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Rescooped by Mary Williams from MycorWeb Plant-Microbe Interactions
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ERF115 Controls Root Quiescent Center Cell Division and Stem Cell Replenishment

ERF115 Controls Root Quiescent Center Cell Division and Stem Cell Replenishment | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

The quiescent center (QC) plays an essential role during root development by creating a microenvironment that preserves the stem cell fate of its surrounding cells. Despite being surrounded by highly mitotic active cells, QC cells self-renew at a low proliferation rate. Here, we identified the ERF115 transcription factor as a rate-limiting factor of QC cell division, acting as a transcriptional activator of the phytosulfokine PSK5 peptide hormone. ERF115 marks QC cell division but is restrained through proteolysis by the APC/CCCS52A2 ubiquitin ligase, whereas QC proliferation is driven by brassinosteroid-dependent ERF115 expression. Together, these two antagonistic mechanisms delimit ERF115 activity, which is called upon when surrounding stem cells are damaged, revealing a cell cycle regulatory mechanism accounting for stem cell niche longevity.


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Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education)
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Bill Nye, Science Guy, and GMOs - oh my!

Bill Nye, Science Guy, and GMOs - oh my! | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
Bill Nye caused a bit of drama over his stance on GMOs with the publication of his recent book, Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation. Biologists were dismayed by some of the unsourced ...
Mary Williams's insight:

Good on you, Bill! I will once again consider you "the science guy".

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Science Writing Competition - UWE Bristol: Science Communication Unit

Science Writing Competition - UWE Bristol: Science Communication Unit | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Want to get recognized for your science writing?

They're looking for 700 words on "The science that will transform our future" - it seems like a perfect topic for plant scientists!

"There are no geographical restrictions on entrants but those wishing to take up the opportunity for work experience at BBC Focus and/or science writing classes must provide their own transport and accommodation for their visit to the BBC Focus offices in central Bristol and/or UWE's Frenchay Campus."

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Anna L. Sommer (1889–1973), pioneering plant scientist

Anna L. Sommer (1889–1973), pioneering plant scientist | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

I've been assembling some of the early papers that demonstrated the roles for micronutrients in plant growth and have enjoyed reading about Anna Sommer, one of the major contributors during what has been described as "the trace nutrient gold rush." Sommer is credited with being the first to experimentally demonstrate the essential nature of zinc, copper, and boron.


She received her PhD in Plant Nutrition and Chemistry in 1924, studying with C.P. Lipman. Together they wrote an influential paper that was published in Plant Physiology (Volume 1) in 1926, "Evidence on the indispensable nature of zinc and boron for higher green plants" (http://www.plantphysiol.org/content/1/3/231.full.pdf+html). The following year she published a solo article in Science "The search for elements essential in only small amounts for plant growth" (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/66/1716/482.full.pdf). From 1929 - 1949 she was a tenured scientist at the University of Minnesota.


You can read more about her life and work here http://www.aic.ca/gender/pdf/Women_in_Agronomy.pdf and here http://www.aaes.auburn.edu/comm/pubs/askmagazine/fall02/pioneeringwoman.html,but as one of the articles says, she left "a rich scientific legacy through her significant journal publications but little record of her personal life. Thus, we can only guess what her life was like as the only women tenured in an Agronomy Department."

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Global Plants in the Classroom - teaching and learning resources from JSTOR :-)

Global Plants in the Classroom - teaching and learning resources from JSTOR :-) | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
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Rescooped by Mary Williams from Plant immunity and legume symbiosis
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Secondary metabolites in plant innate immunity

Secondary metabolites in plant innate immunity | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
Plant secondary metabolites carry out numerous functions in interactions between plants and a broad range of other organisms. Experimental evidence strongly supports the indispensable contribution of many constitutive and pathogen-inducible phytochemicals to plant innate immunity. Extensive studies on model plant species, particularly Arabidopsis thaliana, have brought significant advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underpinning pathogen-triggered biosynthesis and activation of defensive secondary metabolites. However, despite the proven significance of secondary metabolites in plant response to pathogenic microorganisms, little is known about the precise mechanisms underlying their contribution to plant immunity. This insufficiency concerns information on the dynamics of cellular and subcellular localization of defensive phytochemicals during the encounters with microbial pathogens and precise knowledge on their mode of action. As many secondary metabolites are characterized by their in vitro antimicrobial activity, these compounds were commonly considered to function in plant defense as in planta antibiotics. Strikingly, recent experimental evidence suggests that at least some of these compounds alternatively may be involved in controlling several immune responses that are evolutionarily conserved in the plant kingdom, including callose deposition and programmed cell death.

