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Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education)
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PNAS: Electron transfer precedes ATP hydrolysis during nitrogenase catalysis

PNAS: Electron transfer precedes ATP hydrolysis during nitrogenase catalysis | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Chemistry's so useful for understanding biology...

Two PNAS papers dissecting the chemistry of this exciting enzyme, here; http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/09/18/1311218110.abstract

and here: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/09/20/1315852110.abstract

and a press release here: http://www.usu.edu/ust/index.cfm?article=52663

 

 

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Science editorial: Standing Up for GMOs

Science editorial: Standing Up for GMOs | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

11 science heavyweights speak out against the destruction of Golden Rice field studies....

"But the anti-GMO fever still burns brightly, fanned by electronic gossip and well-organized fear-mongering that profits some individuals and organizations. We, and the thousands of other scientists who have signed the statement of protest, stand together in staunch opposition to the violent destruction of required tests on valuable advances such as Golden Rice that have the potential to save millions of impoverished fellow humans from needless suffering and death."

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BBSRC - "How I discovered ash dieback (and what we’re doing about it)" - BBSRC

BBSRC - "How I discovered ash dieback (and what we’re doing about it)" - BBSRC | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
It was one of those bad things just waiting to happen. When the tree killer ash dieback disease was first found in the UK in February 2012 it became a major concern to anyone who recalled the devastation wrought by Dutch elm disease in Britain.
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PLOS ONE: Major Transcriptome Reprogramming Underlies Floral Mimicry Induced by the Rust Fungus Puccinia monoica in Boechera stricta (2013)

PLOS ONE: Major Transcriptome Reprogramming Underlies Floral Mimicry Induced by the Rust Fungus Puccinia monoica in Boechera stricta (2013) | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Puccinia monoica is a spectacular plant parasitic rust fungus that triggers the formation of flower-like structures (pseudoflowers) in its Brassicaceae host plant Boechera stricta. Pseudoflowers mimic in shape, color, nectar and scent co-occurring and unrelated flowers such as buttercups. They act to attract insects thereby aiding spore dispersal and sexual reproduction of the rust fungus. Although much ecological research has been performed on P.monoica-induced pseudoflowers, this system has yet to be investigated at the molecular or genomic level. To date, the molecular alterations underlying the development of pseudoflowers and the genes involved have not been described. To address this, we performed gene expression profiling to reveal 256 plant biological processes that are significantly altered in pseudoflowers. Among these biological processes, plant genes involved in cell fate specification, regulation of transcription, reproduction, floral organ development, anthocyanin (major floral pigments) and terpenoid biosynthesis (major floral volatile compounds) were down-regulated in pseudoflowers. In contrast, plant genes involved in shoot, cotyledon and leaf development, carbohydrate transport, wax biosynthesis, cutin transport and L-phenylalanine metabolism (pathway that results in phenylethanol and phenylacetaldehyde volatile production) were up-regulated. These findings point to an extensive reprogramming of host genes by the rust pathogen to induce floral mimicry. We also highlight 31 differentially regulated plant genes that are enriched in the biological processes mentioned above, and are potentially involved in the formation of pseudoflowers. This work illustrates the complex perturbations induced by rust pathogens in their host plants, and provides a starting point for understanding the molecular mechanisms of pathogen-induced floral mimicry.


Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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Nanci J. Ross's curator insight, September 18, 2013 1:30 PM

ok, this is just so cool (even if it is a fungus!)

Steve Marek's curator insight, September 18, 2013 2:57 PM

So very cool...So what's wrong with insects attracted to purple flowers?

As a rust, why not just put your spores in the anthers like Microbotryum?

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PNAS: DNA cloning: A personal view after 40 years by Stanley Cohen

PNAS: DNA cloning: A personal view after 40 years by Stanley Cohen | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Interesting historical perspective of a truly "transformational" breakthrough - nice for students!

