Applications open for 2017-2018 Plantae Fellows

Are you a creative, articulate and web-savvy plant scientist looking to connect with other like-minded folks? We need your help to nurture and grow Plantae, the online community for the global plant science community.  We are looking for individuals who are interested in being highly engaged contributors by curating content and facilitating discussions. The benefits … Read more

Recognizing featured Plant Cell first authors, May 2017

Jennifer Wisecaver, featured first author of A Global Co-expression Network Approach for Connecting Genes to Specialized Metabolic Pathways in Plants Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Biological Sciences, Vanderbilt University. Education: PhD (2012) Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona. BS (2007) Biological Sciences, Humboldt State University. Non-scientific Interests: Spending time with family, friends, and … Read more

Winning entry of the April 2017 “Teaching Tools Proposal” competition

Please contact Mary Williams if you’d like to discuss submitting a Teaching Tool preproprosal. Investigating Darwin’s “abominable mystery” – the angiosperms, by Sonja Dunbar Flowering plants, the angiosperms, make up roughly 1/6th of the living species currently known. This teaching tool will explore the rapid diversification and success of the flowering plants.This tool will first … Read more

Plant Scientists in the Wild (#FoPD)

Guest post by Emily Larson  @erlarson_phd and Maria Papanatsiou @m_papanatsiou, postdocs at the University of Glasgow, Scotland If there is one stereotype about some scientists that contains a shred of truth it is that we are definitely indoor kids – at least professionally speaking. We spend a lot of time hunched over benches in the … Read more

New Teaching Tool: It’s not easy being not green

There’s a new Teaching Tool in town! It’s not easy being not green: the making of a parasitic plant – By Caitlin E. Conn and David C. Nelson. This Teaching Tool explores the biology and evolution of parasitic plants, and their impact on agriculture. In the last portion of the Teaching Tool, the molecular evolution … Read more

Recognizing featured Plant Cell first authors, March and April 2017

Rakesh David, featured first author of Transcriptome-wide Mapping of RNA 5-Methylcytosine in Arabidopsis mRNAs and non-coding RNAs Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology, University of Adelaide. Education: PhD, Plant Molecular Biology, Plant Science Division, Research School of Biology, Australian National University, Australia. Non-scientific Interests: Cycling, cricket, movies and reading. … Read more

Launching Botany Live! for Fascination of Plants Day

May 18th is the Fascination of Plants Day, and we want to help in this international effort to highlight the importance of plants and plant science. Therefore, we’re supporting the #BotanyLive e-event! In a nutshell, we’re asking planty folks (curious, enthusiasts, professionals) to share something about their fascination with plants online. We’re particularly recommending the … Read more

What We’re Reading: April 14

Note: Read Why We’re Writing “What We’re Reading” Review: Ion transport at the vacuole during stomatal movement Gas exchange and transpiration are regulated by the stomatal aperture, which is itself regulated by the changes in volume of the guard cells that overlie the stomatal pore. When triggered to open, solutes such as K+ and Cl– … Read more

What We’re Reading: April 7

Note: See Why We’re Writing “What We’re Reading” Review: Ammonium as a signal for physiological and morphological responses ($) Ammonium is one of the major forms in which nitrogen is assimilated. Besides being a nutrient, it also acts as signal that affects gene expression and root system architecture. Some ammonium-induced genes are also induced by … Read more

Why we’re writing “What We’re Reading”

In Episode 36 of the classic comedy television show I Love Lucy, Lucy and her friend Ethel get a job wrapping chocolates in a candy factory. Their boss warns, “If one piece of candy gets past you and into the packing room unwrapped, you’re fired!” Naturally, as the candy conveyer belt moves faster and faster, … Read more

Recognizing featured Plant Cell first authors, February 2017

Masanori Izumi, featured first author of Entire Photodamaged Chloroplasts Are Transported to the Central Vacuole by Autophagy Current Position: Assistant Professor, Frontier Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Sciences, Tohoku University. Education: Ph.D. (2012), Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences, Tohoku University, Japan. Non-scientific Interests: Playing tennis, Travel to Japanese hot springs. When I was an undergraduate student, … Read more

What We’re Reading: March 31

Review: Wheat genomics comes of age Due to its highly repetitive, polyploid genome, wheat genomics has lagged behind that of other cereals, but new tools promise to begin closing that gap.  Uauy reviews these new tools, which include access to full genomes of several wheat varieties, gene expression data from hundreds of publicly available RNA-sequencing … 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

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

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

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