Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education)
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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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Trends in Cell Biology - Beyond symmetry-breaking: competition and negative feedback in GTPase regulation

Trends in Cell Biology - Beyond symmetry-breaking: competition and negative feedback in GTPase regulation | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Cortical domains are often specified by the local accumulation of active GTPases. Such domains can arise through spontaneous symmetry-breaking, suggesting that GTPase accumulation occurs via positive feedback. Here, we focus on recent advances in fungal and plant cell models – where new work suggests that polarity-controlling GTPases develop only one ‘front’ because GTPase clusters engage in a winner-takes-all competition. However, in some circumstances two or more GTPase domains can coexist, and the basis for the switch from competition to coexistence remains an open question. Polarity GTPases can undergo oscillatory clustering and dispersal, suggesting that these systems contain negative feedback. Negative feedback may prevent polarity clusters from spreading too far, regulate the balance between competition and coexistence, and provide directional flexibility for cells tracking gradients.


Via Guogen Yang
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The Scientist Magazine® In Evolution's Garden (Profile of Brandon Gaut)

The Scientist Magazine® In Evolution's Garden (Profile of Brandon Gaut) | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
Raising one evolutionary question after another, Brandon Gaut has harvested a crop of novel findings about how plant genomes evolve.
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Largest-ever philanthropic investment into budding rice scientists

Largest-ever philanthropic investment into budding rice scientists | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
A US$3 million donation has established the Lee Foundation Rice Scholarship Program to educate and train future rice scientists.
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Reality Drop: Spread Science about Climate Change. What do you think?

Reality Drop: Spread Science about Climate Change. What do you think? | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Wow - a game where you win points by posting comments on social media sites. The end is good (share science about climate change) but the means is a bit disturbing, to me at least. What do you think of this form of communication?

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Heather Thompson's comment, June 9, 2013 8:56 PM
interesting game that is live with real information
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What's in your strawberries? - EiC May 2012

What's in your strawberries? - EiC May 2012 | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Have you ever wondered what makes the colour, taste and smell of strawberries so attractive? Why do the ones you might find growing wild seem tastier? Is there something in the chemistry?


Via Meristemi
Mary Williams's insight:

This article from the Royal Society of Chemistry's "Education in Chemistry" journal includes a table showing the structures of the flavor molecules in strawberries. Yum!

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A few highlights of Plant Photobiology 2013

A few highlights of Plant Photobiology 2013 | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Some topics and papers discussed at the recent International Symposium on Plant Photobiology conference. (See here for the full list of speakers and topics http://hallidaylab.bio.ed.ac.uk/ISPP.html).

 

From Rick Vierstra, a preview of an unpublished structure of plant phytochrome (more here http://www.plantphysiol.org/content/161/3/1445.long).

 

From Eberhard Schäfer and we heard about the effects of phytochrome’s rate of dark reversion and nuclear import (http://www.plantcell.org/content/25/2/535.abstract and http://www.pnas.org/content/109/15/5892.abstract).

 

From Christian Fleck we heard about kinetic modeling of phytochrome action (http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0010721).

 

From Peter Quail (and many others) we learned about signaling downstream from phytochrome. See for example (http://www.plantcell.org/content/24/4/1398.abstract) and (http://www.bioone.org/doi/full/10.1199/tab.0148) and (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S096289241100136X).

 

We heard about shade avoidance and shade tolerance (see http://www.cell.com/trends/plant-science/abstract/S1360-1385%2812%2900215-4 and http://www.bioone.org/doi/full/10.1199/tab.0157).

 

We heard about blue-light receptors and responses, including phototropism, chloroplast movements and stomatal responses. See for example http://www.amjbot.org/content/100/1/35.abstract and http://www.plantcell.org/content/early/2013/02/11/tpc.113.109694.short and http://www.sciencemag.org/content/336/6084/1045.abstract.

 

From Gareth Jenkins, we heard about how plants perceive and respond to UV light (http://www.plantcell.org/content/24/9/3755).

 

We learned about the intersection of light with clocks and metabolism and flowering and everything else, starting with a stellar talk by Stacey Harmer (http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.arplant.043008.092054 and http://www.plosgenetics.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pgen.1001350).

 

A few common themes: the need to fine-tune the spatial and temporal resolution of models, the importance of temperature, the usefulness of modeling as well as non-plant and non-angiosperm systems to evaluate current models, and the importance of considering all aspects of a gene’s activity, from chromatin dynamics, transcription, splicing, protein stability, binding partners, subcellular localization and post-translational modifications.

 

Finally, light affects EVERYTHING.

 

Coming soon, look for a set of review articles in The Plant Cell in 2014, and an upcoming special issue of JExpBot.

