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Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education)
Hooks and hot topics for university teachers and students
Curated by Mary Williams
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'Speed dating' helps conference academics mix

'Speed dating' helps conference academics mix | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
Cambridge scientists have come up with a new way of facilitating collaborations between academics at conferences – by treating them like genes

Publication in eLife here http://elife.elifesciences.org/content/3/e02273

Mary Williams's insight:

Great idea to help conference delegates meet new and (scientifically) compatible  colleagues!

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NPR blogs: Trees On The Move As Temperature Zones Shift 3.8 Feet A Day

NPR blogs: Trees On The Move As Temperature Zones Shift 3.8 Feet A Day | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
To keep pace with the present rate of temperature change, plants and animals have to migrate poleward a few feet a day, according to a team of ecologists. If they can't, they may not survive.
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Genomics and the origin of species : Nature Reviews Genetics : Nature Publishing Group

Genomics and the origin of species : Nature Reviews Genetics : Nature Publishing Group | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Via Niklaus Grunwald
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No, GMOs won't harm your health

No, GMOs won't harm your health | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
Dr. Steven Novella argues that many of the fears surrounding genetically modified crops are unsupported.
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Scott Baker's curator insight, February 19, 2014 11:15 AM

I think MJ has been compromised by the Right. It's not just this article, which leaves out any counter-vailing and expert opinion (other than a few easy lobs by the reporter), it's their regular interviews of Libertarian/conservatives and general ignoring of progressive counter-opinions. The thinking, I suppose, is that we are "already supposed to know the other side" but as this article shows, that is not always the case. There are literally hundreds of studies that show definite harm from transgenic foods, and growing epidemiological evidence (not to mention growing waistlines, which some attribute to the indigestability of GMO food, leading to the need to consume more and more to be able to extract meaningful amount of nutrients, not just calories) that cancer and allergies are clustering wherever GMOs are in great use. The developing world, which still does not have the widespread use of GMOs, doesn't have anywhere near our level of allergies; things like peanut allergies are virtually unheard of. Maybe Monsanto will succeed in getting the whole world to use their GMOs, and then, if anyone is still around to do honest research, we'll see their levels of disease rise to meet the West's.
BTW, who is paying Dr. Novella? Who is paying Mother Jones?

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Protocol: Chromatin Immunoprecipitation from Arabidopsis Tissues, in TAB

Protocol: Chromatin Immunoprecipitation from Arabidopsis Tissues, in TAB | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
Nobutoshi Yamaguchi, Cara M. Winter, Miin-Feng Wu, Chang Seob Kwon, Dilusha A. William, and Doris Wagner (2014) Chromatin Immunoprecipitation from Arabidopsis Tissues. The Arabidopsis Book: Vol. , No. , pp. 1-9. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1199/tab.0170
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International Association of Plant Biotechnology Congress - Melbourne, August 2014

International Association of Plant Biotechnology Congress - Melbourne, August 2014 | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
International Association of Plant Biotechnology Congress will be held at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from August 10-15, 2014.
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PhilTransRoySoc: Elevating crop disease resistance with cloned genes

PhilTransRoySoc: Elevating crop disease resistance with cloned genes | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Shown are blight-resistant potatoes (left) and their parental control.


"For sustainable intensification of crop production, we argue that disease control should as far as possible be achieved using genetics rather than using costly recurrent chemical sprays."


The coverage of this article from the daily mail, which includes photos of the donor variety from which the resistance gene was cloned, is here:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2560916/The-GM-potato-cropping-near-soon-New-spud-grown-resist-blight-costs-farmers-60m-year.html

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Cell - The TPLATE Adaptor Complex Drives Clathrin-Mediated Endocytosis in Plants

Cell - The TPLATE Adaptor Complex Drives Clathrin-Mediated Endocytosis in Plants | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

"Here, we identified an eight-core-component protein complex, the TPLATE complex, essential for plant growth via its role as major adaptor module for clathrin-mediated endocytosis. This complex consists of evolutionarily unique proteins that associate closely with core endocytic elements. "


Here's a nice press release from VIB about this work

http://www.vib.be/en/news/Pages/Plants-recycle-too.aspx

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For all you systems biologists....

