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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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Free Supplement from Nature: Agriculture and Drought (Sept 26 2013)

Free Supplement from Nature: Agriculture and Drought (Sept 26 2013) | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

I've been busy and missed this free supplement from Nature - here's the link in case you missed it too!

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IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) video: ASAP

I've been writing about the importance of weather forecast information and models for farmers, including those in the developing world. This video expresses that idea beautifully - super animation, compelling story.

 

Read more about the Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP) here:

http://www.ifad.org/climate/asap/index.htm

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The Planetary Archives Digital University | San Francisco California's curator insight, October 22, 2013 11:54 AM

Unfortunatly, these are the same promises that were made 40 years ago. This sounds like another NGO whose employess recieve annual salaries that are more than these farmer will see in their ENTIRE LIVES. Maybe if "aid" money went directly to the communities in the form of  habitat preservation by not allowing corporations to despoil the planet. Rural communities NEED chipper-shredders, handtools, rainwater capture systems,  preservation of local heirloom seeds, introduction of crops like amaranth and hemp, wind powerered pumps and electricity, solar cooking and cooling systems, and iPads loaded with educational materials. I mean, seriously (thanks, kids), how many NGO's are there claiming to "fight hunger/poverty/disease/war?" By any measure, all these "plagues" are worse today than ever.

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Having trouble downloading Teaching Tools files you should be able to access? Here's help.

Having trouble downloading Teaching Tools files you should be able to access? Here's help. | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Our publisher has made some changes to the way that Teaching Tools in Plant Biology slides are displayed, leading to some confusion. Don't use the link in the menu to the right that says "PPT slides of Figures" (indicated with a red "do not" sign). Instead, use the links within the displayed PDF. Depending on how you access these resources you may see only the bottom panel; if so, click on the links indicated with the green arrow. However, sometimes you have to scroll down to see those links - if the PDF that displays is two pages, you'll see the top panel. Scroll down to page 2 (bottom panel).

Mary Williams's insight:

Needless to say, we're working on it, but I've had several people contact me for advice, so I thought I'd broadcast the solution. Meanwhile, happy teaching and learning!

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Could This 2013 Nobel Laureate Afford College Today?

Could This 2013 Nobel Laureate Afford College Today? | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
School was cheap when Randy Schekman was a student in the 1960s. He wants to use his platform as this year's Nobelist in medicine to champion a return low-cost education.
Mary Williams's insight:

I also was able to support myself and pay my tuition as an undergraduate at Berkeley from the proceeds of my summer job. It's sad that that opportunity is very hard to find these days!

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Katherin Esau, my inspiring woman for Ada Lovelace Day (1898—1996)

Katherin Esau, my inspiring woman for Ada Lovelace Day (1898—1996) | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Today is Ada Lovelace Day (http://findingada.com/about/), a day to reflect on inspiring women in science. There are so many to choose from, but today I've chosen to honor Katherine Esau, the brilliant plant anatomist. If you've looked at a plant anatomical light micrograph or drawing, chances are it's her work. You'll find the indispensable "Esau's Anatomy of Seed Plants" on many lab bookshelves (or, more likely, open on a graduate student's desk). PIs have been known to frisk their exiting students to make sure they're not smuggling out the Esau... :)

 

Katherine Esau's amazing lifestory can be found here http://www.botany.org/bsa/misc/esau.html and here http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev.phyto.36.1.27. Although known as an anatomist, she also embraced studies of agriculture, pathology and genetics. In 1957, she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the 6th woman to achieve that honor; her Academy of Science memoir, by Ray Evert, is here http://www.nasonline.org/publications/biographical-memoirs/memoir-pdfs/esau-katherine.pdf.

She's truly a hero of plant science!

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Science asks young scientist "How to improve work-life balance?" Results

Science asks young scientist "How to improve work-life balance?" Results | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Lots of good ideas put forth by young scientists. One of the most difficult challenges is that although many people work long hours in their 20s and 30s, academic scientists especially postdocs have to manage with a lower salary than their peers in business, law, or industry, which means less money for take away meals, daycare, housecleaning etc. Check out Morgane Boone's essay for an innovative program.

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NYTimes: The Dangers of Pseudoscience

NYTimes: The Dangers of Pseudoscience | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
What’s the harm in believing in unproven concepts like Chinese medicine’s theory of Qi if its remedies seem to help?
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Plant Methods: Plant genome editing made easy: targeted mutagenesis in model and crop plants using the CRISPR/Cas system (2013)

Plant Methods: Plant genome editing made easy: targeted mutagenesis in model and crop plants using the CRISPR/Cas system (2013) | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Targeted genome engineering (also known as genome editing) has emerged as an alternative to classical plant breeding and transgenic (GMO) methods to improve crop plants. Until recently, available tools for introducing site-specific double strand DNA breaks were restricted to zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs) and TAL effector nucleases (TALENs). However, these technologies have not been widely adopted by the plant research community due to complicated design and laborious assembly of specific DNA binding proteins for each target gene. Recently, an easier method has emerged based on the bacterial type II CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)/Cas (CRISPR-associated) immune system. The CRISPR/Cas system allows targeted cleavage of genomic DNA guided by a customizable small noncoding RNA, resulting in gene modifications by both non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) and homology-directed repair (HDR) mechanisms. In this review we summarize and discuss recent applications of the CRISPR/Cas technology in plants.


Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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From Plant Methods: Database of Plant Image Analysis Software Tools

From Plant Methods: Database of Plant Image Analysis Software Tools | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Read about this great resource of resources here: http://www.plantmethods.com/content/9/1/38/abstract

Lobet, G., Draye, X. and Perilleux, C. (2013). An online database for plant image analysis software tools. Plant Methods. 9: 38.

