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Promusa - Mobilizing banana science for sustainable livelihoods | The 'best genomics Venn diagram ever' deconstructed : ProMusa blog

Promusa - Mobilizing banana science for sustainable livelihoods | The 'best genomics Venn diagram ever' deconstructed : ProMusa blog | AnnBot | Scoop.it
"It didn’t take long after the journal Nature put online the article on the banana genome sequence for bloggers to start commenting on the Venn diagram featuring a a bright yellow banana. David Ng at Popperfont qualified it as, “quite possibly the most complicated (and therefore awesome) Venn Diagram ever”. Jonathan Eisen, the scientist who coined the term phylogenomics, said that it was “perhaps the best genomics Venn diagram ever”, while Joe, of the It’s okay to be smart blog wrote that it is “a pretty genius way of delivering a bunch of banana data all at once”. He added that it was the first time he ever saw a six-way Venn diagram. Joe is right to be impressed, but the truth is that this is not the first ever six-way Venn diagram.

As a graphic designer correctly noted, the diagram was inspired by Edward's six-set Venn diagram. I can confirm this because the bioinformatics scientist who did the number crunching and the Venn diagram for the Nature article is a Bioversity colleague.

It says a lot about the banana that its distinct shape would make people notice an otherwise arcane diagram. "
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Mutant Crops Drive BASF Sales Where Monsanto Denied: Commodities

Mutant Crops Drive BASF Sales Where Monsanto Denied: Commodities | AnnBot | Scoop.it
Crop breeders increasingly are using radiation and gene-altering chemicals to mutate seeds, creating new plant varieties with better yields -- all without regulation.
Annals of Botany: Plant Science Research's insight:

IAEA-FAO has had the most every requests to generate mutants - and I am looking forward to better characterization and doing more work with them in many species!

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Which came first? The Soltis Lab probes lineage of angiosperms

Which came first? The Soltis Lab probes lineage of angiosperms | AnnBot | Scoop.it
The question of which extant angiosperm (flowering plant) lineage “came first” has puzzled biologists for centuries. This question is fascinating and important in its own right, but the answer also...
Annals of Botany: Plant Science Research's insight:

Demonstration, based on 78 genes and 236 taxa, that Amborella is sister to all other Angiosperms, while the Nymphaeales form the next branch and are sister to the remaining species.

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Eve Emshwiller's curator insight, December 14, 2013 9:15 PM

Spoiler alert...

 

 

it's...

 

 

 

 

still...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amborella.

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Pain in the ananas: etymology maps

Pain in the ananas: etymology maps | AnnBot | Scoop.it

Who would have thought that the marriage of two tiny little words - pine from the Latin 'pīnus' meaning "sap, juice" and apple from 'apple' meaning "apple" would have split the UK from the rest of the world way back when it was first recorded in...


Via Luigi Guarino
Annals of Botany: Plant Science Research's insight:

Remarkable etymology maps for the names of many fruit, vegetables and drinks across Europe and the near East

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NY Times: Citrus Greening: A Race to Save the Orange by Altering Its DNA (2013)

NY Times: Citrus Greening: A Race to Save the Orange by Altering Its DNA (2013) | AnnBot | Scoop.it

CLEWISTON, Fla. — The call Ricke Kress and every other citrus grower in Florida dreaded came while he was driving. “It’s here” was all his grove manager needed to say to force him over to the side of the road. The disease that sours oranges and leaves them half green, already ravaging citrus crops across the world, had reached the state’s storied groves. Mr. Kress, the president of Southern Gardens Citrus, in charge of two and a half million orange trees and a factory that squeezes juice for Tropicana and Florida’s Natural, sat in silence for several long moments. “O.K.,” he said finally on that fall day in 2005, “let’s make a plan.” In the years that followed, he and the 8,000 other Florida growers who supply most of the nation’s orange juice poured everything they had into fighting the disease they call citrus greening. To slow the spread of the bacterium that causes the scourge, they chopped down hundreds of thousands of infected trees and sprayed an expanding array of pesticides on the winged insect that carries it. But the contagion could not be contained.