For all you systems biologists.... | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
Mary Williams's insight:

"Now in the further development of science, we want more than just a formula. First we have an observation, then we have numbers that we measure, then we have a law which summarizes all the numbers. But the real glory of science is that we can find a way of thinking such that the law is evident."
Richard Feynman 1963

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Frontiers in Plant Systems Biology | Protein intrinsic disorder in plants

Frontiers in Plant Systems Biology | Protein intrinsic disorder in plants | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

"In contrast to the classical dogma, intrinsic disorder is an important feature for many proteins to function. In general, protein disorder allows interaction versatility and adds complexity to the interactomes.... In plants, the predominance of intrinsic disorder in proteins involved in responses to environmental conditions could be explained as a requirement of these processes to be more complex due to the special characteristics of these sessile organism."

Mary Williams's insight:

Fascinating stuff - I find the model that disordered protein domains are capable of more diverse interactions very interesting and exciting.


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Plant Phys Update: Plant Water Uptake in Drying Soils

Plant Phys Update: Plant Water Uptake in Drying Soils | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
Mary Williams's insight:

"Over the last decade, investigations on root water uptake have evolved towards a deeper integration of the soil and roots compartments properties, with the aim to improve our understanding of water acquisition from drying soils. ...Recent results have led to the description of root system architectures that could contribute to deep water extraction or to water saving strategies. ....However, modeling studies highlight the role of soil hydraulics in the control of water uptake in drying soil and calls for integrative soil-plant systems approaches."

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Plant Cell (Review): Phototropism Growing towards an Understanding of Plant Movement

Plant Cell (Review): Phototropism Growing towards an Understanding of Plant Movement | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
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PNAS: Variation in MPK12 affects water use efficiency in Arabidopsis and reveals a pleiotropic link between guard cell size and ABA response

PNAS: Variation in MPK12 affects water use efficiency in Arabidopsis and reveals a pleiotropic link between guard cell size and ABA response | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

"We identify a molecular variant that drives variation in water use efficiency between two natural genotypes of Arabidopsis thaliana. We show that two alleles, distinguished by a single substitution in a signaling protein, cause whole-plant differences in plant water relations via inducible and constitutive mechanisms."

Mary Williams's insight:

Nice combination of methods and concepts, a good choice for students to read.

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Dr Laura Vickers's curator insight, February 8, 2014 3:50 AM

Good paper particularly for #brumbio398  

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Summer paid Work placements and internships at Wellcome Trust (must be eligible to work in UK)

Summer paid Work placements and internships at Wellcome Trust (must be eligible to work in UK) | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

"With our Summer Internship Programme, we hope to inspire, encourage and support a new generation who will go on to make a difference. During the eight-week internship in June-August 2014, you will have the opportunity to work alongside experienced professionals and gain an understanding of how our organisation works. "


Internship areas range from Grants management to Technology transfer - business development. Perfect for those considering alternative science careers!

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Pond-Dwelling Powerhouse's Genome Points to its Biofuel Potential

Pond-Dwelling Powerhouse's Genome Points to its Biofuel Potential | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Here's a nice overview of the latest contribution to the sequenced plant genome club - duckweed, aka "pond-dwelling powerhouse".

The Open Access article in Nature Communications is here

www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/140219/ncomms4311/full/ncomms4311.html

It's aquatic habitat, fast growth rate and unusual development make it an interesting species for comparative genomics.

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JExpBot: miRNAs in the crosstalk between phytohormone signalling pathways (review)

JExpBot: miRNAs in the crosstalk between phytohormone signalling pathways (review) | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
Mary Williams's insight:

"Recently, microRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as key regulators of phytohormone response pathways in planta by affecting their metabolism, distribution, and perception. Here we review current knowledge on the miRNA-mediated regulations involved in phytohormone crosstalk. We focus on the miRNAs exhibiting regulatory links with more than one phytohormone pathway and discuss their possible implication in coordinating multiple phytohormone responses during specific developmental processes. "

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Interesting disussion / suggestions about expert teaching - with flow charts!

