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Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education)
Hooks and hot topics for university teachers and students
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Plant Phys: Redox modulation of TCP transcription factors

Plant Phys: Redox modulation of TCP transcription factors | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

"TCP (TEOSINTE BRANCHED1-CYCLOIDEA-PCF) transcription factors participate in plant developmental processes associated with cell proliferation and growth. Most members of class I, one of the two classes that compose the family, have a conserved Cys at position 20 of the TCP DNA binding and dimerization domain. We show that Arabidopsis thaliana class I proteins with Cys20 are sensitive to redox conditions.."

 

"There are several examples of transcription factors whose activity is modified by redox agents in plants. The best studied case is perhaps the NPR1-TGA system (Després et al., 2003; Mou et al., 2003; Lindermayr et al., 2010)."

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Hopeful monsters

Hopeful monsters | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
“Monsters are tragic beings. They are born too tall, too strong, too heavy. They are not evil by choice. That is their tragedy." Ishirō Honda (1911-1993)

Sometimes monstrous things lurk at our feet.

Via Meristemi
Mary Williams's insight:

Nice essay, including thoughts on fasciation, clavata, and the value of basic science :)

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Video (2min) Moving Forward from Ash Dieback

"Ash dieback disease recently arrived into Scotland and now threatens over 10 million ash trees. This beautiful short animation shows what we can all do to keep our trees healthy"

Mary Williams's insight:

Beautiful animation!

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Ninnu Korpi's curator insight, May 20, 2013 2:37 AM

Suloinen video :)

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Nature: "Driving students into science is a fool’s errand"

Nature: "Driving students into science is a fool’s errand" | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
If programmes to bolster STEM education are effective, they distort the labour market; if they aren’t, they’re a waste of money, argues Colin Macilwain.
Mary Williams's insight:

Ooh - that woke me up. Fantastic set of comments already appearing "below the line" - it's good to see the many reasons that justify the special funding science education gets. To me, science ed is training in critical, rational thinking, something society needs more of!

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Plant Methods: An efficient flat-surface collar-free grafting method for Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings

Plant Methods: An efficient flat-surface collar-free grafting method for Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Grafting procedures are an excellent tool to study long range signalling processes within a plant. This improved protocol allows "grafting success that can reach up to 100%. At the same time, the protocol enables to process as many as 36 seedlings per hour, which combined with the high success percentage represents increased efficiency per time unit."

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SciAmBlog: Mosses Make Two Different Plants From the Same Genome, and a Single Gene Can Make the Difference

SciAmBlog: Mosses Make Two Different Plants From the Same Genome, and a Single Gene Can Make the Difference | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

"One of the most astonishing secrets in biology is this: every plant you see makes two different plants from the same genome. And, scientists recently reported, a single gene from an ancient, powerful lineage can make the difference."

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Mary Williams's comment, May 13, 2013 3:22 AM
Here's an engaging article to help you explain alternation of generations
Jennifer Mach's curator insight, May 13, 2013 8:41 AM

Nice summary of the recent KNOX2 work published in Science.

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Nature Climate Change: Quantifying the benefit of early climate change mitigation in avoiding biodiversity loss

Nature Climate Change: Quantifying the benefit of early climate change mitigation in avoiding biodiversity loss | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

"Our global analysis of future climatic range change of common and widespread species shows that without mitigation, 57±6% of plants and 34±7% of animals are likely to lose ≥50% of their present climatic range by the 2080s."

Here's a summary from the BBC

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22500673

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Plant Cell: Advanced Proteomic Analyses Yield a Deep Catalog of Ubiquitylation Targets in Arabidopsis

Plant Cell: Advanced Proteomic Analyses Yield a Deep Catalog of Ubiquitylation Targets in Arabidopsis | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

From the abstract, "We identified almost 950 ubiquitylation substrates in whole Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings. The list includes key factors regulating a wide range of biological processes, including metabolism, cellular transport, signal transduction, transcription, RNA biology, translation, and proteolysis.....

Taken together, this proteomic analysis illustrates the breadth of plant processes affected by ubiquitylation and provides a deep data set of individual targets from which to explore the roles of Ub in various physiological and developmental pathways."

From the Vierstra lab in Madison, Wisconsin.

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PLOS Genetics: The Genomic Signature of Crop-Wild Introgression in Maize

PLOS Genetics: The Genomic Signature of Crop-Wild Introgression in Maize | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

From the abstract... "We found evidence suggestive of the incorporation of adaptive Zea mays ssp mexicana [aka teosinte] alleles into maize during its expansion to the highlands of central Mexico. In contrast, very little evidence was found for adaptive introgression from maize to mexicana."

Mary Williams's insight:

Very nice study of gene flow between a domesticated crop and its wild, conspecific relative, and its evolutionary and ecological implications.

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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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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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eLife: The rise and fall of the Phytophthora infestans lineage that triggered the Irish potato famine (2013)

eLife: The rise and fall of the Phytophthora infestans lineage that triggered the Irish potato famine (2013) | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Phytophthora infestans, the cause of potato late blight, is infamous for having triggered the Irish Great Famine in the 1840s. Until the late 1970s, P. infestans diversity outside of its Mexican center of origin was low, and one scenario held that a single strain, US-1, had dominated the global population for 150 years; this was later challenged based on DNA analysis of historical herbarium specimens. We have compared the genomes of 11 herbarium and 15 modern strains. We conclude that the nineteenth century epidemic was caused by a unique genotype, HERB-1, that persisted for over 50 years. HERB-1 is distinct from all examined modern strains, but it is a close relative of US-1, which replaced it outside of Mexico in the twentieth century. We propose that HERB-1 and US-1 emerged from a metapopulation that was established in the early 1800s outside of the species' center of diversity.

