcome you in Ghent and to discuss exciting scientific progress.

Professor Shu-Chen Grace Chen Lectureship for Dirk Inzé

Dirk Inzé is the first European to receive the 'Grace Chen Lectureship Award' in Taiwan, China. This lectureship was awarded by the Institute of Plant and Microbial Biology of the Academia Sinica for this talk entitled 'The Complexity of Drought Stress Responses in Arabidopsis and Maize'.

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Drought is the most important cause of reduced plant growth and crop yield, which makes insights into a plant’s drought response highly valuable to agriculture. A team of VIB and UGent researchers set out to shed more light on this vital topic through. This research, led by Dirk Inzé (VIB-UGent), provided insights into how plants cope with water-limiting conditions, which can direct advanced breeding and genome engineering efforts to create high-performing, drought-tolerant crop plants.

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