Invited by Prof. Maher Gtari and Associate Prof. Faten Ghodhbane from the organizing committee, Prof. Zhong Chonglu, research fellow of Research Institute of Tropical Forestry participated in 19th International Meeting on Frankia and Actinorhizal Plants, held in Hammamet, Tunisia, from 16th to 21st Mar 2018. This Meeting was held together with 3rd International Microbiology Conference. More than 120 scientists from countries including China, U.S., U.K., France, Sweden, Portugal, Argentina, India, Senegal, Egypt and Algeria attended the Meeting.
Prof. Zhong Chonglu made a presentation titled “Research and use of actinorhizal plant casuarina trees in China” and hosted the sub-session on Plant-Microbe interactions.
The Meeting produced several highlights. A U.S. scientist reported that he successfully transmitted GFP into frankia, providing new techniques for research on infection, mechanism and functions of frankia, which can be used to identify whether transformation is successful and whether root nodule is fluorescent. A Tunisian scientist presented results on treatment of domestic wastewater and heavy-metal-concentrated areas by casuarina. Although it is merely the result of preliminary laboratory experiments and small-scale application, it provides new ideas for the application of casuarina. Research and use of actinorhizal still has potential, which requires developing bacteria resistant to harsh environment to apply it in vaccination of tree species in plantations.
During the Meeting, Prof. Zhong Chonglu was invited to attend the session on Applying for potential international cooperation programs in research on frankia and actinorhizal plants, such as the EU H2020 plan. The scientists proposed cooperation content, in which casuarina was one of the subjects. The application was agreed to be drafted by Prof. Katharina Pawlowski from Sweden. Scientists from U.S., Sweden, Portugal, Argentina, U.K., China and Tunisia attended the discussion. It was expected that China could join in and strengthen training for young scientists.
The sessions and academic progress of the Meeting can contribute to coastal shelterbelts and plantations development in southeastern China, and provide technical support for tree species improvement, nurturing and sustainable management in coastal shelterbelts in China.
The Meeting decided to host 20th International Meeting on Frankia and Actinorhizal Plants two years later in Japan.