International Plant & Animal Genome Conference / PAG 32 • January 10-15, 2025  •  San Diego, CA, USA

Due to the current pandemic circumstances, rising number of COVID-19 Omicron variant cases, and the importance of maintaining a safe and healthy environment for all those in attendance, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the Plant and Animal Genome Conference (PAG) for 2022.   
We are currently organizing a virtual PAG XXIX event via zoom, to replace the in-person conference planned in San Diego. Details regarding how to participate will be made available in the next 24 hours and posted online/sent via email. 
All plenary talks will be live-streamed via zoom to PAG XXIX attendees and exhibitors. We are currently working on broadcasting all scientific presentations available from speakers who wish to participate. (Workshop organizers will receive an email today regarding the process, please respond quickly to ensure your participation.)
All registered attendees will be offered a full credit to the 2023 meeting and our team will send details in a separate email. Please  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you require additional assistance.
We understand the importance of PAG to the global agricultural genome community and all those including our exhibitors, sponsors, and partners who were working hard to make this conference happen. It’s a tremendous disappointment and difficult decision to make, but with over 800,000 cases of COVID-19 in the US yesterday and signs that this number is continuing to increase, a large conference under these circumstances is not wise.
Thank you for your ongoing support of PAG, and we hope to see all of you in 2023.  

Book Your Room

We are excited that the $80 million Town and Country Hotel renovations are completed !

Cues from all eras of its 50 year history will be incorporated and celebrated to create a fresh new mid-century modern hotel. Rooted in a rich history, an oasis in Mission Valley, the re-imagined Town and Country San Diego will evoke a casual California aesthetic that draws tourists, conferences, and locals to seamless indoor/outdoor experiences. More connection with life, nature and the nostalgia of the past. 

The transformation will include:

  • 675 renovated guest rooms and suites
  • 258,100 square feet of renovated meeting space including a 41,000-square-foot Exhibit Hall, 24,000-square-foot
  • Atlas Ballroom and 17,000-square-foot Golden Pacific room with an abundance of breakout spaceTwo new pools including a Signature Zero Entry Pool!
  • Two Water Slides
  • Three new restaurants and lounges featuring Baja Coastal Cuisine, Lapper Pool and Sports Bar
  • New open-air lobby with stunning views overlooking the palm tree lined grounds
  • Communal Firepits throughout the property, sand volleyball courts and locally curated artwork.
  • New San Diego river park where guests can jog, relax and enjoy nature
hotel reno smAs of November 2020, the Town & Country Resort and Conference Center has fully completed their $90 million transformation, and eagerly awaits our return. They have renovated everything from top-to-bottom and have introduced of a host of new resort amenities.
This massive renovation includes new modern guest rooms and meeting spaces, and three new dining outlets including ARLO, its signature stand-alone destination restaurant serving up innovative scratchmade dishes inspired by regional flavors. Lapper is the resort’s poolside bar and eatery, and MRKT is an elevated fast-casual concept with grab-and-go offerings. The property also has a new Lobby Bar offering shared bites, inventive drinks and signature cocktails in a fun mid-century modern lounge.
The resort’s renovation has created an outdoor oasis with the addition of a 10,000 square foot pool complex complete with a zero-entry family pool, hot tub, children’s pool, and a four-story “Twister” waterslide, as well as a brand-new, three-acre Riverfront Park and state-of-the art penthouse fitness center.
I visited in early October, and can tell you it looks amazingly beautiful. You can view a slideshow of my hotel renovation photos, and I encourage you to visit the hotel's website and Facebook page for more details.
Darrin Scherago, CFO, Scherago International /PAG Conference Management

Jennifer Doudna
Winner of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with Emmanuelle Charpentier, for their pioneering work in CRISPR gene editing.

Jennifer Doudna will open the PAG XXIX Conference, Sunday January 9 at 6:15pm.
Dr. Jennifer A. Doudna currently holds the Li Ka Shing Chancellor’s Chair in Biomedical and Health Sciences at UC Berkley and is a member of the departments of Molecular and Cell Biology and Chemistry at UC Berkeley, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Gladstone Institutes and is president of the Innovative Genomics Institute (IGI).
She is credited as the co-inventor of CRISPR and was also the first to propose that enzymes from bacteria that control microbial immunity (CRISPR-Cas9) could be used for programmable editing of genomes.
In addition to her scientific achievements and eminence, Doudna is also a leader in public discussion of the ethical and other implications of genome editing for human biology and societies, and advocates for thoughtful approaches to the development of policies around the use of CRISPR-Cas9.

Due to COVID-19 related issues, Dr Doudna is not able to attend in person, and this talk will be presented live via multiple large screens in the Town and Country Ballroom. There will also be a Q&A session after the talk.





We are happy to announce that Ludovic Orlando, paleogeneticist and Director of the Centre for Anthropobiology and Genomics of Toulouse, CAGT,(France) will be a plenary speaker at PAG XXIX.

He will be presenting "The Genomic History of the Modern Domestic Horse: A Tale of Ancient Genomes" on Tuesday, January 11 at 8:45 AM.

