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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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ScienceShot: Snap! How Carnivorous Plants Capture Prey

ScienceShot: Snap! How Carnivorous Plants Capture Prey | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

ScienceShot: Snap! How Carnivorous Plants Capture Prey - ScienceNOW.

 

"These results suggest that in carnivorous sundew plants the jasmonate cascade might have been adapted to facilitate carnivory rather than to defend against herbivores."

 

Ooh - nice!

Here's a link to the paper in ProcRoySocB http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/280/1759/20130228

 

 

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New Phytol. (OA) Emerging trends in strigolactone research

New Phytol. (OA) Emerging trends in strigolactone research | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
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Current Biology - The psychology of GMO

Current Biology - The psychology of GMO | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
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ProcRoySocB: (OA) Revew: Chromatin organization and global regulation of Hox gene clusters

ProcRoySocB: (OA) Revew: Chromatin organization and global regulation of Hox gene clusters | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Here's a review of how epigentic marks and chromatin organization affect the global regulation of Hox gene clusters, from the special issue of Proc. Roy. Soc. B. on "Regulation from a distance: long-range control of gene expression in development and disease."

 

From the abstract, "The fascinating correspondence between the topological organization of Hox clusters and their transcriptional activation in space and time has served as a paradigm for understanding the relationships between genome structure and function."

 

This short review is recommended for students of molecular biology, genetics, developmental biology etc...

 

The image, from the special issue cover, shows a mouse embry showing expression of the wild-type cat-derived sonic hedgehog ZRS limb enhancer - the dark spots are the developing fingers and toes (Image courtesy of Dr Laura Lettice.)

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Plant Cell: Light and Reactive Oxygen Species Signaling Crosstalk

Plant Cell: Light and Reactive Oxygen Species Signaling Crosstalk | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

"The critical developmental switch from heterotrophic to autotrophic growth of plants involves light signaling transduction and the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS function as signaling molecules that regulate multiple developmental processes, including cell death. However, the relationship between light and ROS signaling remains unclear. Here, we identify transcriptional modules composed of the basic helix-loop-helix and bZIP transcription factors PHYTOCHROME-INTERACTING FACTOR1 (PIF1), PIF3, ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL5 (HY5), and HY5 HOMOLOGY (HYH) that bridge light and ROS signaling to regulate cell death and photooxidative response."

Mary Williams's insight:

Nice paper! Lots of different methods used to build a strong case for the antagonism between these two sets of transcription factors in regulating light and ROS signaling.

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Plant Phys: Rhizobial infection is associated w/ peripheral vasculature in nodules

Plant Phys: Rhizobial infection is associated w/ peripheral vasculature in nodules | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

"Using a new allele of the Medicago truncatula mutant Lumpy Infections, lin-4, which forms normal infection pockets but cannot initiate infection threads, we show that infection thread initiation is required for normal nodule development. lin-4 forms nodules with centrally located vascular bundles similar to that found in lateral roots rather than the peripheral vasculature characteristic of legume nodules."

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Nature: 30 years of GMOs

Nature: 30 years of GMOs | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

There are several good articles in this week's Nature, celebrating 30 years since the first transgenic plants were produced.

Don't miss the analyses of agricultural biotech in Africa (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v497/n7447/full/497031a.html) and China (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v497/n7447/full/497033a.html), and a good perspectie on "Using membrane transporters to improve crops for sustainable food production" (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v497/n7447/full/nature11909.html).

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PNAS: Smoke-derived karrikin perception by the α/β-hydrolase KAI2 from Arabidopsis

PNAS: Smoke-derived karrikin perception by the α/β-hydrolase KAI2 from Arabidopsis | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

From the Science Daily summary "In the spring following a forest fire, trees that survived the blaze explode in new growth and plants sprout in abundance from the scorched earth." Photo from Salk Institute.

 

This araticle looks at the physical interaction between smoke-derived karrikins and the KAI2 protein.

