The first joint meeting of the Spanish and French Societies for Developmental Biology (Sociedad Española de Biología del Desarrollo, SEBD and Société Française de Biologie du Développement, SFBD) was held in November 2009 in the city of Toulouse (France). International Joint Developmental Biology meetings have now become a tradition within Europe. The most recent were organised by SFBD with the British, Swiss and Japenese Societies for Developmental Biology, and by the SEBD with the British Society (Hidalgo and Martín-Bermudo, 2009). This year, two other large European meetings, the International Society of Developmental Biologists (ISDB) Meeting in Edinburgh, and the European Drosophila Conference in Nice, influenced the attendance of the SFBD/SEBD meeting, such that attendance was slightly lower than at previous joint meetings, making it perfect for both a friendly and studious meeting. It fostered fruitful discussion between students/post-docs and group leaders, often a challenge in large meetings. Over 150 conference delegates from around Europe, with 24 invited speakers, including a keynote speaker, all presented very high quality, largely unpublished data. The meeting was divided into 6 sessions with a combination of invited speakers and selected speakers from abstract submissions. The sessions were: Tissue regeneration in Evo/Devo models, Metabolism and Tissue Growth, Tissue patterning, Hematopoieisis, Myogenesis and Neurogenesis, all linked by a strong focus on stem cell biology, in animal and plant model organisms. There was a very stimulating keynote address by Andreas Trumpp, Heidelberg, on Cancer Stem Cells: concepts, facts and prospects for therapies. There were three poster sessions, with altogether 75 poster presentations.