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The following grants will be awarded during the opening comments before the Monday morning Plenary Session: Michael D. Gale Travel Grant Award, Jerome P. Miksche Travel Grant Award, Earl J. Scherago Travel Grant Award.

All other grants will be awarded at the Closing Banquet on Tuedsay, at PAG XXIX.


Scherago International Student Travel Grants Awards


Christian Persichilli
Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Food Sciences, University of Molise, Campobasso, Italy
Abstract: “Looking for Genomic Adaptation in Local Mediterranean Sheep Breeds”

Eduardo E. Rodriguez

Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida, USA
Abstract: “Genome-Wide Association and Gene Network Analysis of Brangus Beef Fatty Acid Composition”



Priscilla Denise Glenn
University of California, Davis, USA
Abstract:  “Identification and Characterization of a Natural Polymorphidm in FT-A2 Associated with Increased Number of Grains per Spike in Wheat”

Ashley G. Yow
North Carolina State University, Plants for Human Health Institute, NC
Abstract:  “An Improved High-Quality Genome Assembly and Annotation of Pineapple Cultivar MD2”

Atit Parajuli
Washington State University, USA
Abstract:  "Bulked Exome Capture Sequencing Identified Numerous Genetic Loci Associated with Alfalfa Growth Vigor during Self-Pollination Inbreeding"


Michael D. Gale Travel Grant Award

Maxim Messerer
Helmholtz Center Munich, German Research Center for Environmental Health (GmbH), Germany
Abstract: "A Dynamic Epigenomic Landscape in Synthetic Hybrid Wheat Establishes Stable Changes in Gene Expression"


Jerome P. Miksche Travel Grant Award

Valentin Hammoudi
Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
Abstract: "Characterization of SPPiDDR, a DNA-Damage Responsive 'lncRNA'"


Earl J. Scherago Travel Grant Award

Gokhan Hacisalihoglu
Florida A&M University, USA
Abstract: "Genomics of Soybean Response to Phosphorous Stress"


Neal A. Jorgensen Genome Travel Awards


Gabriel Antonio Zayas Santiago
University of Florida, USA
Abstract:  "Identification of Breed of Origin Runs-of-Homozygosity and their Effect on Meat Traits in the Multibreed Angus-Brahman Herd"

Emory Pacht 
University of Vermont, USA
Abstract:  "Identification of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine Markers Across Four Tissues in the Cattle Brain"

Lihe Liu
University of Wisconsin - Madison, USA
"Maternal Diet Induces Persistent Epigenetic Changes in the Muscle of Beef Calves"

Emmanuel André Lozada-Soto
North Carolina State University, USA
Abstract:  "
Current State of Inbreeding, Genetic Diversity, and Selection History in All Major Breeds of U.S. Dairy Cattle"



Matthew J. Jevit
Texas A&M University, USA
Abstract:  Trio-Binning of Horse-Donkey F1 Hybrid Improves Horse and Donkey Reference Genomes.”



Ziqing Wang
University of Delaware, USA
Abstract:  "Integrative Transcriptomic and Metabolomic Study of Wooden Breast Disease In Commercial Broilers Chickens"



Morgan Stegemiller
University of Idaho, USA
Abstract:  "Comparison of US Sheep Breeds through Genotyping and Whole Genome Sequencing"



Henry Pratt
UMass Chan Medical School, USA
Evolution and Pathophysiologic Impact of Mammalian Transcription Factor Binding Sites"

Fei Zhang
Michigan State University, USA
Abstract:  "Gut Microbiota Associated with Host Feeding Behavior and Microbial Prediction of Growth And Carcass Traits in Swine"

He Yuqing
North Carolina State University, USA
Abstract: "Mapping Splice QTLs Reveals Distinct Transcriptional and Post-Transcriptional Regulatory Variation of Gene Expression in Pigs"



Brandi Sparling
West Virginia University,USA
"Identification of Immunoglobulin-Like Receptors in the Chicken Genome that are Associated with Disease Resistance"



Aquaculture Species Group Student and Postdoctoral Fellowship Bursaries

Jasmine Alia Richman
Washington State University, WA, USA
Abstract: “Investigating the Activin Receptor Signaling Pathway as a Key Regulator of Muscle Growth Following Whole Genome Duplication Events”

Yaamini R. Venkataraman

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, MA, USA
Abstract: “Polyploidy and Environmental Stress Have Distinct Impacts on Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) ctenidia methylomes”

Homère J. Alves Monteiro

Denmark Technical University, Denmark
Abstract: “How Many Parents You Got? Parental Contribution in Flat Oyster's Hatchery”

Likith Reddy Pinninti

Nord University, Norway
Abstract: “De novo Transcriptome Assembly of Lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus L.) Brain Towards Understanding Their Social and Cognitive Behavioural Traits”



We are pleased to offer various travel grants which each provide an award amount towards travel expenses, along with complimentary registration to the conference.

Descriptions and eligibility requirements for each grant will announced and online in August 2024, and the application submission deadline will be late October 2024.

