Best of 2016: Top Topics in The Plant Cell journal

15th December 2016

Our CoE publication "A Dominant Mutation in the HT1 Kinase Uncovers Roles of MAP Kinases and GHR1 in CO2-induced Stomatal Closure" was selected as one of the best research articles published in Plant Cell during 2016

Read article


Nordic Center of Excellence (NCoE)

A Nordic research funding agency Nordfosk has granted a Nordic Center of Excellence (NCoE) status in its Bioeconomy Programme to the University of Turku. A new NCoE on "Towards versatility of aquatic production platforms: unlocking the value of Nordic bioresources" (NordAqua) will be directed by Academy Professor Eva-Mari-Aro and will operate during 2017-2022.

More information (link 1)

More information (link 2)


The first national Synthetic Biology Seminar SynBio-GEN

The first national Synthetic Biology Seminar SynBio-GEN for graduate students will be organised by University of Turku and Tampere University of Technology. Seminar topics include: bioeconomy, synthetic antibodies, bacterial nanocellulose, alkane biosensors, plasmid integration sites, autotrophic production systems.

Place: Congress Center Mauno, Meeting room Manu, Biocity, Tykistökatu 6 A, 20520 Turku

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CoE PI meeting - Turku

12 December 2016

PI meeting will be organized in Mauno Conference Center, Turku.


Blog entry

10 November 2016

Prof. Eva-Mari Aro and Dr. Marjaana Suorsa were interviewed for a blog entry "Photosynthesis research - a fundamental tool in bioeconomy"

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The Nathan Edward Tolbert Lectureship - Michigan

2 November 2016

Prof. Eva-Mari Aro has been selected to give the Nathan Edward Tolbert Lectureship in Plant Biochemistry entitled "Regulation of Oxygen Evolving Photosynthesis- Evolutionary Considerations".


2nd CoE PhD student seminar

14 October 2016

The 2nd PhD student seminar day will be in Pharmacity, Turku


Article in Maaseudun Tulevaisuus

12 October 2016

Maaseudun Tulevaisuus published an article dealing with results of photosynthesis research in mosses "Sammalten erikoisesta yhteyttämisestä apua kasvinjalostukseen" (Special photosynthesis of mosses will aid plant breeding)

Read the article (in Finnish)


Arabidopsis genome editing

To the request of Prof. Aro concerning the CRISPR/Cas9 edited Arabidopsis mutant line, the Board of Gene Technology in Finland gave an interim decision: the CRISPR / Cas9 technique modified Arabidopsis psbS progeny lines, verified by whole genome sequencing not to contain foreign DNA, are not genetically modified organisms in the meaning of the Gene Technology Act (377/1995) and Gene Technology Decree (928/2004).

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Finnish-Japanese bilateral symposium

5-10 September 2016

Finnish-Japanese bilateral symposium "Integration of photosynthesis with cellular metabolism: towards sustainable bioeconomy", Lapland Hotel Riekonlinna, Saariselkä, Finland September 5-10, 2016. Organisers: Dr. Yagut Allahverdiyeva, Dr. Ryouichi Tanaka and Dr. Michael Wrzaczek.


CoE PI meeting - Helsinki

26 August 2016

Next CoE PI meeting will take place in Viikki campus, Helsinki


Photosynthesis "Plug and Play" workshop in Leiden

15-18 August 2016

Photosynthesis "Plug and Play" a Lorentz Center workshop in Leiden, The Netherlands August 15-18th 2016. Organisers: Eva-Mari Aro, Klaas Hellingwerf and Filipe Branco dos Santos


CoE SAB meeting

2-3 June 2016

The CoE SAB meeting will take place in Naantali Spa 2nd and 3rd of June 2016.


The 11th Finnish Plant Science Days (Kasvitieteen Päivät)

25-26 May 2016

The 11th Finnish Plant Science Days (Kasvitieteen Päivät) will be held at the University of Turku in May 25-26, 2016.

The Finnish Plant Science Days traditionally brings together plant scientists representing different research fields related to plants. The scientific program will highlight the research carried out at universities and research institutes in Finland. The oral and poster presentations aim to exchange information, raise interdisciplinary discussions, and promote future studies in both basic research as well as in applied plant biology. The official language of the congress will be English.

