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

Celebrating Achievement at Plant Biology 2017

In the Awards Symposium at Plant Biology 2017, delegates will be treated to lectures from 2016’s prize-winning scientists and cheer this year’s winning crop of plant scientists making a difference in the field of plant biology and beyond. Pioneering Plant Science: The Stephen Hales Prize Named for a British reverend who, in 1927, published pioneering … Read more

Share your fascination of plants by organizing an event on May 18

Plant Science * Agriculture * Forestry * Plant Breeding * Biodiversity * Nourishment and Nutrition * Plant Protection * Environmental Conservation * Renewable Resources We invite you to organize a fascinating activity related to plants on May 18, 2017! Contact the USA National Coordinator by email at plantday@aspb.org to discuss and access all supporting materials … Read more

Announcing the 2017 ASPB Award Winners

The American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2017 awards, which honor excellence in research, education, outreach, and service.   ASPB Innovation Prize for Agricultural Technology Luca Comai, University of California, Davis, CA Rick DeRose, Syngenta Crop Protection, Research Triangle Park, NC Georges Freyssinet, BIO-EZ, France Ganesh Kishore, … 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 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

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

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

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

What We’re Reading: January 27th

Review: The sexual advantage of looking, smelling and tasting good, the metabolic network that produces signals for pollinators ($) The interaction between angiosperms and their pollinators provides an excellent system to study co-evolution, and underpins the evolution of the biosynthesis of numerous interesting and useful specialized metabolites, from pigments to fragrances. Borghi et al. review … Read more