 

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Science: Scientists outline how to save nearly 70 percent of the world's plant species

Science: Scientists outline how to save nearly 70 percent of the world's plant species | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
In 2010 the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) pledged to set aside 17 percent of the world's land as protected areas in addition to protecting 60 percent of the world's plant species—through the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation...

 

See how this goal can be achieved here, by setting aside 17% of the world's land that has the most plant diversity, in Science http://www.sciencemag.org/content/341/6150/1100.abstract


Via Wildforests
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BMC Plant Biology: Perception of soft mechanical stress in Arabidopsis leaves activates disease resistance

BMC Plant Biology: Perception of soft mechanical stress in Arabidopsis leaves activates disease resistance | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
In a previous study we have shown that wounding of Arabidopsis thaliana leaves induces a strong and transient immunity to Botrytis cinerea, the causal agent of grey mould.
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This article has been getting lots of press coverage, often without a link to the article, so here's the link. Interestingly, the induced resistance is JA-independent. The authors suggest that abrading the cuticle may enhance the ability of the plant to perceive wounding / infection, or activate mechano-sensors.

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PLOS Pathogens: Death Be Not Proud—Cell Death Control in Plant Fungal Interactions

PLOS Pathogens: Death Be Not Proud—Cell Death Control in Plant Fungal Interactions | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Nice review of plant - fungal interactions with a little bit of poetry as well - very good, engaging overview for students!

 

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Teaching Tools in Plant Biology - Educational Impact Survey

Teaching Tools in Plant Biology - Educational Impact Survey | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

We need your help, to learn how people use Teaching Tools in Plant Biology. Please share and complete this survey, and if you've had students use any of the resources, ask them to share their experiences too! http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/F95CWGZ
If you're not involved in formal coursework, but just find TTPB an interesting way to broaden your knowledge of plant science - we want to hear from you too!
On 15 Nov we'll have a drawing of completed surveys for an Amazon gift card worth US $100.

THANK YOU!
Why? We'd like to share our story about Teaching Tools in Plant Biology with educators in other disciplines. We've had plenty of informal feedback about how people use Teaching Tools in Plant Biology, but we're hoping to add quantiative data to our descriptions. Please tell us how you use these resources!

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Mary Williams's comment, September 13, 2013 3:10 AM
Thanks for sharing this Elsa!
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BBC video: Footage reveals plant spores' walk

BBC video: Footage reveals plant spores' walk | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
Microscopic footage reveals how horsetail plant spores move around on their moisture sensitive legs by walking and jumping.
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Building foundations for an open perspective on synthetic biology research and innovation

Building foundations for an open perspective on synthetic biology research and innovation | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Here's a letter to New Phytologist about the SAW Trust, an outreach program bursting with creativity. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nph.12361/full

 

And more here http://www.sawtrust.org/index.html

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"Web of stories" video archive. Wolf Frommer talks about SWEETs

"Web of stories" video archive. Wolf Frommer talks about SWEETs | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Wolf Frommer talks about SWEET sucrose transporters in this 6 min video. See also http://www.sciencemag.org/content/335/6065/207.short

 

This site has some interesting biology videos but not too many on plants.

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Economist: Farming as rocket science

Economist: Farming as rocket science | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
BEFORE growing up to become farmers, a startling number of America’s rural kids are taught how to build rockets. Every year rural skies fill with mini-missiles...
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Interesting article!

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Nature: Microbiome: Soil science comes to life (2013)

Nature: Microbiome: Soil science comes to life (2013) | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Farmers have long tried to improve the chemical and physical condition of their soils, seeking to make more nutrients available to their plants, to retain more moisture in the soil, and to ease the growth of plant roots. But they have typically ignored the role of the teeming diversity of fungi and bacteria in the soil.

 

Now, however, soil biologists are beginning to understand the significance of the interactions at work in the microbiome surrounding plants' root systems. Recent research has shown, for example, that major food crops can be made dramatically more stress tolerant by transplanting into them various microbiota, such as fungi or bacteria, that colonize other species. There is a clear parallel with medical science, where the myriad microorganisms on our skin and in our gut are now recognized as crucial mediators of a whole range of bodily responses — an understanding that has profoundly changed the way we think about human health.

