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Science: A Mechanism for Reorientation of Cortical Microtubule Arrays Driven by Microtubule Severing

Science: A Mechanism for Reorientation of Cortical Microtubule Arrays Driven by Microtubule Severing | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Lovely work! Blue light + phototropin photoreceptors + microtubule severing by katanin = phohtotropism

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Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education)
Hooks and hot topics for university teachers and students
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Feeding 9 Billion - National Geographic

Feeding 9 Billion - National Geographic | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
When we think about threats to the environment, we tend to picture cars and smokestacks, not dinner. But the truth is, our need for food poses one of the biggest dangers to the planet.
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Andres Zurita's curator insight, Today, 10:10 AM

Great synthesis

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David Attenborough: Sir Joseph Banks - Endeavour - YouTube

This short documentary features David Attenborough discussing the life and legacy of Sir Joseph Banks, botanist, scientist, explorer and President of the Roy...
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Wheat rust: The fungal disease that threatens to destroy the world crop

Wheat rust: The fungal disease that threatens to destroy the world crop | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
Scientists are warning that wheat is facing a serious threat from a fungal disease that could wipe out the world’s crop if not quickly contained. Wheat rust, a devastating disease known as the “polio of agriculture”, has spread from Africa to South and Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe, with calamitous losses for the world’s second most important grain crop, after rice. There is mounting concern at the dangers posed to global food security.

Via International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
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JExpBot Darwin Review: Structure and dynamics of thylakoids in land plants

JExpBot Darwin Review: Structure and dynamics of thylakoids in land plants | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

"Thylakoids of land plants have a bipartite structure, consisting of cylindrical grana stacks, made of membranous discs piled one on top of the other, and stroma lamellae which are helically wound around the cylinders.... Depending on light conditions, thylakoid membranes undergo dynamic structural changes that involve alterations in granum diameter and height, vertical unstacking of grana, and swelling of the thylakoid lumen. This plasticity is realized predominantly by reorganization of the supramolecular structure of protein complexes within grana stacks and by changes in multiprotein complex composition between appressed and non-appressed membrane domains."

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Science: Paired Plant Immune Receptors (2014)

Science: Paired Plant Immune Receptors (2014) | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Plants are constantly interpreting microbial signals from potential pathogens and potential commensals or mutualists. Because plants have no circulating cells dedicated to this task, every plant cell must, in principle, recognize any microbe as friend, foe, or irrelevant bystander. That tall order is mediated by an array of innate immune system receptors: pattern-recognition receptors outside the plant cell and nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain (NOD)–like receptors (NLRs) inside the cell. Despite their importance for plant health, how NLRs function mechanistically has remained obscure. On page 299 of this issue, Williams et al. (1) reveal a role for heterodimerization between NLRs and show how the rather limited NLR repertoire of any plant genome might be enhanced by combinatorial diversity.

 

Marc T. Nishimura, Jeffery L. Dangl


Via Nicolas Denancé
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Plant biologists FRET over stress

Plant biologists FRET over stress | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Summary of a pair of papers that use FRET as a biosensor for ABA

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Rescuing US biomedical research from its systemic flaws

Important Perspective from four heavy-hitters of US science (Bruce Alberts, Marc W. Kirschner, Shirley Tilghman, and Harold Varmus) = They call for a system that would " balance supply and demand in a sustainable fashion, adjust the pipeline that delivers new scientists, moderate the size of laboratories that are now difficult to fund, and restore an environment in which talented trainees and scientists can do their best work."

Mary Williams's insight:

One of their suggestions is to use more staff-level scientists in well-paid, permanent positions, rather than an endless stream of short-term postdocs. What do you think?

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Illuminating traffic control for cell–division planes

Illuminating traffic control for cell–division planes | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

From eLife,  an overview of plant cell divivision by Silke Robatzek

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Plant Cell: Efficient Genome-Wide Detection and Cataloging of EMS-Induced Mutations Using Exome Capture and Next-Generation Sequencing

Plant Cell: Efficient Genome-Wide Detection and Cataloging of EMS-Induced Mutations Using Exome Capture and Next-Generation Sequencing | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

" In conclusion, we provide a method for developing large-scale induced mutation resources with relatively small investments that is applicable to resource-poor organisms. Furthermore, our results demonstrate that large libraries of sequenced mutations can be readily generated, providing enhanced opportunities to study gene function and assess the effect of sequence and chromatin context on mutations. "

Mary Williams's insight:

Nice paper and resouce for genetic studies in rice and wheat

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Rescooped by Mary Williams from MycorWeb Plant-Microbe Interactions
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Central Cell–Derived Peptides Regulate Early Embryo Patterning in Flowering Plants

