About the virtual conference

Despite the physical distance imposed by the pandemic, the PSC symposium 2020 will bring the international plant science community together. This year’s PSC symposium will highlight the manifold interactions plants are engaged in. The interactions range from the molecular to the environmental level and are indispensable for development, reproduction, nutrient exploitation and disease resistance against pathogens. Interactions drive evolution and shape the natural communities. Studying plant connectivity at different levels, in a more contextual way and combining different disciplines is key to move forward in our understanding of the plant systems. This multidisciplinary research can be integrated in an ecological framework where optimal management of nature’s ecological functions and biodiversity may improve agricultural system performance, efficiency and farmers’ livelihoods.
PSC junior scientists are invited to present posters and flash talks. Poster awards will be given to the best posters chosen by participants and a scientific committee.


Registration is now open!

Registration is free of charge.

Registration extended till November 30th

Registration for Poster and Abstract till November, 20th

Submit the abstract for your poster by November 20th. If you want to have the opportunity to also give a presentation about your research, check the “flash talks” box as well. Posters can be uploaded on the conference day. Further information on the poster session will be released soon.

The best three abstracts of the flash talk submissions will be selected for a 10-minutes flash talk.




Session Speaker
9:00- 9:30
Prof. Bruno Studer
ETH Zurich, Chair of the Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center
Session 1: Plant-plant interactions
9:30 – 11:15
Auxin canalization in self-organizing plant development
Prof. Jiri Friml
IST Austria
Getting to the roots of plant resilience to salinity stress
Prof. Christa Testerink
University of Wageningen
Plants as pathogens
Prof. Susann Wicke
Humboldt-University of Berlin
Flash talk
Coffee break
11:15 – 11:45
Session 2: Plant-microbe interactions
11:45 – 13:30
Microbiome-induced epigenetic mechanism of heat stress tolerance in plants 
Prof. Heribert Hirt
The leaf microbiota: responses and impacts on plants
Prof. Julia Vorholt
ETH Zurich
What determines the diversity of pathogenic microbial communities in nature?
Prof. Anna-Liisa Laine
University of Zurich
Flash talk
Lunch and Poster Session
13:30 – 15:00
Session 3: Plant-Animal Interactions
15:00 – 16:45
On Growth and Form in Petals
Prof. Vivian Irish
Yale University
The role of floral traits in pollination and plant defense
Prof. Rebecca E Irwin
NC State University
Plant-animal mutualistic networks
Prof. Jordi Bascompte
University of Zurich
Flash talk
Poster awards and concluding remarks
16:45 – 17:00
Prof. Bruno Studer
ETH Zurich, Chair of the Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center
Online apéro
17:00 – 18.00