In the budding field of article-level metrics, Altmetric has been leading the way in measuring the attention and impact of research papers beyond the archaic method of counting citations. Founder Euan Adie sheds light on the inadequacy of journal-level metrics, the future relationship between academia and Twitter, and the work that goes on behind the scenes at Altmetric
Using hundreds of samples of field-grown rice (Oryza sativa) leaves, we developed a statistical model for the expression of circadian clock-related genes integrating diurnally entrained circadian clock with phase setting by light, both responses to light and temperature gated by the circadian clock. We show that expression of individual genes was strongly affected by temperature. However, internal time estimated from expression of multiple genes, which may reflect transcriptional regulation of downstream genes, is punctual to 22 min and not affected by weather, daylength, or plant developmental age in the field. Thus, we demonstrated that the circadian clock is a regulatory network of multiple genes that retains accurate physical time of day by integrating the perturbations on individual genes under fluctuating environments in the field.
In this intriguing talk, biologist Ameenah Gurib-Fakim introduces us to rare plant species from isolated islands and regions of Africa. Meet the shape-shifting benjoin; the baume de l'ile plate, which might offer a new treatment for asthma; and the iconic baobab tree, which could hold the key to the future of food. Plus: monkey apples.
Mary Williams's insight:
This is a super talk. Teaching idea. Assign students the task of watching this video, and then exploring the Red List for other endangered plants (http://discover.iucnredlist.org/). They could write a summary of their selected plant and its habitat to share in small group discussions in class.
Synbio was going to save the world. Now it’s being used to make vanilla flavoring.
Mary Williams's insight:
Definitely worth reading - good for classroom discussions too. Is a flavor molecule different if it's extracted from a plant, an engineered yeast or algae, or made entirely synthetically? How does the drop in oil prices affect biofuels research? What's the role of government in funding alternative energy sources? Is "synbio" a scary term for consumers, and if so what would be a better alternative?
Here, we show that DA1 and its close family members DAR1 and DAR2 are redundantly required for endoreduplication during leaf development. DA1, DAR1, and DAR2 physically interact with the transcription factors TCP14 and TCP15, which repress endoreduplication by directly regulating the expression of cell-cycle genes. We also show that DA1, DAR1, and DAR2 modulate the stability of TCP14 and TCP15 proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana.
The Society for College Science Teachers soliticits nominations (including self-nominations) for the Outstanding Undergraduate Science Teacher Award. Application deadline is June 1. See website for more information http://www.scst.org/grants/ousta
A cluster of three rice lectin receptor kinases confers resistance to planthopper insects.
Insect pests reduce yields of crops worldwide through direct damage and because they spread devastating viral diseases. In Asia, the brown planthopper (BPH) decimates rice (Oryza sativa) crops, causing the loss of billions of dollars annually1. In this issue, Liu et al.2 report the cloning of a rice genetic locus that confers broad-spectrum resistance to BPH and at least one other planthopper species (white back planthopper). Introducing this locus into plant genomes is likely to provide an effective means of combating insect pests of rice and of other cereals such as maize.
In modern rice agriculture, BPH damage is controlled through breeding and the application of vast amounts of chemical pesticides1. Pesticides are not a sustainable approach, however, owing to high costs, harmful environmental effects and rapid development of resistant insects. Breeding programs have identified more than 20 genetic loci in cultivated or wild rice species that confer BPH resistance1. However, these Bph loci are usually only effective against specific BPH biotypes, and newly evolved BPH populations have rapidly overcome several Bph resistance loci deployed in the field..
Of the >20 identified Bph loci, only Bph14 and Bph26 have been cloned. Both of these loci encode coiled-coil, nucleotide-binding and leucine-rich repeat proteins3, 4, the main class of plant intracellular immune receptors5. Bph3 is a resistance locus that was first pinpointed genetically in the Sri Lankan rice indica cultivar Rathu Heenati. Notably, unlike most other Bph loci, including Bph14 and Bph26, Bph3 confers broad-spectrum resistance to many BPH biotypes as well as to the white back planthopper1, 2. The success of Bph3 as a resistance locus might be linked to the fact that it acts against BPH at an early stage of the feeding cycle, before the insect can deploy its arsenal of virulence proteins that circumvent plant defenses.
Despite the huge potential of Bph3 for rice agriculture, its molecular identity has been unknown. Liu et al.2 now identify Bph3 through map-based cloning in a cross between the resistant indica cultivar Rathu Heenati and the susceptible japonica cultivar 02428. Bph3 maps to a 79-kb genomic region that contains a cluster of three lectin receptor kinases, OsLecRK1–3 (ref. 2) (Fig. 1). The authors find that single-nucleotide polymorphisms in these genes are associated with BPH resistance in different cultivated rice accessions. They also show that ectopic expression of the OsLecRK1–3 gene cluster in the susceptible japonica Kitaake cultivar confers BPH resistance.
Waarom bestuderen we planten? "Why study plants?" is now available in Dutch! http://www.plantcell.org/site/teachingtools/TTPB1.xhtml. Thanks to the Experimental Plant Science PhD student council for translating it! http://www.graduateschool-eps.info/…/phd-student-council-ma… You can also download this free resource in Catalan, Chinese, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swedish, thanks to many teams of volunteers. Good for talks at highschools, to the general public, or at Fascination of Plants Day events.Click here to edit the title
For years we’ve been asking people how they define a great teacher. One trait that repeatedly comes up is “enthusiasm.” Nobody enthuses about plants better than plant scientists, so we’re offering you a chance to “share your enthusiasm”.
Have you got a passion for plant science? Do you have a favorite paper, experiment, topic, or method that you like to share with undergraduates? Have you found a clever way to engage students and stimulate their curiosity?
We are soliciting short pre-proposals for contributions to the Teaching Tools in Plant Biology feature of The Plant Cell. Tell us what you are excited about that you would like to develop into a Teaching Tools article. We will invite the authors of a selected few pre-proposals to submit complete articles for review. Upon acceptance they will be published as a Teaching Tools in Plant Biology feature in The Plant Cell and awarded a $500 stipend.
"Over 100 years after trypanosomatids were first discovered in plant tissues, Phytomonas parasites have now been isolated across the globe from members of 24 different plant families. Most identified species have not been associated with any plant pathology and to date only two species are definitively known to cause plant disease. These diseases (wilt of palm and coffee phloem necrosis) are problematic in areas of South America where they threaten the economies of developing countries."
Some five years ago Sir John Beddington, Senior Adviser at the Oxford Martin School, raised the concept of 'The Perfect Storm' in which the issues of food, water and energy security needed to be addressed at the same time as mitigating and adapting to climate change. In this seminar he highlights changes that have occurred since then and the progress made and challenges that are currently faced."
Mary Williams's insight:
Here's the press release from the hosting institution, OxfoRD Martin School.
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