Travel Grant Applications for PAG 32 will be available August 2024.

PAG 31 Travel Grant Winners

The following grants were awarded during the opening comments before the Monday Plenary Session on January 15, 2024: Michael D. Gale Travel Grant Award, Jerome P. Miksche Travel Grant Award, Earl J. Scherago Travel Grant Award. All other grants were awarded at the PAG 31 Closing Banquet, January 17, 2024.


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Above: Conference Organizer Darrin Scherago, and Organizing Committee Chairman Stephen Heller present awards at the PAG 31 Closing Banquet.

Scherago International Student Travel Grants Awards

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Above: Scherago International Student Travel Grants Award Winner (Animal) Chiara Gini

Animal (2)

Chiara Gini

University of Milan, Italy
Abstract: Benchmarking Bioinformatic Pipelines and Microbial Databases for the Analysis of Bovine 16S rRNA-Gene Sequencing Data

Xolile Nuse
University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Abstract: Identification of Genomic Regions Associated with Resistance to Heartwater Disease in South African Indigenous Goats Using Genome-Wide Association Study

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Above: Scherago International Student Travel Grants Award Winners (Plant) Dominique Hirsz and Sven Weber

Plant (4)

Dominique Hirsz

University of Leeds, United Kingdom
Abstract: VRNturing into the Unknown: Dissecting the Role of VERNALIZATION2 (VRN2) in Climate Adaptation

Dominic Mogere
Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Kenya
Abstract: Development of Event-Specific Field Detection Method for Late Blight Resistant Biotech Potatoes

Mary Njeri Mwangi
Kenyatta University/International Potato Center, Kenya
Abstract: Development of Bacterial Wilt Resistant Potato Using Efr, Roq1 and Jim2 Genes

Sven Weber
Dept. of Plant Breeding Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Germany
Abstract:  Breeding for N-efficient Oilseed Rape: The Role of Plant Architecture 


Michael D. Gale Travel Grant Award

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Alok Das

ICAR Indian Institute of Pulses Research, India
Abstract: Targeted mutation of Efl1 (Early flowering locus 1) using CRISPR/Cas9 for early flowering in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.)

Jerome P. Miksche Travel Grant Award

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Muhammad Shahidul Haque

Bangladesh Agricultural University, Bangladesh
Abstract:  Higher Expression of TaGSK1 and TaNIP Genes Re-confirms Salt Tolerance Revealed by Hydroponic Screening of Bangladeshi Wheat at Seedling Stage


Earl J. Scherago Travel Grant Award

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Yasmine Lam

The University of Queensland, Australia
Abstract:  Catching Fruitful Traits in Sorghum: CRISPR/Cas9 Mutants Reel in Desirable Traits By Altering Plant Architecture


Neal A. Jorgenson Genome Travel Awards

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Above: Neal A. Jorgenson Genome Travel Award Winners Michael Addo, Sarem Khilji, Jennifer Richter, Mary Kate Hollifield.


Michael Addo
University of Alabama, USA
Abstract: Low Methionine Availability During In Vitro Muscle Growth Alters Circadian-Regulated Gene Expression Patterns in Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Sarem Khilji
University of Idaho, USA
Abstract: Transcript Expression Profiles in Bovine Tissues: Insights from RNA-Seq in Angus Cattle

Madison Henniger
University of Tennessee, USA
Abstract: Unveiling Host Genetic Control of the Rumen Microbiome

Lauren Johnson
Gluck Equine Research Center, University of Kentucky, USA
Abstract: Equine - Functional Impact of Putatively Identified Introgressed Alleles within the Horse Genome

Jennifer Richter
University of Georgia, USA
Abstract: Reviewing the Trait Definition and Genetic Background of Mortality in Broilers

Johan Cullen
University of Minnesota, USA
Abstract: Simplified, Swift, and Modular Containerized Workflows for Short-read Sequencing Data Processing, Variant Discovery, and Annotation

Mary Kate Hollifield
University of Georgia, USA
Abstract: Estimating Genetic Parameters of Digital Behavior Traits and Its Relationship with Production Traits in Purebred Pigs


Aquaculture Species Group Student and Postdoctoral Fellowship Bursaries

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Above: Aquaculture Species Group Student and Postdoctoral Fellowship Bursaries Winner Eric Ignatz.

Eric Ignatz
Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada
Abstract: Regional Differences in Upper Thermal Tolerance and Transcriptomic Profiles of Blue Mussels (Mytilus edulis)

Nithin Sankappa
USDA-ARS /Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, USA
Abstract: Transcriptomic Response and Gene Co-Expression Network Analyses of White Bass (Morone chrysops) After Being Fed Protein Substitution Diets Toward a More Sustainable Aquaculture


The ICSB James E. Irvine Memorial Travel Award

Seema Yadav
University of Queensland, Australia
Abstract: Optimising Genomic Selection for Sugarcane


PAG 31 Final Banquet Raffle Winners

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Raffle Winners photographed with conference organizer Darrin Scherago: Richard Edem, name unknown, Colton Nichols, Ademola Aina