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Three in Development on pattern formation and polarity

Three in Development on pattern formation and polarity | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

If you love patterning like I love patterning, you might be interested in these three recent articles in Development.

 

Here's a Hypothesis:

 

"An intracellular partitioning-based framework for tissue cell polarity in plants and animals" http://dev.biologists.org/content/140/10/2061.abstract

 

"We propose that a fundamental building block for tissue cell polarity is the process of intracellular partitioning,which can establish individual cell polarity in the absence of asymmetric cues."

 

 

And another Hypothesis:

 

"Polar auxin transport: models and mechanisms"

http://dev.biologists.org/content/140/11/2253.abstract

 

"Here we propose a new mathematical framework for the analysis of polar auxin transport and present a detailed mathematical analysis of published models."

 

And a Open Access research article on leaf polarity, running title

"ARF3 is a direct target of AS1"

http://dev.biologists.org/content/140/9/1958.short

(Currently one of the most-read articles in Development)

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Applied Mythology: Should the World Keep Feeding Europe?

Applied Mythology: Should the World Keep Feeding Europe? | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Here's a thought-provoking blog post, certainly worth throwing into the classroom mix.

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Tania Gammage's curator insight, June 2, 2013 7:45 PM

Useful for Cross Curriculum Sustainablity.....Science ..Geography

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Science: Direct Imaging of Covalent Bond Structure in Single-Molecule Chemical Reactions

Science: Direct Imaging of Covalent Bond Structure in Single-Molecule Chemical Reactions | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
Mary Williams's insight:

Wow wow wow.

 

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Frontiers (Review): Regulation of cell division and expansion by sugar and auxin signaling (OA)

Frontiers (Review): Regulation of cell division and expansion by sugar and auxin signaling (OA) | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

"Here, based on recent progress of genetic analyses and gene expression profiling studies, we summarize the functional similarities, diversities, and their interactions of sugar and auxin signals in regulating two major processes of plant development: cell division and cell expansion."

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Plant Cell: D6PK Kinases Promote Phototropic Hypocotyl Bending in Arabidopsis

Plant Cell: D6PK Kinases Promote Phototropic Hypocotyl Bending in Arabidopsis | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

"We previously described the D6 PROTEIN KINASE (D6PK) subfamily of AGCVIII kinases, which we proposed to directly regulate PIN-mediated auxin transport. Here, we show that phototropic hypocotyl bending is strongly dependent on the activity of D6PKs and the PIN proteins PIN3, PIN4, and PIN7."

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PNAS Special Feature: Agricultural innovation to protect the environment

PNAS Special Feature: Agricultural innovation to protect the environment | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

This might be useful - a set of articles about agricultural planning and practices.

 

This image, from the journal cover, courtesy of Agni Klintuni Boedhihartono.

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NPR Weekend All Things Considered: Scientists Trace Source Of Famed Irish Potato Famine (2013)

NPR Weekend All Things Considered: Scientists Trace Source Of Famed Irish Potato Famine (2013) | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

We now know what caused the Irish potato famine. Scientists have pinpointed the pathogen by using plant samples collected in the mid-19th century. Weekends on All Things Considered host Jacki Lyden talks about it with the study's co-author, Sophien Kamoun of the Sainsbury Lab in the United Kingdom.


Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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zhouxia's curator insight, May 31, 2013 5:03 AM

npr

BLC3's curator insight, June 4, 2013 6:43 AM

Scientists can even help history out. 

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The Atlantic: Healthy Soil Microbes, Healthy People

The Atlantic: Healthy Soil Microbes, Healthy People | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
The microbial community in the ground is as important as the one in our guts.
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Nature Genetics: The Capsella rubella genome and the genomic consequences of rapid mating system evolution

Nature Genetics: The Capsella rubella genome and the genomic consequences of rapid mating system evolution | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

"The switch from obligatory outcrossing to predominant self fertilization in plants is one of the most striking and repeated examples of convergent evolution. Selfing is thought to be favored because of its inherent transmission advantage, as well as the advantage of assured reproduction when mates, pollinators or both are scarce. Selfing should evolve whenever these advantages outweigh the costs associated with inbreeding depression."

 

Here's a summary from phys.org

http://phys.org/news/2013-06-self-fertilizing-contribute-demise.html

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LA Times: GM cotton helps farmers escape malnutrition (PLOS ONE)

LA Times: GM cotton helps farmers escape malnutrition (PLOS ONE) | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
People opposed to genetically modified organisms often insist that the plants are no good for anyone except the companies, like Monsanto Co. , that sell GMO seeds.
Mary Williams's insight:

Here's the new PLOS ONE article this newspaper story references

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0064879

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Illumination: Next Steps in Ag- Jobs- for the Willing!