Here's a link to the Open Access article: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/04/23/1306265110.abstract

Mary Williams's insight:

I really like this photo - scientists smiling and hanging out in the greenhouse with their Arabidopsis and molecular models :)

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Global value of GM rice: a review of expected agronomic and consumer benefits - Demont & Stein (2013) - New Biotechnology

Unlike for other major crops, no genetically modified (GM) varieties of rice have been commercialized at a large scale. Within the next 2–3 years new transgenic rice varieties could be ready for regulatory approval and subsequent commercialization, though.

 

Given the importance of rice as staple crop for many of the world's poorest people, this will have implications for the alleviation of poverty, hunger and malnutrition. Thus, policy-makers need to be aware of the potential benefits of GM rice.

 

We provide an overview of the literature and discuss the evidence on expected agronomic and consumer benefits of genetically engineered rice. We find that while GM rice with improved agronomic traits could deliver benefits similar to already commercialized biotechnology crops, expected benefits of consumer traits could be higher by an order of magnitude.

 

By aggregating the expected annual benefits, we estimate the global value of GM rice to be US$64 billion per year. This is only an indicative value as more GM varieties will become available in future. Nevertheless, such a figure can help guide policy-makers when deciding on the approval or funding of biotechnology crops and it may also raise awareness among consumers about what is at stake for their societies.


Via Alexander J. Stein
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Alexander J. Stein's curator insight, April 29, 2013 10:29 PM

To put the magnitude of US$64 billion into context, this is about twice the amount of overall official development assistance to the agriculture, health and education sectors in developing countries in 2011.

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Current Biology - An Auxin Transport Mechanism Restricts Positive Orthogravitropism in Lateral Roots

Current Biology - An Auxin Transport Mechanism Restricts Positive Orthogravitropism in Lateral Roots | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

For all you auxin / gravitropism / lateral root fans (aren't we all?)

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Trends in Plant Science: Paradoxical EU agricultural policies on genetically engineered crops

Trends in Plant Science: Paradoxical EU agricultural policies on genetically engineered crops | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

There are lots of press releases floating around about this new review by Masip et al., in TIPS, mostly without links. Here is a link to the PDF of the online article: http://download.cell.com/images/edimages/Trends/plantscience/TRPLSC_1050.pdf

 

The authors conclude, "The EU is undermining its own competitiveness in the agricultural sector, damaging both the EU and its humanitarian activities in the developing world."

Mary Williams's insight:

Good paper for reading and discussion - very informative.

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Could An 'Artificial Leaf' Fuel Your Car? : NPR

Could An 'Artificial Leaf' Fuel Your Car? : NPR | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
Right now, solar panels make electricity. But a team of engineers in California wants to take solar energy one step further. They're trying to create a device that uses sunlight to make a liquid fuel that goes in our gas tanks.
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The case for reaching out

The case for reaching out | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
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Science Careers: A Downstream Pathway into Teaching

Science Careers: A Downstream Pathway into Teaching | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

How and why to use your PhD as leverage to get into teaching. Pros include job security, the joy of teaching, and (somewhat) shorter hours. I'm not sure about the summers off claim - most teachers I know don't really sit by the pool all summer ....

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30 min video by KQED Quest on GMOs, includes interviews with Lemaux and Blumwald

30 min video by KQED Quest on GMOs, includes interviews with Lemaux and Blumwald | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

"KQED Quest, based in San Francisco, has just posted a half-hour special on GMOs called Next Meal: Engineering your Food. It takes a look at the science of plant breeding and genetic engineering, interviewing Peggy Lemaux from UC Berkeley, Eduardo Blumwald at UC Davis, along with a host of other farmers, writers, and activists."