 

They scoured Central Florida’s half-million acres of emerald groves and sent search parties around the world to find a naturally immune tree that could serve as a new progenitor for a crop that has thrived in the state since its arrival, it is said, with Ponce de León. But such a tree did not exist. “In all of cultivated citrus, there is no evidence of immunity,” the plant pathologist heading a National Research Council task force on the disease said. In all of citrus, but perhaps not in all of nature. With a precipitous decline in Florida’s harvest predicted within the decade, the only chance left to save it, Mr. Kress believed, was one that his industry and others had long avoided for fear of consumer rejection. They would have to alter the orange’s DNA — with a gene from a different species.


Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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Knapco's curator insight, July 29, 2013 5:17 AM

The article well addresses a dilemma of the nowadays world: Do we dare to use the top scientific results and high-tech knowledge such as genetic engineering? How much is still ethically to interfere with basic genetic code of species? Is it right to mix genes of organisms belonging to different kingdoms? Mankind has always feared of anything that was not understood. And we are still far from understanding firstly, how related we are with plants and animals and secondly, how often we consume mixed genes/proteins with infected crops.

A global code of ethics for genetic engineering of plants would be needed, which would support the GMO technology to maintain the plant health, while limiting the use of GMOs for commercial purposes – to achieve better taste and color of the crop…

Kamoun Lab @ TSL's comment, July 29, 2013 5:36 AM
It should be noted that "mixing of genes from different kingdoms" does occur in nature, and not a man-made artifact. It's the very well known process of horizontal gene transfer, which has and continues to shape the evolution of life http://www.nature.com/nrg/journal/v9/n8/full/nrg2386.html http://www.pnas.org/content/101/51/17747.short
Kamoun Lab @ TSL's comment, July 29, 2013 5:40 AM
I often ponder the ethics of opposing a technology such as GMO that provides relief from the use and abuse of harmful chemicals in agriculture. If you oppose GMOs then you need to own the problem of spraying potatoes ~20 times per season etc. See http://t.co/HyW3qs7wu7
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A Plea for Agricultural Innovation - Harvard - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

A Plea for Agricultural Innovation - Harvard - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs | AnnBot | Scoop.it

Addressing today's agricultural challenges requires a more balanced view that must be guided by evidence. But more importantly, it requires an optimistic outlook that recognizes the power of human creativity in responding to global challenges. International development expert Calestous Juma emphasized that developing countries will need agricultural technology innovations, particularly transgenic crops to feed their people. Professor Juma said that while 28 countries are now benefitting from planting such crops, not all regions of the world are reaping their full benefits.

Speaking at McGill University to receive his Honorary Degree, Professor Juma said, "As the world's food challenges increase, so must humanity enlarge its toolbox to include genetic modification and other technologies." He then cited examples of transgenic plant science innovations in Africa, where there are only four countries planting transgenic crops. 

Annals of Botany: Plant Science Research's insight:

Nice quote about feeding the world in a sustainable way: "We cannot afford to be seduced by the dim light of technological stagnation"

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Watershed Wars: Avoiding Water Rights Conflict between Smallholders and Agri-Industries

Watershed Wars: Avoiding Water Rights Conflict between Smallholders and Agri-Industries | AnnBot | Scoop.it

"Water rights sharing can only mediate conflict in the short term but cannot address water scarcity. In practice, a shared understanding of watershed functions, and reconciliation of the diverse interest and expectations of multiple stakeholders at the landscape level, .

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Conserving Prunus africana?

I’ve been sitting on it for a while, but a paper which AoB Blog discussed back in January led me to uncover a whole load of stuff on Prunus africana.

Via Luigi Guarino
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Indian Botanists: 90% of the Natural Landscape of Western Ghats are Ecologically Sensitive

Indian Botanists: 90% of the Natural Landscape of Western Ghats are Ecologically Sensitive | AnnBot | Scoop.it
The Western Ghats region extends from North to South over a distance of 1500 km. Out of the estimated 164,280 square km, the natural landscape constitutes only 41 per cent. The area identified as ecologically sensitive is about 37 per cent i.e., about 90 % of the natural landscape. TheWorking Group has summarised their recommendation into thirty six key points. Because of unprecedented threats to natural landscape of Western Ghats region by development projects and urban growth, the Working Group has recommended a non-tolerance policy with respect to highly interventionist and environmentally damaging activities like mining or polluting industries and made specific recommendations about prohibited activities and those that require high level of scrutiny and assessment before clearance within ESA. With regard to effect of climate change  a number of adaptive strategies has been recommended by HLWG such as (i) species-mix plantations, (ii) planting of hardy species that are resilient to increased temperature and drought risk, and (iii) launching of a few anticipatory plantation projects.
Annals of Botany: Plant Science Research's insight:

The Western Ghats, the mountain range along the South-West side of India, is a major biodiversity 'hotspot'. In this report, the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel notes the need for increased protection of the 'natural landscape' parts of this area.