Illumination: Next Steps in Ag- Jobs- for the Willing! | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

"Whereas job growth in many sectors is stagnant, there is huge demand for skilled horticulturalists, that is, students trained in fruit and vegetable crop production. We need people that understand plant physiology, plant nutrition, plant pathology and entomology, along with a handle on business and communication".

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Darin Hoagland's curator insight, June 14, 2013 11:57 AM

Agricultural jobs working with plants and especially plant scientists are no doubt available in many sectors of crop production.  However, a strong work ethic is critical as some of these jobs require long work weeks with little time for personal life.  Thus this blog post is both hopeful and cautionary for those seeking this type of work.  

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New blog, "FLOWERING HIGHLIGHTS"

New blog, "FLOWERING HIGHLIGHTS" | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

I just learned about the new blog from the people who bring you the Flowering Newsletter, it's called "Flowering highlights" http://floweringhighlights.org/


"Authoritative commentaries on flowering research".

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Power Plants | Guest Blog, Scientific American Blog Network

Power Plants | Guest Blog, Scientific American Blog Network | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Think about it. Everything you have ever eaten, or will ever eat, can ultimately be traced back to an organism carrying out photosynthesis.


Via Meristemi, Eve Emshwiller
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Plant-Plant Interactions, the newest Teaching Tool online

Plant-Plant Interactions, the newest Teaching Tool online | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Online today, the newest Teaching Tool in Plant Biology, "Plant-Plant Interactions", by Ariel Novoplansky and Mary Williams. It's all about how plants sense and respond to their neighbors. Subscription to Plant Cell required. Slides, lecture notes and teaching guide too!
http://www.plantcell.org/site/teachingtools/TTPB25.xhtml

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Mahani Mohamad's curator insight, June 2, 2013 12:35 PM

to be shared with Jr.

Happy Updates's comment, June 3, 2013 12:55 AM
nice share Mary Williams http://icareeradvice.com/
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Science x2: Back-to-back papers on miRNAs role in age-dependent vernalization response

Science x2: Back-to-back papers on miRNAs role in age-dependent vernalization response | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Mechanisms of Age-Dependent Response to Winter Temperature in Perennial Flowering of Arabis alpina

Sara Bergonzi et al and George Coupland

Science 31 May 2013: 1094-1097.

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/340/6136/1094

 

And

Molecular Basis of Age-Dependent Vernalization in Cardamine flexuosa

Chuan-Miao Zhou,et al and Jia-Wei Wang

Science 31 May 2013: 1097-1100.

www.sciencemag.org/content/340/6136/1097

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The good earth: Coonawarra Red Dermosol and Cabernet Sauvignon

The good earth: Coonawarra Red Dermosol and Cabernet Sauvignon | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

"Australia has some of the world’s most ancient soils, many of which grow delicious produce

The biosynthesis of flavour chemicals by the vine is driven by genetic and environmental factors. The stresses and luxuries a plant encounters will influence the relative abundance of these chemicals, sometimes resulting in pleasurable combinations..."

Happy Friday!

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The Conversation Explainer: What is epigenetics?

The word epigenetics means things imposed “on top of genetics”. But what sort of things?Imagine a white mouse breeds with a black mouse – say you get three white babies and three black babies.

 

This is an interesting overview of what is and isn't epigenetics, and why epigenetics is only part of any story.

Mary Williams's insight:

Be sure to check out the cited article by Mark Ptashne too.

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/04/11/1305399110

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Plant Cell: Plant Immune Responses Against Viruses: How Does a Virus Cause Disease?

Plant Cell: Plant Immune Responses Against Viruses: How Does a Virus Cause Disease? | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

New review article in Plant Cell.

"Recently, significant progress has been made in understanding RNA silencing and how viruses counter this apparently ubiquitous antiviral defense. In addition, plants also induce hypersensitive and systemic acquired resistance responses, which together limit the virus to infected cells and impart resistance to the noninfected tissues."

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Andres Zurita's curator insight, May 29, 2013 8:28 AM

Open Access pdf

María Serrano's curator insight, June 24, 2014 12:30 PM
Respuesta inmune de las plantas frente a los virus.
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Scientists Prove Green Algae's Appetite for Bacteria

"A team of researchers is the first to provide definitive proof that green algae eat bacteria. The finding, captured with electron microscope images, offers a glipse at how scienstists think early organisms acquired free-living chloroplasts"

Here's the article in Current Biology http://www.cell.com/current-biology/retrieve/pii/S0960982213005046

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