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

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

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

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

Scientific Community Responds to President Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration

Central to the global scientific and innovation enterprise is the principle of free and open scientific exchange.  Researchers need to be able to attend meetings, host international collaborators and educators, and attract the best graduate and postdoctoral trainees and job candidates.  On January 27, 2017, the Trump Administration issued an executive order entitled “Protecting the … 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

Travel awards for early career scientists: American Chemical Society special symposium ‘Cellulose Structure and Biosynthesis’

Thanks to support from the Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES) and the Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER), we have made available a limited number of travel awards for early career scientists to attend and present a poster during a special symposium entitled ‘Cellulose Structure and Biosynthesis’ … Read more