Changing Times in Peer Review

For Peer Review Week 2023, ASPB is asking the community to weigh in on topics affecting peer reviewers in scientific publishing   This year’s theme for Peer Review Week is “The Future of Publishing,” and with such a lofty theme, there’s one direction the conversation naturally goes: artificial intelligence (AI). While much of the conversation … Read more

ASPB Wins 2018 Excellence in New Communications Award for Plantae

(ASPB) is pleased to announce that Plantae, the online home for the global plant science community, has been awarded an Excellence in New Communications Award from the Society for New Communications Research of The Conference Board (SNCR) in the Communications, Communities, and Collaboration category – nonprofit division. This prestigious award honors organizations for their exemplary use of digital, mobile and … Read more

What We’re Reading: Dec 2

Featured Review: Programmed Cell Death in Development and Disease Programmed cell death (PCD) is an active process that occurs as part of normal development and also contributes to defense against pathogens. While there are many similarities in developmental PCD (dPCD) and pathogen-triggered PCD (pPCD), there are also differences. Huysmans et al. review and contrast these … Read more

Responsible Conduct of Research Infographics by ORI

ORI is the Office for Research Integrity, part of the US Dept. of Health and Human Services. ORI has a wealth of information useful for discussing the important issues surrounding research ethics and misconduct. Recently they have released a set of infographics on various themes, from “Tips for Presenting Scientific Images with Integrity” to “What … Read more

What We’re Reading: November 18

Featured Review: Effects of water stress on rhizodeposition Rhizodeposition refers to the release of organic compounds from roots into soil. Rhizodeposits alter the composition and structure of soil and also provide food for soil microbes whose actions can increase the bioavailability of soil organic matter. Preece and Peñuelas review how drought affects rhizodeposition, which in … Read more

What We’re Reading: Nov 11

We start with a trio of papers that explore plant cell proliferation Featured Review: Plants grow with a little help from their organelle friends ($) Mitochondria and chloroplasts are semi-autonomous organelles that provide cells with energy, metabolites and hormones. Van Dingenen et al. review organelles’ dynamic roles during organ growth. As an obvious example, many … Read more

Communicating Effectively with Graphics

Frédéric Bouché, a postdoctoral research with Richard Amasino at the University of Wisconsin, recently caught our attention when he published a set of impressive visual abstracts to support his latest research papers. We invited him to share how and why he makes these images. -Editors When you work hard, and your scientific work is finally … Read more

What We’re Reading: Nov 4

Featured Review: Role of Mass Spectrometry in Biology Mass spectrometry (MS) has become a core tool for molecular and structural biology. Lössl et al. review the history of MS and provide an accessible explanation for how it works and its applications, with numerous examples. This is a must-read for students of biochemistry as well as … Read more

What We’re Reading: Oct 28

Featured Review: Evolution of ROS signaling ($) Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are partially reduced or excited forms of oxygen (for example, O2·−) that are reactive and damaging towards cellular components. Because ROS are produced as byproducts of metabolism, cells have evolved ROS detoxification pathways; more than 150 Arabidopsis genes contribute to ROS detoxification. Inupakutika et … Read more

What We’re Reading: October 21

Featured Review: Update of Arabidopsis floral meristem formation ($) Genetic approaches using Arabidopsis have identified key players in the initiation and elaboration of floral meristems and flowers. These core findings are now expanded to encompass the roles of hormone fluxes and mechanical forces, and systems-wide modeling of gene regulatory networks. In this review, Denay et … Read more

What We’re Reading: Oct 14th

Featured Review: Celebrating 150 years since Mendel’s Discoveries ($) This review describes Mendel’s seminal work and how it laid the foundation for today’s plant breeding (as well as all of genetics). Smýka et al. trace the evolution of our understanding from Mendel’s discrete traits through continuous traits and quantitative trait loci (including the contributions of … Read more

New Feature: What We’re Reading

We’re in the midst of lots of changes at ASPB and Plantae. We’ll be launching a new and improved Plantae user interface before the end of the year, and thanks to your excellent feedback we will be launching new features to accompany the new interface (watch this space!). One of these new features is the … Read more

From LUCA to Lily: 12 perspectives for teaching about plants

The other day I was talking to a friend about the need to demystify plants, so that teachers feel as confident in their teaching of plant biology as they do about animal biology. I wonder if sometimes we teach plants too much in isolation, so it’s not always clear how plants relate to other organisms … Read more

Educational Resources for plant biology. Longer accessible videos: TED talks, iBiology and Gatsby Plants Summer School lectures

Many schools and universities are embarking on a new academic year, so it’s a good time to remind you of some of the great resources available to help you teach (or learn) about plant biology. Many of these and others can be found at the ASPB’s Education and Outreach page. See also the American Phytopathological … Read more

Pushing back the dawn of life

Our understandings of the forces that have shaped Earth and the forces that have shaped life on Earth have common roots. Charles Darwin was famously inspired by the work of early geologists such as Charles Lyell, who proposed that Earth was subject to slow but gradual change. This idea recurs in Darwin’s insights about evolution … Read more

“How to Read a Scientific Paper” and “Case Study: Reading a Plant Physiology article”

One of the most important skills a young scientist needs to learn is how to read (and write) scientific papers. Some students begin to learn this in a high school biology classes, and others as they begin their university coursework. To help instructors teach these critical skills, we created two articles to introduce students to … Read more

Food for thought: Digital farming, Food Computers and OpenAg

There’s a lot of buzz right now about indoor farming. I’m sure you’ve seen photos of fuchsia-illuminated lettuces hydroponically growing in abandoned warehouses, airplane hangars, and disused subway terminals (see for examples here and here and here.)  One of the goals of these programs is to cut the energy costs of food shipping, and another … Read more

What is “The Community of Minds”?

To put it simply, The Community of Minds (COM) is the network of people who choose to engage in life from a rational, thought-driven, inquiry-based perspective. Of course, this is not exclusive to nor encompassing all scientists, but I would like to think that we are a large sector of this Community. If you, as … Read more