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Radio and TV interview

25 May 2016

The researchers of our CoE were interviewed in Radio Suomi/Turun radio and in News of South-Western Finland with topic "Genetic modification of plants and Finnish Plant Science Days"


Genome Editing Seminar

24 May 2016

The Finnish Academy of Science and Letters organized a seminar at UTU about Genome Editing, particularly focusing on the CRISPR/Cas technology. The program was put together by the past president of the Academy, Eva-Mari Aro.

See video


Article in Turun Sanomat

18 May 2016

Turun sanomat wrote an article about The 11th Finnish Plant Science Days.

Read the article (in Finnish)


Article in Yle tiede

11 May 2016

The researchers of our CoE were interviewed for the article “Tämä ei ole scifiä – suoria biopolttoaineita auringonvalosta” (This is not sci–fi – direct biofuels from the sunlight) in Yle tiede.

Read the article (in Finnish)


Science Advice For Europe

10-13 May 2016

Prof. EM. Aro is a board member of the European Academies of Science Advisory Council (EASAC), which gives science based advise to the policy makers in the European Council and the Parlament. Our CoE-related topics of discussions in EASAC's 15th Anniversary Celebration SCIENCE ADVICE FOR EUROPE, May 10.-13. 2016 in the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in Oslo, was the progress of the EASAC forthcoming science advisory reports on Genome Editing, Food and Nutrition Security and Agriculture, New Plant Breeding Techniques, Forest Sustainability and Circular Economy.

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Science program on Finnish radio

10 May 2016

Our CoE is represented on Yle Radio 1 in the program Tiedeykkönen "Suorat aurinkobiopolttoaineet mullistavat energiantuotannon" ("Direct solar biofuels revolutionize energy production").

Listen the program (in Finnish)


Conference on Algal and Plant Photosynthesis

23-25 April and 26-29 April 2016

As a part of two European Marie Curie ITNs called Photo.Comm and Accliphot ( and ) we are organising two conferences in Qawra (Malta) in April 2016.

ENCAPP16 is the inaugural "European Networks Conference on Algal and Plant Photosynthesis"; it touches on all aspects of photosynthesis, algal cultivation, plant metabolism, modeling etc. More information

YAS16: is the Third Edition of the Young Algaeneers Symposium;this is aimed at young researchers - from Masters students to first year Post-Docs- all working on algae biotechnology. More information


PhD Defence

22 April 2016

Ms. Hanna Help-Rinta-Rahko defends her PhD thesis "The interaction of auxin and cytokinin signalling regulates primary root procambial patterning, xylem cell fate and differentiation in Arabidopsis thaliana" on Friday 22nd April at at 12 noon in Auditorium 1041, Biocentre 2, Helsinki University. Her opponent will be Prof. Niko Geldner from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.


Science documentary in the Finnish television: The Future of Finland

27 March 2016

The next episode of science documentary The Future of Finland (Suomen tulevaisuus) will be screened in MTV3 channel in Finnish television 27th of March. Our CoE is represented in this episode, Renewable energy (Uusiutuva energia).
More information (in Finnish)
Watch the episode


CoE course on protein purification and kinase activity in plants

7-10 March 2016

The hands-on course will cover recombinant protein kinase purification by affinity chromatograhy, in-vitro kinase activity assays, phosphoproteomics and sample preparation for mass spectrometry. Participants are also encouraged to bring their own samples for protein purification and kinase activity assays.
Registration is open


CoE PI meeting - Turku

10 March 2016

Next CoE PI meeting will take place in Mauno Conference Center, BioCity, Turku.


First Coe-PhD meeting - Helsinki

4 March 2016

First meeting of the Coe-PhD seminar series organised by the PhD students will be held in Viikki campus, Helsinki 4th of March.
See picture


The Arnon Lecture - Berkeley

2 March 2016

Prof. Eva-Mari Aro has been selected to give the Arnon lecture of the year.

The Arnon Lecture honors the late Prof. Daniel I. Arnon (1910-1994). He is best known for his pioneering research in the fields of photosynthesis and plant nutrition. The lecture is held annually in early March. Speakers have made distinguished contributions to photosynthesis or a related field and are selected by the Arnon Lecture Committee.


Dissertation - Turku

26 February 2016

MSc Luca Bersanini defends his doctoral thesis "Alternative electron transfer routes involved in photoprotection of cyanobacteria" in Molecular Plant Biology, University of Turku. Professor Hans C. P. Matthijs (University of Amsterdam) acts as an opponent. The dissertation will take place in Arcanum1, University of Turku at 12:00.
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