 

Preprint @ http://arxiv.org/abs/1305.4206


Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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Alejandro Rojas's curator insight, May 21, 2013 7:54 AM

I'm so excited to see a paper like this!, It is so great to have acces to papers like this through systems like ArXiv.  

Jennifer Mach's comment, May 21, 2013 9:34 AM
Nature News and Views article: http://www.nature.com/news/pathogen-genome-tracks-irish-potato-famine-back-to-its-roots-1.13021
Mary Williams's comment, May 21, 2013 11:45 AM
On the radio http://kamounlab.tumblr.com/post/50992192578/go-back-to-the-past-to-better-prepare-for-the
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NYTimes: High Plains Aquifer Dwindles, Hurting Farmers

NYTimes: High Plains Aquifer Dwindles, Hurting Farmers | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
Parts of the vast High Plains Aquifer, once a prodigious source of water, are now so low that crops can’t be watered and bridges span arid stream beds.
Mary Williams's insight:

I'm starting to collect articles for the Teaching Tool on Plant Water Relations. I'm not sure that I can stand to read too many like this one. It's very depressing to wonder how food will be grown 50 years from now, when the water's all gone.

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BLC3's curator insight, June 4, 2013 6:45 AM

What will happen in 50 years time when all the water is gone?

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"Why Study Plants?" is now available in Chinese

"Why Study Plants?" is now available in Chinese | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

I can't look at this and not smile. Thanks to everybody who donated time to translate this into Chinese and several other languages, and Tom for the fabulous photos.

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Mary Williams's comment, May 16, 2013 4:13 PM
If you want to read Why Study Plants in Chinese, here's the link http://www.plantcell.org/site/teachingtools/TTPB1.xhtml
Guogen Yang's comment, May 16, 2013 10:26 PM
Thanks!
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JIntegrPlantBiol: The Plant Vascular System: Evolution, Development and Functions (OA)

JIntegrPlantBiol: The Plant Vascular System: Evolution, Development and Functions (OA) | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Sixty seven pages, twenty seven figures, but still very readable. If you ever teach about transport or homeostasis, add this comprehensive update to your folder.

 

As the title indicates, this big review pulls together the latest information on the evolution, development and functions of the plant vascular system (including its role as an effective long-distance communication system).

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Nat Comm (12/12) A multi-structural and multi-functional integrated fog collection system in cactus

Nat Comm (12/12) A multi-structural and multi-functional integrated fog collection system in cactus | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

"Multiple biological structures have demonstrated fog collection abilities, such as beetle backs with bumps and spider silks with periodic spindle-knots and joints. Many Cactaceae species live in arid environments and are extremely drought-tolerant. Here we report that one of the survival systems of the cactus Opuntia microdasys lies in its efficient fog collection system."

 

I missed this very nice article last December, but discovered it whilst reading this new COPB paper (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1369526613000319).

I think the Nature Communication paper would be interesting for students - it's always good to augment your teaching with! botanical oddities! And it's got movies, too :)

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CAEXI BEST's curator insight, May 13, 2013 9:25 PM
un système multi-structurel et multi-fonctionnel de la collection brouillard intégré dans cactus Nat Comm (12/12)
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Tansley Review (OA) Apoplastic immunity and its suppression by filamentous plant pathogens

Tansley Review (OA) Apoplastic immunity and its suppression by filamentous plant pathogens | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Good one! Nice review of the apoplastic interactions between plant and pathogen, with good figures, and great subheading titles!

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Australian National Botanic Gardens: Bryophytes, hornworts, liverworts and mosses (and more!)

Australian National Botanic Gardens: Bryophytes, hornworts, liverworts and mosses (and more!) | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

A google search led to me this wonderful, information-rich site produced by the Australian National Botanic Gardens and the Australian National Herbarium. It's worth taking the time to explore the whole site - loads of well-written articles and photos about plants. The cultural history section is also interesting, especially the part about Aboriginal uses of plants.

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Tania Gammage's curator insight, May 13, 2013 12:13 AM

Herbarium tours including Indigenous use of plants

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Lab Times: Quiet Pioneers, results from plant science are often overlooked

Lab Times: Quiet Pioneers, results from plant science are often overlooked | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

This article reviews the many basic research breakthroughs derived from plant biology, and asks why students aren't choosing it and funders aren't funding it. Good questions! The review of the "Quiet Pioneers" is excellent.

Here's the link http://www.labtimes.org/labtimes/issues/lt2013/lt03/lt_2013_03_16_21.pdf

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ASPB-prepared guide for high-school teachers, "How to Read a Scientific Paper", and a guided case study of a Plant Physiology paper

ASPB-prepared guide for high-school teachers, "How to Read a Scientific Paper", and a guided case study of a Plant Physiology paper | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

We've prepared a guide for high school teachers called "How to Read a Scientific Paper". It includes an overview of the sections of a paper, as well as discussions on peer review and publication ethics. There is also an introduction to statistics and the meaning of statistical significance. You can find this free PDF guide here: http://bit.ly/15M6RlZ

 

For a more in-depth look, we've also provided a guided case study of a Plant Physiology article, that examines each component in detail. The full article is attached at the back of the PDF. You can find the case study here http://bit.ly/15rOZwM.

 

University teachers might find these useful as well, particularly for their first-year students. Please share the links with any teachers you know!

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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