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PNAS: Ultraconserved words point to deep language ancestry across Eurasia

PNAS: Ultraconserved words point to deep language ancestry across Eurasia | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Here's an interesting paper for your students to consider. How does the evolution of languages compare to that of genes? It might help them to examine lots of familiar ideas more deeply. What does conservation mean? Is there evidence for seletion? Is the rate of change uniform or variable? Do languages show evidence of "horizontal word transfer"? Etc.

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Mary Williams's comment, May 7, 2013 5:36 AM
http://bit.ly/12OmYIK Here's a book chapter that describes which analogies work for comparisons between language and genome evolution, written by a linguist
Eve Emshwiller's curator insight, May 7, 2013 12:56 PM

Posting here as a reminder to myself to read this later.

Mary Williams's comment, May 8, 2013 3:26 AM
Here's another companion paper http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.1001555 from PLOS-Biol The Geography of Recent Genetic Ancestry across Europe
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From the August 10, 1935, issue | Science & Society | Science News

From the August 10, 1935, issue | Science & Society | Science News | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

I was trying to find the correct citation for the classic 1935 and 1937 Flint and McAlister lettuce seed germination studies that showed the contrasting effects of red and far-red light, and I stumbled upon this summary of their work in a 1935 issue of Science News. It's kind of like opening a time capsule...

 

"ALMOST INVISIBLE LIGHT CAN RETARD PLANT GROWTH

A new and unsuspected link in the relationship between light and biological activity has been discovered by Dr. Lewis H. Flint of the Department of Agriculture and Dr E.D. McAlister of the Smithsonian Institution...... " (follow the link to read the rest).

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Rita Pierson: Every kid needs a champion | Video on TED.com

Rita Pierson, a teacher for 40 years, once heard a colleague say, "They don't pay me to like the kids." Her response: "Kids don't learn from people they don’t like.’” A rousing call to educators to believe in their students and actually connect...
Mary Williams's insight:

Brilliant! I'm so glad I watched this (7 min)

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Plant Phys: Unraveling root developmental programs initiated by beneficial Pseudomonas spp. bacteria

Plant Phys: Unraveling root developmental programs initiated by beneficial Pseudomonas spp. bacteria | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

"Pseudomonas spp. rhizobacteria represent one of the most abundant genera of the root microbiome. Here, by employing a germ-free experimental system, we demonstrate the ability of selected Pseudomonas spp. strains to promote plant growth and drive developmental plasticity in the roots of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) by inhibiting primary root elongation and promoting lateral root and root hair formation."

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Plant Cell: Starch and glycogen pathways in the myrmecophytic (ant plant) Cecropia peltata

Plant Cell: Starch and glycogen pathways in the myrmecophytic (ant plant) Cecropia peltata | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

"The branched glucans glycogen and starch are the most widespread storage carbohydrates in living organisms. The production of semicrystalline starch granules in plants is more complex than that of small, soluble glycogen particles in microbes and animals. However, the factors determining whether glycogen or starch is formed are not fully understood. The tropical tree Cecropia peltata is a rare example of an organism able to make either polymer type."

Mary Williams's insight:

Clever study! And who doesn't find myrmecophytes intriguing...

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Piyush Patel's comment, May 1, 2013 5:16 AM
wow great study...
it might be a good research work...

http://webresult.in/
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PNAS (OA) Control of cell proliferation, endoreduplication, cell size, and cell death by the retinoblastoma-related pathway in maize endosperm

PNAS (OA) Control of cell proliferation, endoreduplication, cell size, and cell death by the retinoblastoma-related pathway in maize endosperm | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

This figure is from the cited article

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(Free) Principles of transcriptome analysis and gene expression quantification: an RNA-seq tutorial - Wolf - 2013 - Molecular Ecology Resources

(Free) Principles of transcriptome analysis and gene expression quantification: an RNA-seq tutorial - Wolf - 2013 - Molecular Ecology Resources | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

This is terrific - a real "how to" guide for beginners (and students), from sample preparation to analysis. Thanks to Francis Martin @fmartin1954 for the link

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Guardian: (Series) Secrets of good science writing

Guardian: (Series) Secrets of good science writing | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Terrific resource - the Guardian has been running a series about science writing, by science writers. Grab these for your students - they are interesting and inspiring.