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IndianBotanists's comment, April 19, 2013 2:38 PM
Human encroachment and urban dvelopment has already destroyed many species, and so it is called sensetive for the remaining landscape. This spot has been identified as world heritage.
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Video: Striga avoids infection into other Orobanchaceae plant (2013)

via @KenShirasu http://twitter.com/KenShirasu ;


Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL
Annals of Botany: Plant Science Research's insight:

via KamounLab

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Meaningful open access - it's the way you tell it

Curiosity, clarity and conviction - top tips for accessible, engaging science writing
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Indian Botanists: Blue Fluorescent Emissions from Carnivorous Plant Attracts Prey: Indian Scientists

Indian Botanists: Blue Fluorescent Emissions from Carnivorous Plant Attracts Prey: Indian Scientists | AnnBot | Scoop.it

So far, the best-known attractants in carnivorous prey traps are nectar, colour and olfactory cues. Reporting a new prey capture mechanism in some species of carnivorous plants. They found the existence of distinct blue fluorescence emissions at the 'capture spots' of Nepenthes, Sarracenia, Drosera, Pinguicula, Dionaea muscipula and Utricularia stellaris at UV 366 nm. When the capture spot was masked by coating a non-fluorescent extract, the pray capture was drastically reduced. The study has been published as a short research paper in the current issue of 'Plant Biology' 

 

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1438-8677.2012.00709.x/abstract

Annals of Botany: Plant Science Research's insight:

Carnivorous plants generally don't have traps that resemble flowers, presumably so they don't capture pollinators. I wonder if any insects captured here are pollinators? UV spots are part of many flowers, so do the spots on carnivorous plant parts differ from those on flowers?

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IndianBotanists's comment, February 21, 2013 2:22 PM
Thanks for the scoop. Further study may reveal whether this is universal to all flowers or specific to carnivorous plants only.
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Avoiding a cartography catastrophe

Avoiding a cartography catastrophe | AnnBot | Scoop.it
Since the mid-nineteenth century, maps have helped elucidate the deadly mysteries of diseases like cholera and yellow fever.
Annals of Botany: Plant Science Research's insight:

Many good points here: pity is does not mention that the same is needed for plants!

The post above does not give the full reference: Hay, S. I., Battle, K. E., Pigott, D. M., Smith, D. L., Moyes, C. L., Bhatt, S., Brownstein, J. S., Collier, N., Myers, M. F., George, D. B., & Gething, P. W. (2013). Global mapping of infectious disease. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 368 (1614).

 

URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2012.0250

 

PDF at http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/368/1614/20120250.full.pdf+html

 

 

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Pomegranates and the art of herbivore attraction

Pomegranates and the art of herbivore attraction | AnnBot | Scoop.it
Jeanne walks you through the botany you need to know to understand pomegranate fruit structure.  Jeanne’s definition of “need to know” is arguably a bit broad and includes a brief tour of the many ...
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Dorian Q Fuller's curator insight, February 20, 2013 11:21 AM

a fun botanical breakdown of the Pomegranate

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Trends in Plant Science - Botanical insecticides inspired by plant–herbivore chemical interactions

Botanical insecticides inspired by plant–herbivore chemical interactions

From Trends in Plant Science - Saber Miresmailli,Murray B. Isman

 

Plants have evolved a plethora of secondary chemicals to protect themselves against herbivores and pathogens, some of which have been used historically for pest management. The extraction methods used by industry render many phytochemicals ineffective as insecticides despite their bioactivity in the natural context. In this review, we examine how plants use their secondary chemicals in nature and compare this with how they are used as insecticides to understand why the efficacy of botanical insecticides can be so variable. If the commercial production of botanical insecticides is to become a viable pest management option, factors such as production cost, resource availability, and extraction and formulation techniques need be considered alongside innovative application technologies to ensure consistent efficacy of botanical insecticides.

