The objective of Plasmid Biology 2002 is to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas that are critical for the continued advances in the field of contemporary plasmid biology. Plasmids are a major source of genetic diversity in bacteria and are responsible for the spread of a variety of genes in nature, including those encoding antibiotic resistance and pathogenicity in humans, animals and plants. In addition, the important role that plasmids play in several industries, including those relevant to food and agriculture, are important areas that are in critical need of continued discussions by researchers in the area of plasmid biology.
Plasmid Biology 2002 will be attended by approximately 150 scientists from USA as well as from the rest of the world. The meeting will include a discussion of all aspects of basic and applied plasmid biology such as their replication and maintenance, transfer, their role as a source of horizontal gene pool, including antibiotic resistance and virulence genes, involvement in bacterial pathogenicity, plasmids as tools in industries related to biotechnology, food, agriculture and medicine, and plasmid evolution and ecology. Participants will include both senior scientists as well as younger scientists such as graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.
The objectives of the Plasmid Biology 2002 Symposium are to bring together scientists working in all the areas of basic and applied plasmid biology to discuss the latest progress and advances in the field. Plasmids represent a unique group of extrachromosomal genetic elements that are important tools for industrial applications relevant to agriculture, medicine and biotechnology. Plasmids are a major source of genetic diversity in bacteria and are responsible for the spread of a variety of genes in nature, including those encoding toxins and antibiotic resistance in humans, animals and plants. Many food-borne diseases in humans and animals are caused by contamination of the food with bacteria containing plasmids that encode toxins. Discussions at Plasmid Biology 2002 will include: mechanisms involved in stable maintenance and spread of plasmids; use of plasmids to develop modified bacterial strains that are used for fermentation of dairy food such as cheese and yogurt; the role of symbiotic plasmids found in bacteria such as Rhizobium that are involved in nitrogen fixation in the plants; the mechanism by which the Ti plasmid of Agrobacterium tumefaciens causes tumors in plants; the use of the Ti plasmids to introduce beneficial genes into plants; biological mechanisms involved in the spread of plasmid-borne antibiotic resistance and disease causing genes in animals and humans. It is hoped that new knowledge obtained from a rigorous discussion of plasmid biology by experts in the field would be beneficial to agriculture, medicine and biotechnology.