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

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

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

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

NSF INCLUDES Prospective Reviewer Survey for Design and Development Launch Pilot Preliminary Proposals

This is a survey to determine your interest in and availability for serving on a panel for the National Science Foundation (NSF) to review proposals for the new agency-wide initiative, NSF INCLUDES (Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science). NSF INCLUDES is a comprehensive national initiative designed … 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

Call for Nominations: FFAR New Innovator Award

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) has released a call for nominations for the 2017 New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award.  This is the second competition for this award, which aims to “support the next generation of food and agriculture scientists”.  While last year the award was limited to one nominee … Read more

What We’re Reading: January 20th

Two Reviews: CRISPR/Cas for genome engineering in plants, and Genome editing in cereal crops ($) The gene-editing technology CRISPR/Cas, which introduces double-strand breaks that are repaired by non-homologous end joining (NHEJ), is best known for the promise it holds in modifying an organism’s DNA sequence without the introduction of exogenous genes. However, as Puchta describes … Read more

In Brief: More than Window Dressing: Revealing 5-Methylcytocine Patterns that Decorate Arabidopsis RNA

IN BRIEF by Jennifer Lockhart jlockhart@aspb.org DNA is sculpted by several types of epigenetic modifications with profound effects on gene expression, development, and stress responses. Much less is known about the more than 100 chemical modifications shaping plant RNA, a topic explored in the newly emerging field of epitranscriptomics (reviewed in Burgess et al., 2016). … Read more

What We’re Reading: January 13

Editorial: Rigorous Science: a How-To Guide Casadevall and Fang set out several proposals for research training to help ensure scientific “rigor”, which they define as promoting confidence in the truth or accuracy of the findings. The authors propose and elaborate on five foundations for scientific rigor: Redundancy in experimental design, recognition of error, intellectual honesty, … Read more

What We’re Reading: January 6th

Review: Transport and homeostasis of K and P ($) Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) are the three macronutrients required in highest amounts for plant growth. N is abundant in the atmosphere, therefore plentiful if we overlook the energetic costs of converting N2 to usable form. By contrast, K and P are present in … Read more