Annals of Botany: Plant Science Research's insight:
HighlightsChemical defense is not the only type of defense that plants use for protection.Botanical pesticides are not directly comparable to synthetic pesticides.Lack of standards cause significant variability in the efficacy of botanical pesticides.Destructive extraction of plant chemicals negate most of the evolutionary successful defensive traits.We examine underlying assumptions that are made when developing botanical products.We identify practical challenges and limitations that need to be addressed.
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Fifty-Thousand Squared

Fifty-Thousand Squared | AnnBot | Scoop.it
I’ve been thinking a lot about the long-term evolution experiment (LTEE) with E. coli lately – even more than usual.  One impetus has been the paper by Mike Wiser, Noah Ribeck, and me that appeared...
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Disrupting Low-level Political Equilibria

Disrupting Low-level Political Equilibria | AnnBot | Scoop.it
Absentee teachers, negligent doctors, high transport costs, missing fertilizers, and elite-captured industrial policy all stand in the way of poor people’s escaping poverty.  While the proximate reason for these obstacles may be a lack of resources...
Annals of Botany: Plant Science Research's insight:

"The only way ... equilibria will shift is if the incentives facing politicians change.  That will happen only if politicians perceive that there is a shift in public opinion, which could be reflected in future elections or protests in the street. Public opinion may shift if the public is better informed about how much they are gaining and losing from current policies.  So there is a role for knowledge, but it should be knowledge to inform the public—not just the government—about the evidence, so that they can bring pressure to bear on politicians and, possibly, move to a new equilibrium.

 

This shift in approach to knowledge is not innocent."

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PHD Comics: The Very Dead Caterpillar - 2 Minute Thesis

PHD Comics: The Very Dead Caterpillar - 2 Minute Thesis | AnnBot | Scoop.it
Link to Piled Higher and Deeper

Via Eve Emshwiller
Annals of Botany: Plant Science Research's insight:

Eve Emshwiller's insight:        

Jorge Cham (@PHDComics) illustrates a great 2 minute summary of a PhD disseration on plant defense.  Includes genetic diversity from teosinte, the wild ancestor of maize/corn.  I will definitely be showing this to classes!

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Eve Emshwiller's curator insight, July 19, 2013 11:09 AM

Jorge Cham (@PHDComics) illustrates a great 2 minute summary of a PhD disseration on plant defense.  Includes genetic diversity from teosinte, the wild ancestor of maize/corn.  I will definitely be showing this to classes!

Abigail Rumsey's comment, July 22, 2013 4:25 AM
That looks scarily like my undergrad revision notes, except with better artwork! It must have worked because I actually remember the jasmonate and everything.
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TR4: will history repeat itself? : ProMusa blog | Promusa - Mobilizing banana science for sustainable livelihoods

TR4: will history repeat itself? : ProMusa blog | Promusa - Mobilizing banana science for sustainable livelihoods | AnnBot | Scoop.it

TR4: will history repeat itself? - ProMusa blog" Looming large on the horizon is a new threat to African banana farmers: the tropical race 4 variant of Fusarium wilt (better known as TR4). TR4 was thrust into the limelight when it destroyed commercial Cavendish plantations in Malaysia and Indonesia in 1988. The killer fungus went viral (sorry) and spread to banana production areas in four more countries, including China. Once introduced, TR4 spreads rapidly with infected planting material, on contaminated tools, and in contaminated water and soil.

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A New Diet for the Planet?

A New Diet for the Planet? | AnnBot | Scoop.it
You might expect me to say that environmentalists should say no to meat, and that we should focus on changing what people eat in the interest of saving the planet. But it's not quite so simple.
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Rothamsted Research submits application to Defra to plant autumn-sown wheat as part of its GM field trial - Rothamsted (2013)

Rothamsted Research submits application to Defra to plant autumn-sown wheat as part of its GM field trial - Rothamsted (2013) | AnnBot | Scoop.it

Rothamsted Research has submitted an application to Defra to extend its current GM wheat field trial to include additional autumn-sown cadenza wheat. Rothamsted scientists believe it would be advantageous to gain further data from their experiment, in wheat planted at a different time of year and under different weather conditions with different aphid populations. This will give us additional data under a more diverse range of environmental conditions...

