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

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

How can genomics help neglected crops fight disease?

Guest post by Kelsey Wood (@klsywd) a PhD student researching the genetics and genomics of plant-pathogen interactions at the University of California, Davis. I recently attended a Plant Pathology symposium on “Genomics Strategies for Developing Sustainable Disease Resistance for Neglected Crops in the Developing World“. The symposium was held at the University of California, Berkeley and … Read more

What We’re Reading: February 3rd

Review: Cyanobacterial metabolites as a source of sunscreens and moisturizers The cosmetic industry uses many different chemicals to produce the seven or so skin care products used by the average American every day. Efforts are underway to develop renewable sources for some of these. Derikvand et al. review the chemistry and potential applications behind compounds … Read more

BotanyOnline: Shared learning-support resources for improving Botanical Literacy

Guest post by Rosanne Quinelle, an Associate Professor in the School of Life and Environmental Science at the University of Sydney, Australia. Proficiency in any discipline requires exposure to both breadth and depth, where “breadth” is akin to acquiring the vocabulary and “depth” is akin to an understanding of the prevailing patterns, the rules of … Read more