Barley Mutant Workshop 2018

Lead Research Organisation: University of Dundee
Department Name: School of Life Sciences



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Description There is a great sense of community amongst barley scientists and desire to work together and avoid duplication. This was amply demonstrated in this workshop and has impacted many emerging ECRs by expanding their research networks and visibility in the community. Another Workshop was tentatively planned to take place either in Sweden or Japan in 2021 but this currently looks unlikely.
Exploitation Route Our hope is that it will inspire the next generation of barley researchers, enabling new relationships to flourish and new partnerships/networks to emerge. Looking at the literature over the past 3 years indicates that the community, including ourselves, is actively using barley mutants to explore a wide range of biological topics.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Education,Environment

Description The Workshop was a fantastic opportunity to build community and to hear about all the fantastic biology that has been enabled by the exploitation of, largely legacy, barley genetic stocks - and to hear about new resources coming on stream. Many papers by groups that attended the workshop and who have used some of the advanced approaches and resources discussed at the workshop have now been published and I expect this to continue into the future for some years to come. A further meeting is still planned in either Sweden or Japan but has been postponed due to COVID. We wait to see the impact of the emerging conflict in Ukraine on groups getting together in the near future.
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Education,Environment
Description BMW2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact The iBMW2018 workshop ( was run over three and a half days from Registration on the evening of Sunday 24th June to a conclusion on the evening of Wednesday 27th June. The meeting involved a blend of classical presentations interspersed with poster sessions, relaxed social mixer events, an extended discussion to explore and prioritise future community wide initiatives and a tour of local Perthshire, encouraging personal interactions and collaborations.
A copy of the final program is given in Appendix I. The event was given a significant presence on social media by the organising group and by the participants themselves, and an extensive collection of photographs of the event has been collated. Success will also be reflected in an article on the front page of the JHI website.
A total of 95 scientists from all career levels attended the workshop, with 30 presenting talks and 30 presenting scientific posters. 44 attendees were from the UK and the remainder from overseas. Gender balance was good: X/Y of overall attendees were female, 7/14 of the invited talks were given by females and 14/29 of the talks overall were given by females. The open discussion session was chaired by a mixed panel (2+2). The overall gender balance was welcomed by all and led to a dynamic set of interactions. A list of attendees is given in Appendix II
We awarded four £100 prizes for the best posters. These were selected by three elder statespersons from the barley mutant research community and who's work from the 1950's till 1990's laid the foundations for much of the gene discovery science discussed during the meeting (Udda Lundqvist, Michele Stanca and Jerry Franckowiak). Two winners were from overseas, two from the UK (2 males, 2 females).
Some e-mail feedback from the attendees included:
Matt Tucker (Adelaide): Thanks for organising the meeting. It was great. I met some cool people and think we can do some really nice science together.
Alessandro Tondelli (CREA, Italy): 'thanks again for organizing a very nice workshop!'
Martin Mascher (IPK Germany): 'I enjoyed the mutant workshop a lot. The quality of the talks was excellent and the organization was impeccable'
While we heard some fantastic up-to-date science, in the discussion sessions we agreed that the focus was now perhaps a little narrow. We therefore agreed that a future workshop will in 4 years time should embrace the broader topic of 'Natural and Induced Variation'. This would meet two major objectives - broadening scope for the scientific community and improving the appeal to commercial organisations who we found were generally reluctant to associate with a workshop with the word 'mutant' in the title. Nevertheless we did receive welcomed sponsorship from a number of organisations whos logos are shown as displayed in the programme in Annex I. Sponsorship was acknowledged at the start of the workshop and their logos displayed between talks and at all breaks. In addition to the financial support, two other contributions are worthy of specific mention: The workshop would not have been the success it was without excellent organisational contributions from the Dundee and Angus Conventions Bureau (esp. Tracy Duncan), AND a combination of gluten free pilsner lager (Pioneer) and a wonderful selection of diverse beers from Brewdog were thoroughly enjoyed by all who took part - winning many new and appreciative followers from amongst the participants.

There were 5 main outcomes that will be important for this community moving forward:
1. There was collective momentum to develop an international strategy for federated sequence characterisation of barley mutant populations and the deposition of data in a central database along with metadata to promote access to associated germplasm.
2. We set up a working group to lead on the development of key transgenic reporter gene lines to assist in interpreting biological perturbations at the tissue and cellular level (e.g. Hormone reporters)
3. We agreed to scope the long term objective of developing a genome wide single gene knockouts based on CRISPR -Cas.
4. We discussed 'plant gene nomenclature' and agreed that a radical change from current crop specific nomenclature would not work - rather a gradual move slowly towards an integrated system would be desirable but would require agreement from across the plant community. Continued use of crop specific synonyms was encouraged in the short term.
5. Finally, we agreed to hold a Natural and induced Variation workshop in 4 years time
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018