Central Cell–Derived Peptides Regulate Early Embryo Patterning in Flowering Plants | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Plant embryogenesis initiates with the establishment of an apical-basal axis; however, the molecular mechanisms accompanying this early event remain unclear. Here, we show that a small cysteine-rich peptide family is required for formation of the zygotic basal cell lineage and proembryo patterning in Arabidopsis. EMBRYO SURROUNDING FACTOR 1 (ESF1) peptides accumulate before fertilization in central cell gametes and thereafter in embryo-surrounding endosperm cells. Biochemical and structural analyses revealed cleavage of ESF1 propeptides to form biologically active mature peptides. Further, these peptides act in a non–cell-autonomous manner and synergistically with the receptor-like kinase SHORT SUSPENSOR to promote suspensor elongation through the YODA mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway. Our findings demonstrate that the second female gamete and its sexually derived endosperm regulate early embryonic patterning in flowering plants.


Via Francis Martin
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PNAS: Sugar demand, not auxin, is the initial regulator of apical dominance

PNAS: Sugar demand, not auxin, is the initial regulator of apical dominance | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

"We have revealed that apical dominance is predominantly controlled by the shoot tip’s intense demand for sugars, which limits sugar availability to the axillary buds. These findings overturn a long-standing hypothesis on apical dominance and encourage us to reevaluate the relationship between hormones and sugars in this and other aspects of plant development."

By Michael G. Mason, John J. Ross, Benjamin A. Babst, Brittany N. Wienclaw, and Christine A. Beveridge

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3 April 2014 - Great British bioscience pioneers – Professor Ottoline Leyser - BBSRC

3 April 2014 - Great British bioscience pioneers – Professor Ottoline Leyser - BBSRC | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
In the fourth in a series of articles on Great British bioscience pioneers, Professor Ottoline Leyser at the University of Cambridge highlights advances in the understanding of plant developmental biology.
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NY Times: Eight (No, Nine!) Problems With Big Data

NY Times: Eight (No, Nine!) Problems With Big Data | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
It’s a valuable tool for analysis, but don’t believe all the hype.
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filterwave's comment, April 22, 12:38 AM
GOOD
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How to Win the War on Bugs? Listen to Plants. They’ve Been Fighting Longer Than We Have.

How to Win the War on Bugs? Listen to Plants. They’ve Been Fighting Longer Than We Have. | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
We are losing the war on bugs. Every year, we dump 1 billion tons of insecticides on them; every year, they eat up to a fifth of the crops we grow. It’s a lose-lose scenario. Insecticides are expensive to make and use: Apple trees, for example, must be sprayed 20...
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Biofuels from crop residue can reduce soil carbon and increase CO2 emissions : Nature Climate Change : Nature Publishing Group

Biofuels from crop residue can reduce soil carbon and increase CO2 emissions : Nature Climate Change : Nature Publishing Group | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
Life-cycle assessment of biofuel carbon emissions does not usually take into account the potential for soil carbon loss resulting from crop residue removal. Now estimates of CO2 emissions from corn residue removal across the US corn belt indicate that the emissions from soil carbon loss could push emissions above the US legislative mandate.
Mary Williams's insight:

If you can't access the paper here is a summary from the Guardian:

www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/apr/20/corn-biofuels-gasoline-global-warming

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Google Tip and Tricks for Conducting Online Research Infographic | e-Learning Infographics

Google Tip and Tricks for Conducting Online Research Infographic | e-Learning Infographics | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
At the Google Tip and Tricks for Conducting Online Research Infographic you will find crucial Google Tips and Tricks for conducting Online Research.
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Rescooped by Mary Williams from Effectors and Plant Immunity
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Science: Structural Basis for Assembly and Function of a Heterodimeric Plant Immune Receptor (2014)

Science: Structural Basis for Assembly and Function of a Heterodimeric Plant Immune Receptor (2014) | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Cytoplasmic plant immune receptors recognize specific pathogen effector proteins and initiate effector-triggered immunity. In Arabidopsis, the immune receptors RPS4 and RRS1 are both required to activate defense to three different pathogens. We show that RPS4 and RRS1 physically associate. Crystal structures of the N-terminal Toll–interleukin-1 receptor/resistance (TIR) domains of RPS4 and RRS1, individually and as a heterodimeric complex (respectively at 2.05, 1.75, and 2.65 angstrom resolution), reveal a conserved TIR/TIR interaction interface. We show that TIR domain heterodimerization is required to form a functional RRS1/RPS4 effector recognition complex. The RPS4 TIR domain activates effector-independent defense, which is inhibited by the RRS1 TIR domain through the heterodimerization interface. Thus, RPS4 and RRS1 function as a receptor complex in which the two components play distinct roles in recognition and signaling.

