Plant Science in the 21st Century
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How ISIS Uses Wheat Supplies To Tighten Its Control In Iraq

How ISIS Uses Wheat Supplies To Tighten Its Control In Iraq | Plant Science in the 21st Century | Scoop.it
By Maggie Fick SHEKHAN, Iraq, Sept 30 (Reuters) - For Salah Paulis, it came down to a choice between his faith and his crop. A wheat farmer from outside Mosul, Paulis and his family fled the militant group Islamic Stat...
Dr Laura Vickers's insight:

Food production is so important globally - we can't underestimate the influence associated with control of a food supply chain. By taking control of wheat production ISIS are profiting from the sales and taxes they impose on it, and by giving it to their target demographic they are using it to win over support and compliance!

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A two-locus interaction causes interspecific hybrid weakness in rice : Nature Communications : Nature Publishing Group

A two-locus interaction causes interspecific hybrid weakness in rice : Nature Communications : Nature Publishing Group | Plant Science in the 21st Century | Scoop.it
Dr Laura Vickers's insight:

If you thought QTLs were all about finding good plant traits think again...here they show that two incompatible dominant loci (Hwi1 and Hwi2) are likely to determine the high temperature-dependent expression of weakness in rice!

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Pheromone Factories | The Scientist Magazine®

Pheromone Factories | The Scientist Magazine® | Plant Science in the 21st Century | Scoop.it
Genetically modified tobacco plants produce pheromones that can trap pests.

 
Dr Laura Vickers's insight:

Using plants to do our dirty work - engineering plants to become pheromone production traps for insect pests!

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Plant Physiology Online: Genetic Mapping Of Dormancy: Quantitative Trait Locus (QTL) Scoring of Vegetative Dormancy Combined with a Candidate Gene Approach

Plant Physiology Online: Genetic Mapping Of Dormancy: Quantitative Trait Locus (QTL) Scoring of Vegetative Dormancy Combined with a Candidate Gene Approach | Plant Science in the 21st Century | Scoop.it
Dr Laura Vickers's insight:

This chapter available online gives lots of additional information on the role of ABA in seed dormancy and this page in particular combines QTL mapping and the candidate gene approach - nice snip-its of information!

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Evolution: He Who Grabs Too Much Loses All

Dr Laura Vickers's insight:

Interesting paper looking at how physiological or cellular functions need to be adapted to polyploidy. A topical issue - considering how many of our economically important crop plants have derived from polyploidy!

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Rescooped by Dr Laura Vickers from Food Security & Climate Change
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The Global Food Challenge Explained in 18 Graphics | World Resources Institute

The Global Food Challenge Explained in 18 Graphics | World Resources Institute | Plant Science in the 21st Century | Scoop.it
The world is projected to hold a whopping 9.6 billion people by 2050.

Via Mary Williams, Richard Killian
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Mary Williams's curator insight, December 7, 2013 5:26 AM

Great resource! Download the newly released report here http://www.wri.org/publication/creating-sustainable-food-future-interim-findings

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Creating a Sustainable Food Future: Interim FindingsA menu of solutions to sustainably feed more than 9 billion people by 2050"
Rescooped by Dr Laura Vickers from Plant and Seed Biology
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Plant domestication versus crop evolution: a conceptual framework for cereals and grain legumes

Plant domestication versus crop evolution: a conceptual framework for cereals and grain legumes | Plant Science in the 21st Century | Scoop.it

Domestication syndrome’ (DS) denotes differences between domesticated plants and their wild progenitors. Crop plants are dynamic entities; hence, not all parameters distinguishing wild progenitors from cultigens resulted from domestication. In this opinion article, we refine the DS concept using agronomic, genetic, and archaeobotanical considerations by distinguishing crucial domestication traits from traits that probably evolved post-domestication in Near Eastern grain crops. We propose that only traits showing a clear domesticated–wild dimorphism represent the pristine domestication episode, whereas traits showing a phenotypic continuum between wild and domesticated gene pools mostly reflect post-domestication diversification. We propose that our approach may apply to other crop types and examine its implications for discussing the timeframe of plant domestication and for modern plant science and breeding.

 


Via Christophe Jacquet, Loïc Lepiniec
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Christophe Jacquet's curator insight, January 6, 2014 8:39 AM

Highlights•

We introduce the concept of crucial ‘domestication syndrome’ (DS) traits.

Crucial DS traits are part of the features distinguishing crops from wild forms.

The crucial DS concept improves understanding of prehistoric domestication episodes.

Using the crucial DS concept may enhance future crop improvement capacity.

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Science: The Consequence of Tree Pests and Diseases for Ecosystem Services (2013)

Science: The Consequence of Tree Pests and Diseases for Ecosystem Services (2013) | Plant Science in the 21st Century | Scoop.it

Trees are major components of many terrestrial ecosystems and are grown in managed plantations and orchards to provide a variety of economically important products, including timber, pulp, fiber, and food. They are subject to a wide range of pests and diseases, of which the most important causative agents are viruses, bacteria, fungi, oomycetes, and insect herbivores. Research on tree pests and diseases has had a historical focus on trees of direct economic importance. However, some epidemics and infestations have damaged and killed common trees that are integral parts of natural ecosystems. These have harmed valuable landscapes and highlighted the wide-ranging consequences arising from tree pests and diseases. There is also growing concern that aspects of globalization—in particular, higher volumes and new forms of trade—may increase the risk of disease spread.

