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Flowers of the Global Plant Council

Flowers of the Global Plant Council | Plant science | Scoop.it
A while ago we published a blog post about the sequencing of the Bauhinia genome. Bauhinia x blakeana is the national flower of Hong Kong, so naturally this sparked our interest in the global impor...
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Reconstructing tomato biochemical defense pathways in vitro

Reconstructing tomato biochemical defense pathways in vitro | Plant science | Scoop.it

Michigan State University scientists are examining the biochemistry of plants in research that could lead to advancements in the production of plants that are less susceptible to insect pests.

 

“Plants are master biochemists,” said Robert Last, MSU Barnett Rosenberg Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Plant Biology, and director of the lab where this research is being conducted. “They are great at making metabolites that protect the plants from the environment. Humans are beneficiaries because some of these products are potent medicines or make our foods more tasty and nutritious.”

Global Plant Council's insight:

New paper in PNAS shows the in vitro reconstruction of the tomato acylsucrose metabolic network, which shows that the entire pathway is now understood. This might be useful in plant breeding or herbicide design in the future, or potentially even for biofuels!

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New molecular method promises to speed development of food crops | Global Plant Council

New molecular method promises to speed development of food crops | Global Plant Council | Plant science | Scoop.it

A central challenge of transgenic plant development has been addressed by a new study: how to reliably evaluate whether genetic material has been successfully introduced. Researchers compared the traditional method to several new ones that have emerged from advances in genomic technology and identified one that is much faster than the standard approach, yet equally reliable.

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Digital drop PCR is a fast, reliable and high throughput technique that could become the new standard for the molecular breeding of new crops once the price drops. 

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Why the Future Is Bright for the World’s Poorest Farmers - Bill Gates

Why the Future Is Bright for the World’s Poorest Farmers - Bill Gates | Plant science | Scoop.it

I have probably learned more about farming in Africa from Sam Dryden than from any other person. Sam has spent decades working in agriculture, including a stint at the Gates Foundation, and he is passionate about improving the lives of the poorest. So when he asked me to contribute to a series of articles in Foreign Affairs on the future of farming and its role in fighting poverty, I was happy to do it. 

Global Plant Council's insight:

Bill Gates talks about the impact technology could have for the world's poorest, highlighting the role of digital agriculture to enable farmers to tap into market trends and utilize the latest growth methods and crop management research.

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Venus flytrap 'counts' to control digestion - BBC News

Venus flytrap 'counts' to control digestion - BBC News | Plant science | Scoop.it
Scientists say the Venus flytrap controls its digestion process by gauging the number of times a struggling insect touches its trigger hairs.
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This research, published in Current Biology by a team from Germany, shows that a single touch by prey sets the trap, with further touches stimulating the trap to close, preventing a false alarm.

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Plant power: Plants vs Petrol - BBSRC

Plant power: Plants vs Petrol - BBSRC | Plant science | Scoop.it

Plants vs petrol! is part of a series of animations about the ways that everyday plants are doing amazing things.

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This series shows the amazing power of plants. This video highlights plants as a sustainable solution to our increasing need for energy. 

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Dandelion uses latex to protect its roots against insect feeding

Dandelion uses latex to protect its roots against insect feeding | Plant science | Scoop.it

Dandelions are troublesome weeds that are detested by most gardeners. Yet dandelions also have many insect enemies in nature. However, they can protect themselves with their latex, a milky, bitter-tasting sap. Scientists have demonstrated that a single latex compound protects dandelion roots against voracious cockchafer larvae. Thus, latex plays a crucial role in dandelion defense against root feeders.

Global Plant Council's insight:

Research from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology and the University of Bern have demonstrated that only a single bitter compound in latex, sesquiterpene lactone, taraxinic acid β-D-glucopyranosyl ester (TA-G), is required to reduce herbivory by insect pests. 

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Welcome to the NEW Plantae.org, the online home for plant scientists

Welcome to the NEW Plantae.org, the online home for plant scientists | Plant science | Scoop.it

In collaboration with the Global Plant Council, ASPB recently launched Plantae.org (in beta), the new digital ecosystem for plant scientists.

 

Currently there are more than 30,000 plant scientists listed in Plantae.org, including all current and many past ASPB members, The Plantae network allows you to search for plant scientists around the world. The community is also a crowdsourced knowledge hub with education, career, and other resources as well as job opportunities, events, groups and more.

Global Plant Council's insight:

Sign up to the free Plantae platform to network with other plant scientists, read and discuss the latest news and views, find opportunities for studentships, jobs and funding, and much more! 