 

Simon J. Williams, Kee Hoon Sohn, Li Wan, Maud Bernoux,  Panagiotis F. Sarris, Cecile Segonzac, Thomas Ve, Yan Ma, Simon B. Saucet, Daniel J. Ericsson, Lachlan W. Casey, Thierry Lonhienne, Donald J. Winzor, Xiaoxiao Zhang, Anne Coerdt, Jane E. Parker, Peter N. Dodds, Bostjan Kobe, Jonathan D. G. Jones


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Washington Post: Breeding a better crop seed, trait by trait

Washington Post: Breeding a better crop seed, trait by trait | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
A wide variety of plant scientists embrace the cutting-edge technology of marker-assisted DNA selection.
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Horizontal transfer of an adaptive chimeric photoreceptor from bryophytes to ferns

Horizontal transfer of an adaptive chimeric photoreceptor from bryophytes to ferns | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

What's going in in that understory?

Wonderful evolutionary story here

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Where Will a Biology PhD Take You?

Where Will a Biology PhD Take You? | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
Based primarily on the 2012 NIH Workforce report this infographic represents current workforce sizes and annual fluxes before and after a PhD in the b...
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Plant Cell: What is Stress? Dose-Response Effects in Commonly Used In Vitro Stress Assays

Plant Cell: What is Stress? Dose-Response Effects in Commonly Used In Vitro Stress Assays | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

"We found that the commonly used stress-inducing agents mannitol, sorbitol, NaCl and H2O2 impact shoot growth in a highly specific and dose-dependent way. Therefore, shoot growth is a sensitive, relevant and easily measured phenotype to assess stress tolerance over a wide range of stress levels."

Mary Williams's insight:

Often students use Arabidopsis seedlings in the teaching lab to learn about plant physiology. This paper shows that shoot growth is sensitive parameter to quantify even mild stress.

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Rescooped by Mary Williams from Plant-Microbe Symbioses
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Botany: Special issue: The microbiota of plants

In this Special Issue, we have tried to capture the diversity of plant–microbe research that is on-going, and that might not normally be marketed under the banner of “plant microbiome research”. Nevertheless, it belongs under this banner and we highlight some of this research here, including a variety of plant “habitats” such as roots, leaves, and floral parts, as well as a variety of microbes, from bacteria and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi to dark septate fungi. Of course, the field is broader than what we are able present in a single issue, but we hope that it inspires researchers of overlooked aspects of plant microbiota research to get in on the game, and contribute to a more complete picture of this complex “ecosystem”.


Via Stéphane Hacquard, Jean-Michel Ané
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Natural soil microbes alter flowering phenology and the intensity of selection on flowering time in a wild Arabidopsis relative

Natural soil microbes alter flowering phenology and the intensity of selection on flowering time in a wild Arabidopsis relative | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Plant phenology is known to depend on many different environmental variables, but soil microbial communities have rarely been acknowledged as possible drivers of flowering time. Here, we tested separately the effects of four naturally occurring soil microbiomes and their constituent soil chemistries on flowering phenology and reproductive fitness of Boechera stricta, a wild relative of Arabidopsis. Flowering time was sensitive to both microbes and the abiotic properties of different soils; varying soil microbiota also altered patterns of selection on flowering time. Thus, soil microbes potentially contribute to phenotypic plasticity of flowering time and to differential selection observed between habitats. We also describe a method to dissect the microbiome into single axes of variation that can help identify candidate organisms whose abundance in soil correlates with flowering time. This approach is broadly applicable to search for microbial community members that alter biological characteristics of interest.


Via Stéphane Hacquard, Francis Martin, Jean-Michel Ané
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Bacterial tricks for turning plants into zombies

Bacterial tricks for turning plants into zombies | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
Microbe deploys proteins that manipulate both the plant it infects and the insects that spread it.
Mary Williams's insight:

Here's the article in PLOS Biology http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.1001835

And an article about the research in the local Norwich newspaper

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/graphic_scientists_solve_mystery_of_the_zombie_plants_1_3533805

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JExpBot: Insights into evolution of plant cytokinin biosynthesis from Physcomitrella

JExpBot: Insights into evolution of plant cytokinin biosynthesis from Physcomitrella | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

It's always good to ask, "How does Physomitrella do this?"


"The moss Physcomitrella patens is part of an early divergent clade of land plants utilizing the plant hormone cytokinin for growth control. The rate-limiting step of cytokinin biosynthesis is mediated by isopentenyltransferases (IPTs), found in land plants either as adenylate-IPTs or as tRNA-IPTs. Although a dominant part of cytokinins in flowering plants are synthesized by adenylate-IPTs, the Physcomitrella genome only encodes homologues of tRNA-IPTs."

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