As many as 350 participants have come together, with over 100 foreign delegates from 25 countries for the International Conference on Photosynthesis and Hydrogen Energy Research for Sustainability organized by Department of Plant Science, School of Life Sciences, University of Hyderabad (UoH).
The five-day conference (30 October – 3 November) saw lectures on the utilization of solar energy by oxygenic photosynthesis, how this process allowed cyanobacteria, algae and higher plants to conquer the world and changed life on Earth in a dramatic way. While speaking on the principles of oxygenic photosynthesis, several speakers highlighted their recent results on the mechanism of water oxidation, including the bicarbonate effect and discussed the adaptations of photosynthesis to the environmental stresses, so as to sustain biomass production. There were interesting talks on artificial photosynthesis and its potential for producing solar fuels. Similarly, some of the talks discussed about the mechanisms of hydrogen energy production driven by sun-light and its cost effect improvement through research were also discussed.
Prof. Appa Rao Podile, Vice-Chancellor, UoH inaugurated the conference which has been organized in the honor of three eminent scientists in the field of photosynthesis, Professors A.S. Raghavendra (India), William A. Cramer (USA) and Govindjee (USA). These three scientists were felicitated for their life-time contributions by Prof. Appa Rao and the International Organizing Committee of the Conference.
The intensive program, spanning five days, helped to identify the applications of basic knowledge in photosynthesis to translational research, so as to improve biomass production, sources of alternative fuels, bio-engineering of solar cells. 28 young participants, including PhD students and postdocs were awarded 16 best poster and 12 best oral presentations.
The organizing secretary of this conference, Prof. S. Rajagopal, Dean of the School of Life Sciences, Prof. P. Reddanna, Head of the Department of Plant Sciences, Prof. Ch. Venkataramana, and Prof. Suleyman, Co-coordinator of this conference attended the valedictory function and addressed the gathering.