 

Because the UK’s temperate climate permits wheat plant growth during the winter, Cadenza wheat can be sown in either the autumn or the spring and both sowings are harvested in August/September. As such, the extension of the experiment will further increase the relevance to UK farmers and those in other temperate climates by covering a greater range environmental variability. This weather variability has been particularly evident in the UK in the past 12 months...

 

The controlled experiment being conducted by scientists from Rothamsted Research combines modern genetic engineering with natural plant defences to test whether aphid-repelling wheat works in the field.

 

Wheat is the most important UK crop with an annual value of about £1.2 billion. Currently a large proportion of UK wheat is treated with a broad spectrum of chemical insecticides to control cereal aphids, which reduce yields by sucking sap from plants and by transmitting barley yellow dwarf virus. Unfortunately, repeated use of insecticides can kill other non-target insect species including the natural enemies of aphids, which itself could have further impacts on biodiversity.

 

Rothamsted Research scientists, who receive strategic funding from the UK Government... have been seeking novel ecological solutions to overcome this problem in wheat. One approach has been to use an odour, or alarm pheromone, which aphids produce to alert one another to danger. This odour, (E)-β-farnesene, is also produced by some plants as a natural defence mechanism and not only repels aphids but also attracts the natural enemies of aphids, ladybirds for example. This work has been effective in the laboratory and Rothamsted scientists have already conducted the first field trial to investigate whether the GM plants work outside in the field, as well as in the laboratory... 

 

Professor Melanie Welham, BBSRC Director of Science, said: “We face the challenge of producing food in a sustainable way, while minimising effects on the environment. This research is exploring one approach to solving this problem. It is important to carry out these investigations as these data gathered will help to provide answers about the potential of this type of GM technology and what benefits it could offer. Importantly, the findings generated through this extension will add to the picture of how this technology compares to others and is it vital that future decisions are based on scientific evidence.”


Via Alexander J. Stein
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What Plants Talk About - Full Length Documentary

"This program integrates hard-core science with a light-hearted look at how plants behave, revealing a world where plants are as busy, responsive and complex as we are."


Via Mary Williams
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Eve Emshwiller's curator insight, April 24, 2013 1:24 PM

I hope to have time to watch this sometime soon.

Ana G. Valenzuela Zapata's curator insight, April 25, 2013 2:55 AM

Hermoso

Subhabrata Panda's curator insight, April 25, 2013 11:33 AM

This an in-depth studies on biological phenomena with the help of physical and chemical methods.

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Evolutionary Ecology of Weeds textbook and course notes

Annals of Botany: Plant Science Research's insight:

A useful book based on an evolutionary ecology course from Jack Dekker at Iowa State University - with a strong base from Dozhansky's "nothing in biology makes sense unless seen in the light of evolution". Are weeds domesticated species?

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Golden promise: How ‘biofortification’ could soon be saving hundreds of thousands of lives

Despite the rapid progress made towards reducing poverty in many developing countries in recent years, high rates of malnutrition persist – and Vitamin A deficiency remains a persistent challenge. ...
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World Wide Wetlands: Making the Case for Landscape Management | Landscapes for People, Food, and Nature Blog

World Wide Wetlands: Making the Case for Landscape Management | Landscapes for People, Food, and Nature Blog | AnnBot | Scoop.it

Wetlands have often been at odds with agricultural land uses and their very existence threatened by pressure from cropland expansion or chemical runoff. However, one of the goals in taking a landscape approach is managing these conflicts within a landscape. Today’s blog post highlights ongoing research to realize synergies between agricultural land uses and wetlands.

Annals of Botany: Plant Science Research's insight:

I missed that Saturday 2 Feb was 'World Wetlands Day1 - but at least I was out and collecting Callitriche from a wetland!

 

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Marybeth Shea's curator insight, February 7, 2013 3:45 PM

Synergies and ecosystem services: wetlands provide us services, largely for free.

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Seeing the woods — statistics for the very young - Education - Significance Magazine

Seeing the woods — statistics for the very young - Education - Significance Magazine | AnnBot | Scoop.it

Looking for some very basic resources for teaching statistics, I found this excellent article from "Significance", the magazine of the Royal Statistics Society. It's a terrific plant biology exercise for 9 year olds - which leaves are bigger, those in the sun or the shade?


Via Mary Williams
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