What We’re Reading: October 21

Featured Review: Update of Arabidopsis floral meristem formation ($) Genetic approaches using Arabidopsis have identified key players in the initiation and elaboration of floral meristems and flowers. These core findings are now expanded to encompass the roles of hormone fluxes and mechanical forces, and systems-wide modeling of gene regulatory networks. In this review, Denay et … Read more

EDITORIAL: The Plant Cell Begins Opt-in Publishing of Peer Review Reports

As of January 2017, The Plant Cell will offer authors the option of associating a Peer Review Report with each research article. Reviewer anonymity will be strictly maintained. The reports will include the major comments from reviewers and the editors’ decision letters along with the authors’ response to reviewers for each submission of the manuscript … Read more

Funding Opportunity: NSF Releases Solicitation for Transdisciplinary Research in Principles of Data Science (TRIPODS)

Last week, the National Science Foundation (NSF) released a solicitation for a new program, Transdisciplinary Research in Principles of Data Science (TRIPODS). This program aims to bring together the statistics, mathematics, and theoretical computer science communities to develop the theoretical foundations of data science through integrated research and training activities.  TRIPODS builds off existing investments … Read more

What We’re Reading: Oct 14th

Featured Review: Celebrating 150 years since Mendel’s Discoveries ($) This review describes Mendel’s seminal work and how it laid the foundation for today’s plant breeding (as well as all of genetics). Smýka et al. trace the evolution of our understanding from Mendel’s discrete traits through continuous traits and quantitative trait loci (including the contributions of … Read more

A Fresh Look at the Role of Auxin in PIN Trafficking

This Commentary, written by Emily Larson, is from the October issue of Plant Physiology. The spatial and temporal accumulation of auxins promotes and regulates polarized, gravitropic, and phototropic growth in plants. The proteins involved in initiating and maintaining the auxin gradients have been studied and remain active areas of research in the hormonal regulation of … Read more

Congratulations to Yoshinori Ohsumi

Warmest congratulations to Yoshinori Ohsumi, 2016 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, “for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy”.  Autophagy (self-eating) is a process through which cells selectively degrade and recycle cellular components. Ohsumi’s research has primarily focused on yeast, but he has also studied autophagy in plants. In fact, for the past twenty years  … Read more

iGRAD-Plant, the International Graduate School for Plant Science

Last week I was a guest of the PhD students of the iGRAD-Plant program, based at Heinrich Heine University (HHU), Düsseldorf (Germany). The program is an international joint PhD program with the nearby Research Center Jülich and the Genetics Program of Michigan State University. The program is funded by a grant (coordinated by Professor Andreas … Read more

Congress Averts Federal Government Shutdown and Passes CR

On September 28, Congress passed a continuing resolution (CR) to fund government operations through December 9.  With only two days to spare before the end of the fiscal year and a government shutdown, the bill passed with rare bipartisan support, with a Senate vote of 72-26 and a House vote of 342-85.  The CR funds … Read more

Recognizing featured Plant Cell first authors, September 2016

Recently, we’ve been profiling first authors of Plant Cell papers that are selected for In Brief summaries. Here are the first-author profiles from the September issue of The Plant Cell. Inmaculada Couso, featured first author of Synergism between inositol polyphosphates and TOR kinase signaling in nutrient sensing, growth control and lipid metabolism in Chlamydomonas Current … Read more

Nobel Fever strikes again

Every year at about this time we start to wonder who will be this year’s Nobel Prize recipients (the Prizes will be announced starting next Monday, October 3). Who are your predictions? As a reminder, here are some of the recent laureates (in Physiology or Medicine, or Chemistry) with their topics, taken from the wonderfully … Read more

Winning entries of the August 2016 “Teaching Tools Proposal” competition

We had many excellent proposals submitted for the fourth round of the “Teaching Tools in Plant Biology” competition, from which we selected five for further development. We’ve added another opportunity for you to submit your ideas for consideration as a Teaching Tools, deadline March 31, 2017 (see this for more information). Feel free to contact … Read more

In Brief. Field of genes: Uncovering Environmental Gene Regulatory Influence Networks in Rice that Function During High-temperature and Drought Stress

This Research in Focus is reprinted from an In Brief by Science Editor Jennifer Lockhart in The Plant Cell, which summarizes a new article by Wilkins et al. This study explores stress response networks in rice using by combining chromatin accessibility analysis with co-expression data and network inference algorithms. Heat and drought stress greatly restrict … Read more

ASPB Press Release: White House Announces Proposed Update to the Regulatory System for Biotechnology Products

Periodic review of the regulatory regime governing the use of biotechnology products is an important aspect of maintaining public safety and ensuring consumer confidence. (ASPB) appreciates the efforts of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture … Read more

In Brief. Swept Away: Protein Mobility in the Phloem

This Research in Focus is reprinted from an In Brief by Science Editor Jennifer Mach in The Plant Cell, which summarizes a new article by Paultre et al. This study explores how proteins move through the phloem. Transport of macromolecules through the phloem has received increasing interest since the discovery that FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) … Read more

New in Plant Physiology: Laticifer Function and Development

This Research in Focus is written by science writer Peter Minorsky (ASPB and Mercy College) who writes the monthly On the Inside column for Plant Physiology. This summary describes a paper by Castelblanque et al., in the October 2016 issue. Laticifers are specialized cells (or row of cells) that synthesize and accumulate latex. The latex … Read more

In Brief: A Breakthrough in Monocot Transformation Methods

This week’s Research in Focus is reprinted from an In Brief by Science Editor Nancy Hofmann in The Plant Cell, which summarizes a new article by  Lowe et al. This study uncovers a new way to transform and regenerate plants in culture, greatly increasing the efficiency. The method involves expressing genes that promote developmental transitions, … Read more

Educational Resources for plant biology. Longer accessible videos: TED talks, iBiology and Gatsby Plants Summer School lectures

Many schools and universities are embarking on a new academic year, so it’s a good time to remind you of some of the great resources available to help you teach (or learn) about plant biology. Many of these and others can be found at the ASPB’s Education and Outreach page. See also the American Phytopathological … Read more