Getting the most out of RNA-seq data with expVIP (Expression Visualization and Integration Platform)

Transcriptomic data reveal how an organism or tissue expresses its genes (through transcription into mRNA) at any moment in time, and these data are extremely valuable when trying to describe plant growth, development and environmental response. For example, roots can be starved for the nutrient phosphate and the time course and pattern of gene expression … Read more

SURF’s Up! 2016 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows

The ASPB SURF program funds undergraduate students to conduct 10 consecutive weeks of plant biology research with a mentor during the early part of their college career.  This year’s SURF recipients will present their research during the undergraduate and regular poster sessions at Plant Biology 2017. Congratulations to these 2016 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows and … Read more

Traditional medicine: Velvet bean seed’s prophylactic protection from snake venom toxins

Snakebites kill more than 100,000 people annually, making snakes the second deadliest animals (after mosquitos), with many fold that many people suffering permanent disabilities from snake venom. Most of the victims are in Africa, Asia and Latin America, often in countries with poor access to medical resources. Snake venoms are complex and contain various toxins … Read more

National Academies issue report, “Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects”

The National Academies (the collected group of the National Academies of Medicine, Engineering and Sciences) are an independent body that provides advice to the government, but does not hold law-making powers.  The National Academies recently released a report, “Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects”. The report was commissioned to examine the evidence behind some of … Read more

Recognizing featured Plant Cell first authors, May 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 May issue of The Plant Cell. Xunliang Liu, featured first author of The role of LORELEI in pollen tube reception at the interface of the synergid cell and pollen tube requires … Read more

In Brief: Xanthine Dehydrogenase in ROS Metabolism

This week’s Research in Focus is reprinted from an In Brief published by Science Editor Nancy Hofmann in The Plant Cell, which summarizes an article newly published by  Ma et al. This study explores the dual and opposing roles of the enzyme xanthine dehydrogenase in modulation of ROS metabolism during defense responses in Arabidopsis.  Xanthine … Read more

ASPB Members Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Several distinguished plant scientists – all of them members of the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) – have been elected as members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Five ASPB members were elected to this year’s NAS class: New members: Julia … Read more

Recognizing featured Plant Cell first authors, April 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 April issue of The Plant Cell. Kimberley Tilbrook, featured first author of UV-B perception and acclimation in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii Current Position: OCE Postdoctoral Fellow at CSIRO Agriculture, Black Mountain, ACT, Australia. … Read more

An introduction to the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology (MPI-MP)

I recently visited the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology (MPI-MP) in Potsdam-Golm, outside of Berlin, Germany. I’d like to introduce you to this institution, a truly outstanding center for plant science research. The MPI-MP is one of more than 80 Max Planck Institutes in Germany. Five of the Institutes have a focus on … Read more

Recognizing featured Plant Cell first authors, March 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 March issue of The Plant Cell. Christine Andeme Ondzighi-Assoume, featured first author of Environmental nitrate stimulates root tip abscisic acid accumulation via release from inactive stores Current Position: Research Scientist, Plant … Read more

Plant Biology 2016: An Interview with Harry Klee About the Major Symposia—Developing Healthier Foods: Quality, Nutrition, and Molecular Gastronomy

Harry Klee, Ph.D, University of Florida, has organized an important Major Symposia for the Plant Biology 2016 conference on developing healthier foods. Joining Dr. Klee for the sessions will be: Andy Allan, Ph.D, Plant and Food in New Zealand Linda Bartoshuk, Ph.D, University of Florida Cathie Martin, Ph.D,  John Innes Center Here are just a … Read more

Phytochromes in diatoms: Sensing far-red light in the deep-blue sea

This week’s Research in Focus is reprinted from an In Brief published by Science Editor Jennifer Mach in The Plant Cell, which summarizes an article newly published by  Fortunato et al. This study explores the role of diatom phytochromes in sensing red and far-red light. In land plants, phytochromes sense red and far-red light and … Read more

Jurassic Park? No, Precambrian Rubisco

In a study reminiscent of Jurassic Park, scientists have resurrected an extinct enzyme and watched it respond to today’s world. Rubisco is much older than dinosaurs; it is an ancient enzyme, billions of years old, and predates the origin of eukaryotes. Rubisco is found in all photosynthetic organisms, be they bacteria, algae or plant, as … Read more

Plant scientists: GM technology a safe tool to help meet food supply demands Washington, DC

More than 1,000 scientists from nonprofit, corporate, academic, and private institutions say public doubts about genetically modified food crops are hindering the next Green Revolution. In a letter published in the journal Science, six researchers from three institutions explain their recent petition in support of science-based criteria in guiding the safe and effective employment of … Read more

Ride the SURF: Tips and advice on applying for the ASPB Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship

Insight from a 2015 SURF Fellow The ASPB Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) is a spectacular opportunity to embark on an independent project over the summer, earn money, present your research, and expand your resume. Applying to nationally competitive fellowships is a daunting task. Only 15 students are awarded the SURF (10 from doctoral granting … Read more

Recognizing featured Plant Cell first authors, January 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 December’s issue of The Plant Cell. Jeffrey P. Simpson, featured first author of A novel pathway for triacylglycerol biosynthesis is responsible for the accumulation of massive quantities of glycerolipids in the surface … Read more

Ring in the New Year with the GE Crops Study!

The Genetically Engineered Crops: Past Experience and Future Prospects Committee at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will release its report in 2016! The committee held 18 information-gathering sessions on a variety of topics, including genetically engineered quality traits. Check out the brief presentation below to learn the basics of quality traits and … Read more

“Characterization of parasitic plant mutants”, accessible research for undergraduate readers

Learning to read a scientific paper is an important skill for undergraduate students to acquire, but selecting a suitable paper to read with undergraduates can be challenging (see this for example). The chosen research article should be accessible (meaning not too much specialized terminology or methodology), interesting, and meaningful. A new Plant Physiology paper by … Read more

Analysis of the FY 2016 Omnibus Appropriations Bill

Prepared by Lewis-Burke Associates LLC December 17, 2015 This week, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees concluded negotiations on an omnibus appropriations bill (H.R. 2029) to fund federal government agencies for the remainder of fiscal year (FY) 2016. The final bill provides significant increases to federal investments in research, education, and healthcare programs important to … Read more

Council for Agricultural Science and Technology Annual Meeting Summary

I am your ASPB representative on CAST.  CAST is the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology and is a non-profit organization composed of scientific societies, many individuals, students, companies, nonprofits, and associate scientific and industry society members.  The primary work of CAST is to organize scientists to write papers on different important topics. CAST assembles, … Read more