The International Society of Protistology (ISEP) is a group comprised of approximately 400 scientists & students from around the world. In the year 2000 the ISEP will convene in Ceske Budejovice for its thirteenth biannual conference (ISEP-13). The aim of the ISEP-13 conference is to bring together leading scientists & many graduate students from various fields of current biology (molecular biology, evolution, parasitology, botany, protozoology) that are interested in the study of unicellular organisms-protists. The protists not only represent the most ancient & diverse group of eukaryotes, but also include numerous free-living species that are present in all environments as well as members, which are important parasites of plants, & animals including humans. In the last few years several important discoveries made by studying protists (RNA editing, trans-splicing, genome rearrangements, ribozymes, organellar transport, changes of the surface antigen) have had a major influence on progress in the field of molecular & cellular biology.
Therefore, protists are becoming important model organisms in modern biology. The program of the conference will be focused on recent trends in evolutionary protistology,the most significant being phylogenetic analyses based on ribosomal RNA & conserved protein sequences, the nature of the apicoplast & other newly described DNA-containing organelles, the evolution of mitochondrion & hydrogenosome, genome rearrangements, evolution of RNA editing & kinetoplast DNA, & protistan models of basic cell functions, such as motility, cell division & protein posttranslational modifications. The previous twelve conferences of the ISEP have shown that the interdisciplinary approach is fostered by such meetings & that great advances in our collective understanding of cell evolutions are the result.