 

In agriculture, the drive to eliminate pathogens has encouraged a bazooka approach to the soil microbiome with the widespread use of biocides and fungicides. But the role of the microbiome is too varied and complex for this to be sustainable. “We are standing on a treasure of beneficial microbes, each of them contributing a little bit to plant yield,” says Alexandre Jousset, a microbiologist at the University of Göttingen, Germany. “Understanding how these diverse communities help plants to resist adverse situations will open new doors to developing sustainable practices, calling up microbial services that are sleeping in virtually any soil.”


Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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Geoponics Corp's curator insight, September 25, 2013 9:48 PM

Yes-- diversity in the soil is key! 

Tania Gammage's curator insight, September 26, 2013 9:08 PM

excellent article for science curriculum plants/ecological systems...love the use of "bazooka approach"

Peter Buckland's curator insight, September 27, 2013 9:02 AM

Excellent article on the importance of bacteria and fungi to a 'healthy' soil.

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Plant biology jobs in San Francisco / Berkeley? Yes!

Plant biology jobs in San Francisco / Berkeley? Yes! | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

I just saw two neat jobs in the San Francisco Bay area (aka heaven). Here they are:

Assistant Curator, Botany, California Academy of Sciences

http://calacademy.snaphire.com/jobdetails?ajid=bWSa8

 

Plant Evolutionary Biology Faculty Curator, Berkeley (tenure track)

http://jobs.botany.org/index.php?module=clip&type=user&func=display&tid=3&pid=3403&title=Plant+Evolutionary+Biology+Faculty+Curator

 

 

 

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National Academies Press free ebooks: Child Food Insecurity, & Massive Data Analysis

National Academies Press free ebooks: Child Food Insecurity, & Massive Data Analysis | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Two free ebooks from National Academies Press:

Frontiers in Massive Data Analysis: www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=18374

and

Causes and Consequences of Child Food Insecurity and Hunger:

http://nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=18504

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Backyard Mystery Afterschool Curriculum

Backyard Mystery Afterschool Curriculum | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

The super team of Barbara Alonso and Peggy Lemaux have developed another set of materials for engaging children with science. This one is about diseases and pathogens of plants and animals. By contacting the authors you can download a link to a complete set of materials for teachers and children. It's designed for afterschool groups, but you could bring the materials into any classroom, or maybe even use as a birthday party activity for future scientists!

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Mary Williams's comment, September 17, 2013 12:23 PM
Peggy and Barbara have developed other resources including "Dirt to Dinner", "DNA for Dinner" etc - find them here http://ucbiotech.org/resources/teaching_aids/index.html
Audrey's curator insight, September 18, 2013 5:45 AM

Thank you for these materials as they can be used for homeschool learning.  www.homeschoolsource.co.uk also has educational resources such as these which are fantastic for assisting learning without stress.

Audrey's comment, September 26, 2013 5:21 AM
Thank you I am looking at them.
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Trends in Plant Science: Evolution of the plant–microbe symbiotic ‘toolkit’ (2013)

Trends in Plant Science: Evolution of the plant–microbe symbiotic ‘toolkit’ (2013) | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Beneficial associations between plants and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi play a major role in terrestrial environments and in the sustainability of agroecosystems. Proteins, microRNAs, and small molecules have been identified in model angiosperms as required for the establishment of arbuscular mycorrhizal associations and define a symbiotic ‘toolkit’ used for other interactions such as the rhizobia–legume symbiosis. Based on recent studies, we propose an evolutionary framework for this toolkit. Some components appeared recently in angiosperms, whereas others are highly conserved even in land plants unable to form arbuscular mycorrhizal associations. The exciting finding that some components pre-date the appearance of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi suggests the existence of unknown roles for this toolkit and even the possibility of symbiotic associations in charophyte green algae.


