The 28th Annual Plant and Animal Genome Conference (PAG XXVIII) was held in San Diego, USA from 11-15 January. The conference gathered over 3,500 delegates from across the world with diverse interests in the fields of genome evolution, crop improvement, domestication, molecular breeding and many others. The conference boasted 1,100 poster presentations and talks, 130 exhibits, and 150 workshop sessions running in parallel across five days. Three FABIans and FMG members attended this year’s meeting; FMG Director Prof. Zander Myburg, postdoctoral researcher Dr Danielle Roodt and MSc student Ms Anneri Lötter. Prof Myburg and Dr Roodt presented talks in the Forest Tree Workshop, and Ms Lötter presented a poster on her MSc progress. Dr Roodt’s attendance was made possible through a Claude Leon Foundation Travel Grant and Ms Lötter was awarded a bursary from Oxford Nanopore Technologies to present her work at an international meeting. 

The meeting attracted many renowned scientists for discussions on the advances and advancement of plant science and offered opportunities to discuss the most recent developments in genomic analysis techniques and technologies with industry leaders. The plenary speakers and the titles of their talks were Director of the Cornell Alliance for Science Dr Sarah Evanega on “Embracing effective science advocacy”, Prof Eske Willerslev on “What we can learn from ancient genomics”, Prof Kimberley Cooper on “Super-mendelian inheritance mediated by CRISPR-Cas9 in the female mouse germline”, Prof Zachary Lippman on “Structural variant landscapes in plant genomes and their impact on evolution, domestication and breeding”, Prof Anne Stone on “Using ancient DNA to understand the evolutionary history of M. tuberculosis in humans and other animals”, and Prof Raphaël Mercier on “Tinkering with meiosis: To mix or not to mix”. These talks, the diverse workshop sessions and the gala dinner were highlights of this year’s PAG conference.