Cell biology at the plant–microbe interface

Eden Hotel Wolff, Munich, Germany

29 November – 1 December 2015

36th New Phytologist Symposium logo: Cell biology at the plant–microbe interface


Thank you to all of the speakers and delegates who attended the 36th New Phytologist Symposium, ‘Cell biology at the plant–microbe interface’, held at  the Eden Hotel Wolff, Munich, Germany, 29 November – 1 December 2015. We really enjoyed the meeting, and hope that you did too. Keep checking this page for updates from the meeting.



HPW signature  

Helen Pinfield-Wells
Deputy Managing Editor, New Phytologist


Meeting report

Read the Meeting report, published in New Phytologist 211:1:

Seeing is believing: cell biology at the plant–interface


Abstract book

Download the 36th NPS abstract book 


Poster prizes

The winner of the 36th New Phytologist Symposium poster prize was Libera Lo Presti from the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, with her poster 'An assay for entry of pathogen effectors into host cells?' Congratulations Libera!


The runners up were:

Kasia Dinkeloo from Virginia Tech, with her poster 'Identifying mechanisms of nutrient transport from plants to biotrophic pathogens'


Guillaume Robin, winner of the 36th New Phytologist Symposium poster prizeGuillaume Robin from INRA, with his poster 'Subcellular localization reveals new targets and functions for Colletotrichum higginsianthum effectors'.

Download Guillaume's poster.






Well done to both of our runners up - the poster competition was tightly contested!


Symposium social media

Catch up with all the Tweets from the Symposium with our Wakelet:



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Symposium aim

We aimed to organize a cutting edge meeting focused on the application of cell biology approaches to understand the mechanisms that diverse microbes use to manipulate plant cells to benefit their life styles. The meeting brought together researchers working on a broad spectrum of microbes across different taxa (bacteria, fungi, oomycetes) that form a variety of different interactions (pathogenic, symbiotic) with plant organs/tissues (leaves, roots). With the explosion in microbial/host genome sequences and the identification of genes/proteins involved in these interactions, the focus of the field is moving rapidly towards using cell and molecular biology techniques and new imaging technologies to understand the molecular dialogue between plants and their microbial pathogens/symbionts.


Symposium rationale and scope

Plant organs are subject to colonisation and manipulation by microbes, and this requires reprogramming of host cell biology to accommodate microbial structures within tissues/cells and to mediate responses for proper immunity or for symbiosis. Host cell biology changes during microbial invasion were first reported more than 100 years ago based on microscopy studies revealing that many microbes project structures (haustoria, arbuscules) into plant cells that are enveloped with a specialized plant-­derived membrane and evidence now suggests an intimate molecular exchange takes place across these membrane interfaces. However, recent identification of some of the molecular players in these interactions is only now providing appropriate tools to analyse these events. The symposium focused on advances in understanding the molecular interactions that occur between a microbe and its host at a cellular and subcellular level, such as:


  • how root and leaf cells accommodate microbial structures through biogenesis of specialized plant derived membranes,
  • microbial invasion and spreading strategies (via stomata, roots, vasculature, plasmodesmata),
  • the dynamic localization of cell surface and cytosolic receptors recognizing microbial signals
  • the reprogramming of host membrane trafficking (focal accumulation, secretion),
  • the delivery of microbial molecules from fungal and oomycete species into plant cells.



Please feel free to download, use, print, and/or distribute the official 36th New Phytologist Symposium promotional materials:

36th NPS flyer

36th NPS poster

For printed versions please contact us at np-symposia@lancaster.ac.uk.


Cell biology at the plant–microbe interface logo produced by APPS