Via Christophe Jacquet
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The cutting-edge science taking on some of the world's most notorious parasitic plants

The cutting-edge science taking on some of the world's most notorious parasitic plants | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
Little is known about how parasitic plants live side-by-side with their hosts. But new genetic techniques may help scientists gain further insights.
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Wood Formation in Trees Is Increased by Manipulating PXY-Regulated Cell Division: Current Biology

Wood Formation in Trees Is Increased by Manipulating PXY-Regulated Cell Division: Current Biology | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
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Plant Methods articles for teaching?

Plant Methods articles for teaching? | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

The journal Plant Methods is a treasure trove of interesting articles for teaching http://www.plantmethods.com/content - Have students select a paper & discuss the problem & how the new method addresses it. The journal covers a wide-range of methods including large and small scale measurements of chlorophyll fluorescence, lots of approaches to plant cell and organ imaging, measurements of water content and more. This figure is from a paper looking at fluid viscosity in pitcher plants! Truly something for everyone.....

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Ag grads are finding a bumper crop of job opportunities

Ag grads are finding a bumper crop of job opportunities | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
MINNEAPOLIS — Adam Donkers and many of his friends at the University of Minnesota don’t need to worry about jobs after graduating. They’re majoring in agricultural sciences or agricultural business, and large and small companies are eager to hire them.
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Some things never change

Some things never change | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Behind every cultivated plant, and every plant experimenter, somebody's washing pots!

Photo from Glasgow Botanic Garden digital archive, courtesy of Tom Donald

https://www.flickr.com/photos/clearwood/sets/72157649285702513

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BCW: Biology Changing the World

BCW: Biology Changing the World | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

I just learned about this new site from Society of Biology called "Biology: Changing the World, which "celebrates the great biologists of the past in order to inspire those of the future". It has lots of interesting info. I particularly like the "people" tab which links to short bios of famous scientists, including this one of Joseph Banks.

The site homepage is here http://biologyheritage.societyofbiology.org/bcw

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The Fate of Trees: How Climate Change May Alter Forests Worldwide

The Fate of Trees: How Climate Change May Alter Forests Worldwide | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
By the end of the century, the woodlands of the Southwest will likely be reduced to weeds and shrubs. And scientists worry that the rest of the planet may see similar effects
Mary Williams's insight:

Good article about drought and climate change effect on forests from a popular magazine that reaches a broader and different audience than The Plant Cell and Plant Physiology ;)


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Arabidopsis BIRD Zinc Finger Proteins Jointly Stabilize Tissue Boundaries by Confining the Cell Fate Regulator SHORT-ROOT and Contributing to Fate Specification

Arabidopsis BIRD Zinc Finger Proteins Jointly Stabilize Tissue Boundaries by Confining the Cell Fate Regulator SHORT-ROOT and Contributing to Fate Specification | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

BIRD proteins control tissue boundaries through transcriptional control and nuclear retention of targets.
The names of the BIRD Zn-finger proteins originated with the finding that JACKDAW (a kind of crow) is antagonistic to the protein SCARECROW... I seem to remember that SCARECROW is named because the mutant lacks a "heart" (cortex - wizard of oz reference) - plz correct me if I'm wrong.
The genetic interactions for each of several mutant combinations of the BIRD family is outlined in the supplemental materials, which is useful if you want to practice your genetics skills.
http://www.plantcell.org/…/20…/03/31/tpc.114.132407.abstract

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Rescooped by Mary Williams from Plant-Microbe Symbioses
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The increasing importance of distinguishing among plant nitrogen sources

Many studies of plant nitrogen relations assess only the total amount of the element available from the soil and the total amount of the element within the plant. Nitrogen, however, is a constituent of diverse compounds that participate in some of the most energy-intensive reactions in the biosphere. The following characterizes some of these reactions, especially those that involve ammonium and nitrate, and highlights the importance of distinguishing both among the nitrogen sources available to plants and among the nitrogen forms within plants when considering plant responses to rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

Via Jean-Michel Ané
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The SCICOMM 25 most talked about science communication stories (weekly blog)

The SCICOMM 25 most talked about science communication stories (weekly blog) | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

I want to draw your attention to Kirk Englehardt's (@kirkenglehardt) weekly roundup of science communication stories (http://www.scilogs.com/the-leap/scicomm2541715/), with a facebook page too (https://www.facebook.com/scicommcentral).
I always find something interesting. Two gems I found this week - a new PLOS blog about science communication that's looking for contributors (http://blogs.plos.org/scicomm/sample-page/), and a 2014 Masters thesis by Sarah Wiley that analyzes how PIs meet the NSF's Broader Impact criteria - it's got a terrific literature review for those who might want to read up on the science of science outreach

(http://informalscience.org/…/ic-000-0…/Doing_broader_impacts)

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USA National Phenology Network - Botany Primer

USA National Phenology Network - Botany Primer | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

This is an excellent guide to plant structure and function - downloadable PDF here

https://www.usanpn.org/files/shared/files/USA-NPN_Botany-Primer.pdf

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Exploiting Differential Gene Expression and Epistasis to Discover Candidate Genes for Drought-Associated QTLs in Arabidopsis thaliana

Exploiting Differential Gene Expression and Epistasis to Discover Candidate Genes for Drought-Associated QTLs in Arabidopsis thaliana | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Nice combination of QTL mapping and gene expression analysis to identify new genes involved in drought response. From this approach, the authors "produced ranked lists of candidate genes for several drought-associated traits, including water use efficiency, growth, abscisic acid concentration (ABA), and proline concentration."

