Hearing Update: House Agriculture Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research Holds Hearing to Discuss Agricultural Research

Lewis-Burke Associates LLC – March 24, 2017 On March 16, the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research held a hearing to discuss agricultural research programs and priorities: one of a series of hearings to examine all titles of the next farm bill.  Witnesses included Dr. Jay Akridge, Dean of the College of Agriculture … Read more

What We’re Reading: March 24

Have you seen an exciting new paper you’d like to summarize for the community? Contact Mary Williams to inquire about contributing to this series! Reviews: Nature Insight: Plants ($) Nature journal published a special “Plant Insights” section featuring several excellent reviews.  Zipfel and Oldroyd review Plant signalling in symbiosis and immunity (10.1038/nature22009), Bevan et al. … Read more

A community repository of plant illustrations

Guest post by Erin Sparks, Guillaume Lobet, Larry York and Frédéric Bouché It is midnight on a cold winter evening and you are scheduled to give a seminar at 8 am the next morning. All you are missing to complete your presentation is one last graphic to illustrate your conclusions. You wearily open Adobe Illustrator, … Read more

President’s Letter: How Should We Speak Up?

Now that we have all had a chance to learn a bit more about the Trump administration and its positions on science, it is time to launch the inevitable conversation about how best to respond. The appointment of Robert F. Kennedy to lead a task force to evaluate the safety of vaccines (Phillip et al., … Read more

What We’re Reading: March 17

Review: Methods of cell-specific hormone analysis ($) Plant hormones are active at very small quantities and often act differently in different cell types. Various methods, primarily involving mass spectrometry and sensors, have been developed to identify and quantify hormones with cellular-level precision. Novák et al. review these methods and discuss their strengths and limitations, as … Read more

Introducing Plant Direct

As the editor-in-chief, I am excited to introduce Plant Direct (plantdirectjournal.org), a new journal from Wiley and the societies behind Plant Physiology, The Plant Journal, and The Plant Cell. Although there is a crowded landscape of journals to choose from, we believe that Plant Direct fills an unserved role for the plant community. We seek to be the … Read more

Engineers, plant biologists, and data scientists assembled in Tucson for the inaugural Phenome 2017 conference

The inaugural Phenome 2017 conference was held February 10-14, 2017 in beautiful Tucson, AZ. The theme, “Connecting the Bioeconomy,” was developed as a direct outcome of the Plant Science Decadal Vision publication (2013) and was organized by the National Plant Science Council and the North American Plant Phenotyping Network, with meeting management provided by ASPB. … Read more

What We’re Reading: March 10

Review: The increasing impact of activity-based protein profiling in plant science Activity-based protein profiling is a proteomics approach that involves covalently labeling reporter tags to subsets of proteins based on their active sites. Morimoto and van der Hoorn define different types of probes and the types of proteins that they bind to. Activity profiling can … Read more

What We’re Reading: March 3

Update: Stomatal biology of CAM plants Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) plants open their stomata at night, decreasing water loss and increasing water-use efficiency as well as drought tolerance. Males and Griffiths review the stomatal biology of CAM plants as compared to C3 plants. For example, CAM stomata are relatively insensitive to blue light, which is … Read more

Translating the Chemical Language of Plants

In the third major symposium of Plant Biology 2017, researchers from around the world will come together to share their insights into the chemical vocabulary of plants at a dedicated session, “The Chemical Dictionary of Plants: Origin and Translation”. Organizers Eran Pichersky (University of Michigan) and Natalia Dudareva (Purdue University) have lined up a diverse … Read more

Evolution of Cellular Development Symposium at Plant Biology 2017

The second major symposium of Plant Biology 2017, organized by Liam Dolan from the University of Oxford, is titled “Evolution of Cellular Development”. Symposium attendees will hear how new discoveries into the genetic regulation of development have provided fascinating insights into plant evolution. When plants first colonized the land, they evolved a suite of novel … Read more

A Balanced Diet: Agricultural Productivity and Sustainable Nitrogen and Phosphorous Use

The first major symposium of Plant Biology 2017, organized by Michael Udvardi of The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, is titled “Away from the Brink – Towards the Sustainable Use of N and P in Agriculture”. Session attendees will be presented with a range of creative solutions for ensuring continued agricultural productivity while managing nitrogen and … Read more

Oahu for Plant Biologists

In addition to well-known opportunities for swimming, surfing, hiking, fine dining, and examining local culture, the Hawaiian Islands offer a range of destinations for the plant-minded. Oahu, the site of Plant Biology 2017, has a wealth of natural parks, botanic gardens, and other fascinating opportunities to see native and cultivated plants by visiting one of … Read more

New Competition! Teaching Tools in Plant Biology pre-proposals: 30 April 2017

Have you got a passion for plant science that you are eager to share? Do you have a favorite paper, experiment, topic, or method that you like to share with undergraduates? Have you found a clever way to engage students and stimulate their curiosity? We want to hear your ideas for new content for The … Read more

What We’re Reading: February 24

Insight: Why we need more non-seed plant models There is much to be learned from comparing plant genomes, but as Rensing writes, currently available genomic data are skewed heavily towards angiosperms. He argues that a richer understanding of plant evolution depends upon gaining insights into the non-seed plants, including ferns, mosses and liverworts, but particularly … Read more

Recognizing featured Plant Cell first authors, January 2017

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 December issue of The Plant Cell. Michael Sandmann, featured first author of Targeting of A. thaliana KNL2 to centromeres depends on the conserved CENPC-k motif in its C-terminus Current Position: PhD … Read more

What We’re Reading: February 10

Review: Plant diversity change across scales during the Anthropocene ($) We’re living in the Anthropocene, a term that reflects the profound impact of human activities on Earth’s geology and ecology. A hallmark of the Anthropocene is a decrease in biodiversity due to an increase in the rate of extinctions. Vellend et al. examined how plant … Read more