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Current Biology - SPIRAL2 Determines Plant Microtubule Organization by Modulating Microtubule Severing

Current Biology - SPIRAL2 Determines Plant Microtubule Organization by Modulating Microtubule Severing | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

"One of the defining characteristics of plant growth and morphology is the pivotal role of cell expansion. While the mechanical properties of the cell wall determine both the extent and direction of cell expansion, the cortical microtubule array plays a critical role in cell wall organization and, consequently, determining directional (anisotropic) cell expansion"

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Randy Schekman's Nobel Morning

Randy W. Schekman, professor of molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley, has won the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine ...
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BBC: Cellular 'shipping' wins Nobel Prize

BBC: Cellular 'shipping' wins Nobel Prize | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
Three scientists have won the Nobel Prize for medicine or physiology after discovering how cells precisely transport material.

James Rothman, Randy Schekman, and Thomas Sudhof

 

Mary Williams's insight:

I took a class from Randy Schekman as a Biochemistry undergraduate student at Berkeley and loved it - he turned me on to Cell Biology and particularly the wonderful world of protein trafficking - as well as the awesome power of a clever genetic screen, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae! Hooray!

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Video: Nutrient Runoff

The use of fertilizers in agriculture has increased the productivity of our farms. However, this increase has come with a price. Fertilizers and other chemic...
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Desert Blooms and Marathon Moths - Plants are Cool, Too! - Episode 4

Giant hawk moths fly for miles each night in search of flower nectar -- and are thus critically important as pollinators of desert wildflowers. Dr. Chris Mar...
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Eve Emshwiller's curator insight, October 20, 2013 5:29 PM

Another fine episode from Dr. Chris Martine and friends.

Peter Buckland's curator insight, October 21, 2013 11:46 AM

Another fascinating video in this excellent series

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Women in Plant Pathology — Three Women Who Led the Way

Women in Plant Pathology — Three Women Who Led the Way | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

For Ada Lovelace Day, from Marie A. C. Langham, South Dakota State University, stories about Flora Patterson, Effie Southworth and Margaret Newton.

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PlantPhys: Two-hybrid-receptor assay to study plant immune receptors

PlantPhys: Two-hybrid-receptor assay to study plant immune receptors | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Hello receptorologists, this is interesting.

"Here we show that the receptor pair of FLS2 and BAK1 is also functional when the roles of the complex partners are reversed by swapping their cytosolic domains. This reciprocal constellation prevents interference by redundant partners that can partially substitute for BAK1 and demonstrates that formation of the heteromeric complex is the molecular switch for transmembrane signalling."

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New York Times: A Rare Open House Lets Visitors in the Herbarium at Kew Gardens

New York Times: A Rare Open House Lets Visitors in the Herbarium at Kew Gardens | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
A rare open house in London allows visitors a peek into the Herbarium at Kew Gardens, a vast collection of plant specimens and other treasures, some from Darwin and Livingstone, others more recent.
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eLIFE: Cytoplasmic genetic variation & cytonuclear interactions influence natural variation in Arabidopsis metabolome

eLIFE: Cytoplasmic genetic variation & cytonuclear interactions influence natural variation in Arabidopsis metabolome | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

"We conducted a metabolomic QTL analysis on a reciprocal RIL population to examine how variation in the organelle genomes affects phenotypic variation. This showed that cytoplasmic variation had effects similar to, if not larger than, the largest individual nuclear locus. Inclusion of cytoplasmic variation into the genetic model greatly increased the explained phenotypic variation. Cytoplasmic genetic varation was a central hub in the epistatic network controlling the plant metabolome."

Mary Williams's insight:

Nic study - those wee endosymbionts are pretty darn important!

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Dr Juliet Camilla Frankland, 30th January 1929–9th June 2013

Dr Juliet Camilla Frankland, 30th January 1929–9th June 2013 | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

An excellent plant ecologist as well as a highly accomplished fungal ecologist. R.I.P.


Via Francis Martin
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Current Biology - Halotropism Is a Response of Plant Roots to Avoid a Saline Environment

Current Biology - Halotropism Is a Response of Plant Roots to Avoid a Saline Environment | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
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Updated Teaching Tools: Cytokinin

Updated Teaching Tools: Cytokinin | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

What's new? We look at the new data on the ER-localization of the CK receptors, we highlight more examples of CKs' roles in development, and we look more closely at the mechanisms of CK-mediated gene expression.

Mary Williams's insight:

And don't forget to give us feedback on this series by completing a short survey - and thanks to you who have already done so!

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/F95CWGZ

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Plant Physiol. Focus Issue: Calcium signaling

Plant Physiol. Focus Issue: Calcium signaling | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Want to talk about calcium signaling? Of course you do! It's important in the regulation of stomatal aperture, stress response, interactions with microbes etc.

Check out the focus issue of Plant Physiology on calcium signalling - lots of uptakes, reviews and new research, with an overview by Alex Webb here: www.plantphysiol.org/content/163/2/457.full.html

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Andres Zurita's curator insight, October 9, 2013 10:33 AM

Great Issue with several interesting topics, and free acce$$

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Nobel Winner Randy Schekman on Public Education, Teaching & Science

Randy W. Schekman, professor of molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley, has won the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine ...
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MYC2, MYC3, and MYC4 Regulate Glucosinolate Biosynthesis, Insect Performance, and Feeding Behavior

MYC2, MYC3, and MYC4 Regulate Glucosinolate Biosynthesis, Insect Performance, and Feeding Behavior | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Nice connection between transcription factor interactions and insect feeding behavior, via the synthesis of glucosinolates.

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