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PNAS: Herbivore exploits orally secreted bacteria to suppress plant defenses

PNAS: Herbivore exploits orally secreted bacteria to suppress plant defenses | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

The importance of symbiotic gut bacteria in insect oral secretions to elicit SA-mediated defenses (against the bacteria) rather than JA-mediated defenses (against the herbivore).

Image credit: Gary Felton, from here http://news.psu.edu/story/286884/2013/09/09/research/microbes-help-beetles-defeat-plant-defenses

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Announcing the Arabidopsis Epigenome Enunciation Project | HARDTKE LAB - Plant Molecular Genetics & More

Announcing the Arabidopsis Epigenome Enunciation Project | HARDTKE LAB - Plant Molecular Genetics & More | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

It must be Friday! Time to contribute to the Arabidopsis epigenome enunciation project - "Methyl cytosine!"

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Plant Physiology: Phytoplasma effector SAP54 induces indeterminate leaf-like flower development in Arabidopsis plants

Plant Physiology: Phytoplasma effector SAP54 induces indeterminate leaf-like flower development in Arabidopsis plants | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Phytoplasmas are insect-transmitted bacterial plant pathogens and cause considerable damage to a diverse range of agricultural crops globally. Symptoms induced in infected plants suggest that these phytopathogens may modulate developmental processes within the plant host. We report herein that Aster Yellows phytoplasma strain Witches’ Broom (AY-WB) readily infects the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana ecotype Col-0, inducing symptoms that are characteristic of phytoplasma infection, such as the production of green leaf-like flowers (virescence and phyllody) and increased formation of stems and branches (witches' broom). We found that the majority of 56 genes encoding secreted AY-WB proteins (SAPs), which are candidate effector proteins, are expressed in Arabidopsis and the AY-WB insect vector Macrosteles quadrilineatus (Hemiptera; Cicadellidae). To identify which of these effector proteins induce symptoms of phyllody and virescence, we individually expressed the effector genes in Arabidopsis. From this screen, we have identified a novel AY-WB effector protein SAP54 that alters floral development, resulting in the production of leaf-like flowers that are similar to those produced by plants infected with this phytoplasma. This study offers novel insight into the effector profile of an insect-transmitted plant pathogen, and reports the first example of a microbial pathogen effector protein that targets flower development in a host.


Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL, Ali Taheri, ROOTSPROUT, PMG
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PlantGrowthQuiz - Daily quiz on plant growth and development. Tweet me your answers! | Wisr

PlantGrowthQuiz - Daily quiz on plant growth and development. Tweet me your answers! | Wisr | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
Wisr teaches anything from Chemistry to Algebra through Twitter/chat/SMS/email. Learn by answering questions in the communication channel where you are most comfortable.

Via Eve Emshwiller, Meristemi
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I haven't seen twitter used in this way before - very nice to know about!

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Eve Emshwiller's curator insight, August 25, 2013 1:23 PM

I wish I could copyedit some of the questions, but this could be useful to some students for quizzing themselves.

Mary Williams's comment, September 12, 2013 3:03 AM
There's a Daily Photosynthesis quz also! http://wisr.com/feeds/32575
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Plant Cell Reports -Special Issues Plant Hormone Signaling

Plant Cell Reports -Special Issues Plant Hormone Signaling | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

If you're teaching this term, you (and your students!) might find this useful - two issues of Plant Cell Reports (June, July 2013) dedicated to Plant Hormone Signaling. One-stop shopping!

http://link.springer.com/journal/volumesAndIssues/299

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Global STEMx Education Conference

Global STEMx Education Conference | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

It's a MOOConf - Massively open online conference! Global Science, Technology Engineering and Math education conference, for all school years as well as undergraduate educators. Sept 19 -21, and registration is free! 

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Jennifer Mach's comment, September 9, 2013 8:32 AM
Shared with the science teachers at my daughter's school!
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Drought Helped Spark Syria's Civil War

Drought Helped Spark Syria's Civil War | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
A devastating drought played a significant role in sparking Syria's civil war. Is it a harbinger of future climate change-related conflicts?
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