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Jeremy Lynn's curator insight, April 26, 2013 3:43 AM

This is an awesome scoop.

immersive's curator insight, April 26, 2013 4:23 AM

nice!.

Kolby Monczko's curator insight, April 30, 2013 1:41 AM

This article provides a very useful insit on how to professionally write science articles. It includes information on what makes a good science story, how to choose your opening line, what informatioon to leave out, and possible deadends you may come across when writing. This article is a must read before you start writing any science article.

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Image reuse guidelines - teachable moment?

Image reuse guidelines - teachable moment? | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

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You may have caught this discussion, about a popular facebook page's inappropriate reuse of images (http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/compound-eye/2013/04/23/facebooks-i-fcking-love-science-does-not-fcking-love-artists/).

 

Here's a good rule, which I learned from a copyright lawyer, "The golden rule: Just because it’s on the internet doesn’t give your permission to reuse it."

 

With that in mind, are you doing enough to teach your students about the appropriate appropriation of images? Of course, you teach them how to find and cite articles, but what messages do you give them about crediting image souces? 

 

Talk to your students about the importance of crediting the work of others. Written class work or talks that are shared only in the classroom should cite all image sources. Work that is to be published, whether in a journal or online, needs a more formal approach, which often includes getting permission from the copyright holder.

 

Here are a couple of tips about sourcing images for publication that I shared at a science communication workshop.

 

Image databases

If you want to reuse an image from an image database, be sure to adhere to their requests – some want you to write for permission, others do not. I always include a credit and a link to the source – it’s polite, and gives credit where credit is due.

A few that are good sources of (usually) free images, with attribution:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - http://phil.cdc.gov/Phil/home.asp

Forestry Images – http://www.forestryimages.org/log.cfm

The Higher Education Academy Center for Bioscience ImageBank (Animals, plants and other) http://www.bioscience.heacademy.ac.uk/imagebank/

Clip art - http://openclipart.org/

Searchable free photos - http://www.bigfoto.com/

Images in the Teaching Tools in Plant Biology slides cite back to their original sources, and can be a good place for students to find sourced images http://www.plantcell.org/site/teachingtools/teaching.xhtml

 

Wikipedia

The images illustrating Wikipedia articles are almost always available through a Creative Commons license. Wikipedia also maintains a list of public domain image resources here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Public_domain_image_resources

 

Learn about the Creative Commons license here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons_license

 

Scientific journals

Images from scientific journals are copyright protected. You can often use them for educational purposes without paying a fee, but you must obtain permission first. Look for the Rights and Permissions link, usually on the abstract page of an article, but sometimes on the general journal information pages. Many journals use the Copyright Clearance Center service to manage their permissions - you have to register. Some journals cover all their content by a Creative Commons license and do not require a copyright clearance center request (but do require attribution). Notably, JBC and the PLOS and BMC journals are covered by creative commons licenses.

 

I wasn't taught about the electronic sharing of images when I was a student, because we didn't have the internet (as we know it) when I was a student, but our students live in in a more complex world - don't send them out unprepared!

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Abigail Rumsey's comment, April 25, 2013 4:09 AM
You can also use an option on the advanced search of www.flickr.com to just search Creative Commons licensed images.
Mary Williams's comment, April 27, 2013 10:14 AM
Going beyond images, here is an intersting guide on how to credit moving images and sound! I didn't know that... http://lefthandedbiochemist.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/guide-for-citing-audiovisual-materials/
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The 21st century is not very conducive to the development of plant scientists...

The 21st century is not very conducive to the development of plant scientists... | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Many of the great plant scientists of the 20th century grew up on farms or in environments surrounded by plants.

Where are the great 21st century plant scientists growing up?

 

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