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Botanicalls Kit - KIT-10334 - SparkFun Electronics

Botanicalls Kit - KIT-10334 - SparkFun Electronics | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

"KIT-10334: Botanicalls Kits let plants reach out for human help! They offer a connection to your leafy pal via online Twitter status updates to your mobile phone."

Mary Williams's insight:

I just discovered SparkFun and I love it! It's a super program focused on enabling kids to make things with electronics. They have a wide variety of projects including some sparkly, blingy fun ones to broaden appeal beyond your stereotypical maker types.

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Not all GMO plants are created equally: it's the trait, not the method, that's important

Not all GMO plants are created equally: it's the trait, not the method, that's important | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
People have been changing plant genomes ever since agriculture got started thousands of years ago. Here are the high-tech ways researchers insert new genes into plants now.
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A Rough Guide to Types of Scientific Evidence, from Compuund Interest

A Rough Guide to Types of Scientific Evidence, from Compuund Interest | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

"‘Compound Interest’ is a blog by Andy Brunning, a chemistry teacher in the UK, creating graphics looking at the chemistry and chemical reactions we come across on a day-to-day basis."

You can follow compound interest on facebook and twitter too!

https://www.facebook.com/compoundchem

https://twitter.com/compoundchem

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New free e-book every month from the University of Chicago Press ebook

New free e-book every month from the University of Chicago Press ebook | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
Hybrid: The History and Science of Plant Breeding, by Noel Kingsbury, is available as a free download during the month of April. I really enjoyed this book!


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Congratulations ASPB 2015 awardees!

Congratulations ASPB 2015 awardees! | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Follow this link for a PDF listing the 2015 ASPB awardees
http://t.co/GT5u7N7uVx
Congratulations to all!
Innovation Prize for Agricultural Technology: Sherri Brown, David Fischhoff, Mike Koziel, Fred Perlak
Charles Albert Shull Award: Cyril Zipfel
Charles Reid Barnes Life Membership Award: Wendy F. Boss
Dennis R. Hoagland Award: Maria Harrison
Early Career Award: Daniel Chitwood
Eric E. Conn Young Investigator Award: Joe Louis
Excellence in Education Award: Stanley Roux
Fellow of ASPB: Caren Chang and Keiko Torii
Martin Gibbs Medal: Craig Pikaard
Stephen Hales Prize: Bob Goldberg
Corresponding Membership Nominees: Renate Scheibe, Kazuo Shinozaki

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Academic Phrasebank

Academic Phrasebank | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

I just discovered this - it's what you need when you're struggling to say something clearly. Loads of very specific examples of phrases for defining, explaining, giving examples etc.

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GMOs of the Future: Two Recent Studies Reveal Potential of Genetic Technologies - Science Sushi

GMOs of the Future: Two Recent Studies Reveal Potential of Genetic Technologies - Science Sushi | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
There’s no doubt that the next generation of GM crops will look very little like the oft-maligned varieties available today. The possibilities are nearly limitless, as are the rewards. And with the world’s climate changing rapidly, there’s no doubt that agriculture will need to change with it, to keep pace with an unpredictable environment. The future of agriculture may very well depend on the ingenuity of geneticists and the GMOs they create. The real question is, will these new varieties be able to do what current ones cannot: win over the hearts and minds of the people they’re designed for.
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Genetic, evolutionary and plant breeding insights from the domestication of maize

Genetic, evolutionary and plant breeding insights from the domestication of maize | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

by Sarah Hake& Jeffrey Ross-Ibarra

"The natural history of maize began nine thousand years ago when Mexican farmers started to collect the seeds of the wild grass, teosinte. Invaluable as a food source, maize permeated Mexican culture and religion. Its domestication eventually led to its adoption as a model organism, aided in large part by its large chromosomes, ease of pollination and growing agricultural importance. Genome comparisons between varieties of maize, teosinte and other grasses are beginning to identify the genes responsible for the domestication of modern maize and are also providing ideas for the breeding of more hardy varieties."

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AckerbauHalle's curator insight, April 2, 3:08 AM

Great paper on the evolution of maize