Interesting disussion / suggestions about expert teaching - with flow charts! | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
Over the past year or so, I've been very keen on the idea of developing a 'tight but loose' approach to teaching across my school.  By that I mean highlighting a few key pedagogical principles that...
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Apply to Attend | ComSciCon - communicating science workshop for US graduate students

Apply to Attend | ComSciCon - communicating science workshop for US graduate students | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

The application for the June 2014 ComSciCon workshop is open now!  Application is open to graduate students at all US institutions in graduate programs related to science or engineering.  Applicants accepted to the June workshop will attend the workshop free of charge, and will receive travel reimbursement and accommodations at Harvard University facilities.

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Outreach competition- find your own science metaphor! « the Node

Outreach competition- find your own science metaphor! « the Node | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
Development recently published an article by Ben-Zion Shilo on his recent science outreach project. In this project, Benny aimed to explain concepts of developmental biology to the public by identifying and photographing their equivalent metaphors in the ‘human’ world. For example, the regular spacing of sun umbrellas on the beach can be seen as a […]
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The NODE: A day in the life of an Arabidopsis lab

The NODE: A day in the life of an Arabidopsis lab | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

The Node is running a series about model organisms, and here is their latest on .... Arabidopsis thaliana! Written by graduate student Narender Kumar from Louisiana State University.

Mary Williams's insight:

A nice introduction for students who haven't worked with one of plant science's favorite model organisms.

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lei su's curator insight, February 17, 2014 12:04 AM

The familiar life style for most Arabidopsis growers!

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The Seeds That Sowed a Revolution

The Seeds That Sowed a Revolution | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

"By the time the Beagle left the Galapagos, Darwin had amassed a spectacular collection of Galapagos plants. It is fortunate that he took such trouble. Most popular narratives of Darwin and the Galapagos concentrate on the far more celebrated finches or the giant tortoises. Yet when he finally published On the Origin of Species almost 25 years later, Darwin made no mention of these creatures. In his discussion of the Galapagos, he dwelt almost exclusively on the islands’ plants."

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JExpBot: Characteristics of a root hair-less line of Arabidopsis thaliana under physiological stresses

JExpBot: Characteristics of a root hair-less line of Arabidopsis thaliana under physiological stresses | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Otherwise normal plants lacking root hairs show significant disadvantages in mineral assimilation and water uptake .


"The present results suggest that root hairs play significant roles in the absorption of water and several minerals, secretion of acid phosphatase(s) and organic acids, and in penetration of the primary roots into gels. "



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Plant Cell: Machine Learning–Based Differential Network Analysis: A Study of Stress-Responsive Transcriptomes in Arabidopsis

Plant Cell: Machine Learning–Based Differential Network Analysis: A Study of Stress-Responsive Transcriptomes in Arabidopsis | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

"Machine learning (ML) is an intelligent data mining technique that builds a prediction model based on the learning of prior knowledge to recognize patterns in large-scale data sets. We present an ML-based methodology for transcriptome analysis via comparison of gene coexpression networks, implemented as an R package called machine learning–based differential network analysis (mlDNA) and apply this method to reanalyze a set of abiotic stress expression data in Arabidopsis thaliana. "

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Plant Phys: Phylogenetics identifies new cytokinin receptor subfamily

Plant Phys: Phylogenetics identifies new cytokinin receptor subfamily | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

"To shed light on the origin and evolution of two-component signaling members in plants, we conducted a comprehensive domain-based phylogenetic study across the relevant kingdoms including charophyceae algae, the group of green algae giving rise to land plants. Surprisingly, we identified a novel subfamily of cytokinin receptors with members only from the early diverging land plants... Finally, the analysis provided hints that one additional group of RRs, the type-C RRs, might be degenerated receptors and thus evolutionary of a different origin than bona fide response regulators."

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The Arabidopsis Book: Genetic and Epigenetic Mechanisms Underlying Vernalization

The Arabidopsis Book: Genetic and Epigenetic Mechanisms Underlying Vernalization | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
Dong-Hwan Kim and Sibum Sung (2014) Genetic and Epigenetic Mechanisms Underlying Vernalization. The Arabidopsis Book: Vol. , No. , pp. null. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1199/tab.0171
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