Fascinating article. In spite of extensive strides in the developent of plant biotech and breeding strategies, policies and public perception keep the brakes on GM in China. Nice review of the scentific tools.
Although plants and many algae (e.g. the Phaeophyceae, brown, and Rhodophyceae, red) are only very distantly related they are united in their possession of carbohydrate-rich cell walls, which are of integral importance being involved in many physiological processes."
Mary Williams's insight:
Free online access until 14 Dec 2014, so get it while its hot
"The American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) supports the continued, responsible use of genetic engineering as an effective tool for advancing food security and reducing the negative environmental impacts of agriculture. ASPB also supports the continued use and further development of appropriate, science-based procedures and regulations to assess the risks and benefits of all new agricultural technologies and products, including those developed using GE......"
Brassinosteroid research benefited from several chemical biology approaches. •
Small molecules target biosynthesis as well as signaling. •
Analogs of brassinolide allowed binding studies and visualization. •
Small molecules present large opportunities for future brassinosteroid research.
Chemical biology approaches have been instrumental in understanding the mode of action of brassinosteroids, a group of plant steroid hormones essential for plant development and growth. The small molecules used for such approaches include inhibitors of biosynthetic enzymes and signaling components. Additionally, recent structural data on the brassinosteroid receptor complex together with its ligand brassinolide, the most active brassinosteroid, and knowledge on its different analogs have given us a better view on the recognition of the hormone and signaling initiation. Moreover, a fluorescently labeled brassinosteroid enabled the visualization of the receptor–ligand pair in the cell. Given the insights obtained, small molecules will continue to provide new opportunities for probing brassinosteroid biosynthesis and for unraveling the dynamic and highly interconnected signaling.
Plant science often appears on social media for the wrong reasons, with fictitious scare stories about ‘frankenfoods’. We want to show people that plants scientists are dedicated people trying to find solutions to the big problems facing the world – hunger, malnutrition and environmental protection. The best way we can do this is by showing them the faces of ordinary people like us who are proud to work in plant sciences and what we get up to on a day-to-day basis.This is science, not fiction.
"Numerous botanists of the early 19th century investigated the effect of sunlight on plant development, but no clear picture developed. One hundred and fifty years ago, Julius Sachs (1863) systematically analysed the light–plant relationships, using developing garden nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) and seedlings of buckwheat (Fagopyron esculentum) as experimental material. From these studies, Sachs elucidated the phenomenon of photomorphogenesis (plant development under the influence of daylight) and the associated ‘shade-avoidance response’."
A struggle I have with trying to learn science as an adult is that it's often a solitary activity. Working in a children's museum, I'm constantly trying to promote interactive science experiences for kids, but outside museums I haven't found consiste...
Symbiosis Receptor Kinase (SYMRK), a member of Nod-factor signalling pathway is indispensible for both nodule organogenesis and intracellular colonisation of symbionts in rhizobia-legume symbiosis. Here we show that the intracellular kinase-domain of a SYMRK (SYMRK-kd), but not its inactive or full length version, leads to hyperactivation of the nodule organogenic program in Medicago truncatula TR25 (symrk knockout mutant) in absence of rhizobia. Spontaneous nodulation in TR25/SYMRK-kd was 6 fold higher than rhizobia induced nodulation in TR25/SYMRK roots. The merged clusters of spontaneous nodules indicated that TR25 roots in presence of SYMRK-kd have overcome the control over both nodule numbers and their spatial position. In presence of rhizobia, SYMRK-kd could rescue the epidermal infection processes in TR25, but colonisation of symbionts in the nodule interior was significantly compromised. In summary, ligand independent deregulated activation of SYMRK hyperactivates nodule organogenesis in absence of rhizobia but its ectodomain is required for proper symbiont colonisation.
to develop and implement a communications strategy and heighten recognition and awareness of the National Plant Science Council (NPSC), and to increase support for the goals articulated in the Plant Science Decadal Vision (http://tinyurl.com/PSDecadalVision).
"The nature of roots is to bury themselves into the soil and to enter into most intimate contact with their substrate, such that it is very hard to observe their growth and development, much less to extract them from the soil intact. Moreover, the soil is a substrate of mind-boggling heterogeneity and complexity, its complicated chemical and physical structure being potentiated by the biological diversity in the form of microbial communities. "
It’s Nobel Prize week, with awards for Medicine and Physiology, Physics, Chemistry, Peace and Economics being announced over the next seven days. We will discover who will win the literature prize later…