International Vegetable Grafting Symposium, July 14 - 18, 2019

Keynote Speakers

Roni Cohen, Ph.D.Roni Cohen, Ph.D.
Senior Researcher, Division of Cucurbit Research and Breeding, the Agriculture Research Organization (ARO), Newe Ya'ar Research Center, Israel

Dr. Cohen received his Ph.D. in 1987 from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. His research interests are soil borne fungal diseases and powdery mildew of cucurbits. Roni is involved in introducing grafted plants to the Israeli agriculture as one of the alternatives of methyl bromide soil fumigation.

Keynote lecture: "Integration of grafting into sustainable crop production"

Ravishankar Manickam, Ph.D.Ravishankar Manickam, Ph.D.
Scientist and vegetable grafting specialist, the World Vegetable Center, Taiwan

Dr. Manickam obtained his Ph.D. in agricultural science in 2006 at Indian Agricultural Research Institute, India. After some years of research on plant-parasitic nematodes in Maharana Pratap University of Agricultural and Technology, he joined the World Vegetable Center’s South Asia office in 2006 and participated in many developmental projects with adoptive research including grafting. In 2017, he moved to the World Vegetable Center’s headquarters in Taiwan to take charge of the vegetable grafting project with the focus on developing rootstocks for biotic and abiotic stress and supporting outreach programs in the Center’s regional offices in Asian and African countries. He has published papers and book chapters on grafting, plant protection, integrated pest management, home gardens, and traditional vegetables.

Keynote lecture: "Vegetable grafting in promoting sustainable vegetable production in developing countries"

Rafael Meissner, Ph.D.Rafael Meissner, Ph.D.
CEO/CTO, Rootility, Israel

Dr. Meissner obtained B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Agriculture from Hebrew University and Ph.D. in Bio-genetics from Weizmann Institute. After working in Hazera Seeds as a pepper breeder and a regional production manager, Dr. Meissner founded Evogene, a biotechnology company based in Israel, and served as CEO and CTO for 1998-2005. In 2005, he founded Rootility and has been the CEO and CTO since then. Rootility develops and uses innovative root-focused plant breeding methods and has been recognized as one of top Israeli ag tech companies.

Keynote lecture: "Rootility's unique rootstock breeding system and the innovative applications"

Michitaka Notaguchi, Ph.D.Michitaka Notaguchi, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Nagoya University, Japan

Dr. Notaguchi is obtained his Ph.D. in Kyoto University, Japan in 2009 and worked as a postdoctoral scholar for 3 years at University of California Davis. Dr. Notaguchi is currently an Assistant Professor of Horticulture at Nagoya University Japan, studying molecular mechanisms of vegetable grafting and developing grafting microchip to enhance productivity, as described in his laboratory website.

Keynote lecture: "Systemic signaling in grafted plants - its molecular mechanisms and applications for overcoming interfamily grafting incompatibility"

Francisco Perez-Alfocea, Ph.D.Francisco Perez-Alfocea, Ph.D.
Research Scientist, the Department of Plant Nutrition at CEBAS-CSIC, Murcia, Spain

Dr. Pérez-Alfocea is leading a research group investigating applied and basic aspects in plant physiology of abiotic stresses in horticultural crops in general and tomato in particular. The research interest is focused on the understanding of the regulation of source-sink relations in the plant and their optimization to alleviate stress impact on crop productivity. A main line is the study of the root-to-shoot hormonal and nutritional communication and its influence on the regulation of source-sink relations to overcome abiotic stress conditions (salinity, drought, nutrient deficiency and temperature). His lab uses the existing natural and new biotechnological genetic variability of Solanum and other vegetable species as rootstocks to investigate the effects of such hormonal and nutritional signals on plant performance under individual and combined stresses, and on fruit quality (root metabolomic fingerprint). Dr. Pérez-Alfocea was coordinating the EU project Rootopower, member of the steering committee of the EU COST Action FA1204. He is currently chairing the ISHS working group on Vegetable Grafting, and was recently appointed the vice-chair of the ISHS Division on Vegetables, Roots and Tubers.

Keynote lecture: "Vegetable grafting addressing grand challenges"