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FAO news: Dry weather from El Nino seriously threatens crop production in Southern Africa

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Ongoing dry conditions may have a serious impact on crop production in Southern Africa, exacerbating the high prices resulting from last year's reduced yield. - FAO Special Alert

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Plants crawled ashore earlier than thought – University of Copenhagen

Plants crawled ashore earlier than thought – University of Copenhagen | Plant science | Scoop.it

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen and Carlsberg laboratories were actually looking for a simpler model plant when they made a discovery that changes our current knowledge about the evolution of plants. They found evidence that today’s plants evolved from algae living on land – and not directly from algae living in water as previously assumed. The discovery is published in the scientific journal Trends in Plant Science.

Global Plant Council's insight:

Genetic and morphological evidence to support the theory that plants evolved from terrestrial algae, rather than aquatic species.

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2015 Plant Science Round Up

2015 Plant Science Round Up | Plant science | Scoop.it

Following on from last week’s post, Now That’s What I Call Plant Science 2015, we bring you a year in Plant Science! 

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A month-by-month look at the plant science news and research from around the world, featuring everything from 3D modeling to crop engineering to the weird world of chloroplast stromules, and of course, THAT abp1/auxin paper!

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The Twelve Days of Botany!

The Twelve Days of Botany! | Plant science | Scoop.it
On the twittersphere and globally it is no secret that Dr M has been planning something a bit special for this Christmas. Together with his MSc students and colleagues at the University of Reading ...
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Check out Dr M's amazing Twelve Days of Botany in the run up to Christmas!

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How to create a successful crop research partnership: the Generation Challenge Programme

How to create a successful crop research partnership: the Generation Challenge Programme | Plant science | Scoop.it

The Generation Challenge Programme (GCP – not to be confused with GPC!) was enthused about repeatedly during the three day GPC/SEB Stress Resilience Forum held in Iguassu Falls, Brazil. This 10-year program was created by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) in 2003 as a collaborative approach to developing food crops with improved stress resilience, and is widely hailed as a very successful example of the benefits of international collaboration and practical targeted research funding.

Global Plant Council's insight:

Learn more about the successes of the Generation Challenge Programme and top tips for running an international crop science research initiative! 

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Dundee-China collaboration discovers potential ‘Achilles heel’ of potato blight

Dundee-China collaboration discovers potential ‘Achilles heel’ of potato blight | Plant science | Scoop.it

Plant pathogens deliver effectors to alter host processes. Knowledge of how effectors target and manipulate host proteins is critical to understand crop disease. Here, we show that in plantaexpression of the RXLR effector Pi04314 enhances leaf colonization by Phytophthora infestansvia activity in the host nucleus and attenuates induction of jasmonic and salicylic acid-responsive genes. Pi04314 interacts with three host protein phosphatase 1 catalytic (PP1c) isoforms, causing their re-localization from the nucleolus to the nucleoplasm. Re-localization of PP1c-1 also occurs during infection and is dependent on an R/KVxF motif in the effector. Silencing the PP1c isoforms or overexpression of a phosphatase-dead PP1c-1 mutant attenuates infection, demonstrating that host PP1c activity is required for disease. Moreover, expression of PP1c–1mut abolishes enhanced leaf colonization mediated by in planta Pi04314 expression. We argue that PP1c isoforms are susceptibility factors forming holoenzymes with Pi04314 to promote late blight disease.

Global Plant Council's insight:

Scientists working in Scotland and China have uncovered a potential Achilles’ heel in the organism which causes potato blight, a global problem with associated costs estimated at US$6billion around the world every year.

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Tim Peake asks for help with space plant experiment - BBC News

Tim Peake asks for help with space plant experiment - BBC News | Plant science | Scoop.it
British astronaut Tim Peake asks schoolchildren to help him with one of his scientific experiments.
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Amazing plant science outreach!

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Transparency is key in the decision to label GM ingredients | Global Plant Council

Transparency is key in the decision to label GM ingredients | Global Plant Council | Plant science | Scoop.it

Take a look at any food label and there's a good chance all design elements, from the color palette to the smallest detail, were meticulously chosen.

 

Now, amid public debate about whether food companies should list genetically modified (GM) ingredients on their labels, that same deliberative process may be crucial to the perceived legitimacy surrounding controversial decisions. A Cornell University study found consumers are more supportive of labeling decisions when they believe the company considered the public's input in the process.

Global Plant Council's insight:

Whether a fictitious company had decided to label foods with GM or not label them, this Cornell study shows that consumers are more supportive of the choice when they believe that the company consulted the public first. This highlights transparency as a key factor in the debate.

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Seeing the Big Picture in Photosynthetic Light Harvesting | Berkeley Lab

Seeing the Big Picture in Photosynthetic Light Harvesting | Berkeley Lab | Plant science | Scoop.it
Berkeley Lab scientists have created the first computational model that simulates the light-harvesting activity of thousands of antenna proteins that would interact in the chloroplast of an actual leaf. The results point the way to improving the yields of food and fuel crops, and developing artificial photosynthesis technologies for next generation solar energy systems.
Global Plant Council's insight:

Researchers in California have modeled thousands of individual proteins to simulate the behavior of the photosynthetic thylakoid membrane of a chloroplast. This innovative model will give us a better understanding of exactly how photosystem proteins harvest light.

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Researchers attack citrus greening with $4 million USDA grant

International researchers, including ones at Florida State University and the University of Florida (USA), are teaming up through a $4 million grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to attack the problem of citrus greening, a disease that has devastated citrus crops in Florida.

Global Plant Council's insight:

In Florida, the citrus greening bacterium has hit orange production hard, halving the yields over the last four years. This grant will enable rapid research to tackle the growing problem

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Creating stress resilient agricultural systems: Video interviews

Creating stress resilient agricultural systems: Video interviews | Plant science | Scoop.it

Back in October the Global Plant Council, in collaboration with the Society for Experimental Biology brought together experts from around the world at a Stress Resilience Forum to identify gaps in current research, and decide how best the plant science community can move forwards in terms of developing more resilient agricultural systems. We interviewed a number of researchers throughout the meeting, asking about their current work and priorities for the future

Global Plant Council's insight:

Check out our latest blog post for video interviews with some of the inspiring attendees of the Stress Resilience Forum back in October. We asked them about the importance of stress resilience in plants and how research and scientists can help!

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The Heroes of CRISPR: Cell

The Heroes of CRISPR: Cell | Plant science | Scoop.it

It’s hard to recall a revolution that has swept biology more swiftly than CRISPR. Just 3 years ago, scientists reported that the CRISPR system—an adaptive immune system used by microbes to defend themselves against invading viruses by recording and targeting their DNA sequences—could be repurposed into a simple and reliable technique for editing, in living cells, the genomes of mammals and other organisms.

Global Plant Council's insight:

Check out this well-written history of the discoveries that led to the CRISPR molecular revolution. 

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Actions for plant science in the UK – UKPSF Working Group reports

Actions for plant science in the UK – UKPSF Working Group reports | Plant science | Scoop.it

A personal overview – Dr Sandy Knapp FRSB .

 

Plant science has a broad reach – from molecules to ecosystems, and from blue skies to near-market research and practical applications. The UKPSF was formed to bring the plant science sector together and to harness the power of our community to map out a future for plant sciences in the UK that ensures its continued growth and innovation, while fostering its key underpinning role in economic growth and helping the nation meet its needs and obligations.

Global Plant Council's insight:

In 2013 the UK Plant Science Federation published a report on the current status and future challenges of plant science. Dr Sandy Knapp outlines the recently developed roadmap for UK plant science and the key actions required.

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Orchids give off human ‘body odor’ to attract mosquitoes

Orchids give off human ‘body odor’ to attract mosquitoes | Plant science | Scoop.it

Orchids are masters of deception. To lure potential pollinators, some resemble nectar-laden flowers, yet offer no sweet reward. Others smell like rotting meat. Still others look and smell like female insects. Now, sensory biologists have discovered orchids that emit an odor just like the human body

Global Plant Council's insight:

Amazing discovery that a common orchid in the US emit chemicals similar to those found in human body odor, in order to attract mosquitos as pollinators.

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Best of Plants 2015: Outreach and Communication

Best of Plants 2015: Outreach and Communication | Plant science | Scoop.it

Via Mary Williams
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Another great end-of-year post from Mary Williams at the ASPB. Check out the best of plant science outreach in 2015!

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Now That's What I Call Plant Science 2015

Now That's What I Call Plant Science 2015 | Plant science | Scoop.it
With another year nearly over we recently put out a call for nominations for the Most Influential Plant Science Research of 2015. Suggestions flooded in, and we also trawled through our social medi...
Global Plant Council's insight:

Our top five plant science stories from 2015,  featuring naturally GM plants, Cas9 genome editing, tricking parasitic plants, genomics of resurrection plants and quantifying plant diversity with supercomputers!


Don't miss this post! 

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Jasmonate signalling drives time-of-day differences in susceptibility of Arabidopsis to the fungal pathogen Botrytis cinerea - The Plant Journal

Jasmonate signalling drives time-of-day differences in susceptibility of Arabidopsis to the fungal pathogen Botrytis cinerea - The Plant Journal | Plant science | Scoop.it

The circadian clock, an internal time-keeping mechanism, allows plants to anticipate regular changes in the environment, such as light and dark, and biotic challenges such as pathogens and herbivores. Here, we demonstrate that the plant circadian clock influences susceptibility to the necrotrophic fungal pathogen, Botrytis cinerea. ...

Global Plant Council's insight:

Maintaining resistance to infection is costly, and this study shows that plants focus their energy into their immune system at dawn, when fungal infections are most likely to occur. 

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