 

I.L. Boyd, P.H. Freer-Smith, C.A. Gilligan, H.C.J. Godfray

 

See also: http://www.sciencemag.org./content/342/6160/1235773/suppl/DC1

 

 


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Trends Plant Science: Unifying concepts and mechanisms in the specificity of plant–enemy interactions (2012)

Trends Plant Science: Unifying concepts and mechanisms in the specificity of plant–enemy interactions (2012) | Plant Science in the 21st Century | Scoop.it

Host ranges are commonly quantified to classify herbivores and plant pathogens as either generalists or specialists. Here, we summarize patterns and mechanisms in the interactions of plants with these enemies along different axes of specificity. We highlight the many dimensions within which plant enemies can specify and consider the underlying ecological, evolutionary and molecular mechanisms. Host resistance traits and enemy effectors emerge as central players determining host utilization and thus host range. Finally, we review approaches to studying the causes and consequences of variation in the specificity of plant–enemy interactions. Knowledge of the molecular mechanisms that determine host range is required to understand host shifts, and evolutionary transitions among specialist and generalist strategies, and to predict potential host ranges of pathogens and herbivores.


Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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Eve Emshwiller's curator insight, August 5, 2013 8:04 PM

Probably too advanced for an introductory class like Botany 130, but might be able to use in some form in teaching another class.

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Journal of Experimental Botany: Video Talks from UK PlantSci 2013 meeting - Plant Science in a Changing World

Journal of Experimental Botany: Video Talks from UK PlantSci 2013 meeting - Plant Science in a Changing World | Plant Science in the 21st Century | Scoop.it

Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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Rescooped by Dr Laura Vickers from Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education)
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Plant physiology is cutting edge science

Plant physiology is cutting edge science | Plant Science in the 21st Century | Scoop.it

I love the juxtaposition of these two images...  The images are from LI-COR (http://www.licor.com/env/products/photosynthesis/?gclid=CJri_cCE87oCFfHItAodvDgAhw) and fanboyfactor (http://fanboyfactor.com/2013/05/check-out-the-star-trek-select-kirk-and-spock-figures-in-action/)


Via Mary Williams
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Rescooped by Dr Laura Vickers from Agricultural Biodiversity
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Trends in Plant Science - The complex role of mitochondrial metabolism in plant aluminum resistance

RT @NoTillBill: Improved acid tolerance for #wheat - will this work help make it happen? http://t.co/UEzso7L0eE


Via Luigi Guarino
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Rescooped by Dr Laura Vickers from Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education)
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PlantPhys: A novel protective function for cytokinin in the light stress response is mediated by the AHK2 and AHK3 receptors

PlantPhys: A novel protective function for cytokinin in the light stress response is mediated by the AHK2 and AHK3 receptors | Plant Science in the 21st Century | Scoop.it

" We demonstrate that in plants with a reduced cytokinin status the D1 protein level was strongly decreased upon light stress.... The efficiency of photoprotective mechanisms, such as non-enzymatic and enzymatic scavenging systems, was decreased in plants with a reduced cytokinin status which could be a cause for the increased photodamage and subsequent D1 degradation....We conclude that proper cytokinin signaling and regulation of specific target genes is necessary to protect plants efficiently from light stress."


Via Mary Williams
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Mary Williams's curator insight, January 18, 2014 2:46 AM

Nice molecular link between cytokinin signaling and protection from photodamage.

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Molecular Basis of the Core Regulatory Network in ABA Responses: Sensing, Signaling and Transport

Molecular Basis of the Core Regulatory Network in ABA Responses: Sensing, Signaling and Transport | Plant Science in the 21st Century | Scoop.it
Dr Laura Vickers's insight:

Very good paper reviewing the literature and current thinking of ABA signalling, those keen eyed #bio398 will see this referenced in the slides from the 3rd workshop

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Frontiers | The complex becomes more complex: protein-protein interactions of SnRK1 with DUF581 family proteins provide a framework for cell- and stimulus type-specific SnRK1 signaling in plants | ...

In plants, SNF1-related kinase (SnRK1) responds to the availability of carbohydrates as well as to environmental stresses by down-regulating ATP consuming biosynthetic processes, while stimulating ...
Dr Laura Vickers's insight:

Other roles of SnRK proteins in plants - SnRKs affect a diverse range of plant responses!

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Early abscisic acid signal transduction mechanisms: newly discovered components and newly emerging questions

Early abscisic acid signal transduction mechanisms: newly discovered components and newly emerging questions | Plant Science in the 21st Century | Scoop.it
A biweekly scientific journal publishing high-quality research in molecular biology and genetics, cancer biology, biochemistry, and related fields
Dr Laura Vickers's insight:

Great paper summarising recent work on the ABA signal transduction pathway!

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Rescooped by Dr Laura Vickers from Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education)
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PNAS: Variation in MPK12 affects water use efficiency in Arabidopsis and reveals a pleiotropic link between guard cell size and ABA response

PNAS: Variation in MPK12 affects water use efficiency in Arabidopsis and reveals a pleiotropic link between guard cell size and ABA response | Plant Science in the 21st Century | Scoop.it

"We identify a molecular variant that drives variation in water use efficiency between two natural genotypes of Arabidopsis thaliana. We show that two alleles, distinguished by a single substitution in a signaling protein, cause whole-plant differences in plant water relations via inducible and constitutive mechanisms."


Via Mary Williams
Dr Laura Vickers's insight:

Good paper particularly for #brumbio398  

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Mary Williams's curator insight, February 7, 2014 4:31 AM

Nice combination of methods and concepts, a good choice for students to read.

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UK risks losing out without improved investment in plant science

UK risks losing out without improved investment in plant science | Plant Science in the 21st Century | Scoop.it
The leading professional body representing many of the learned societies and other organisations making up the diverse landscape of the biological sciences, as well as thousands of individuals
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Rescooped by Dr Laura Vickers from Plant and Seed Biology
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Advanced imaging techniques for the study of plant growth and development

Advanced imaging techniques for the study of plant growth and development | Plant Science in the 21st Century | Scoop.it

Via Loïc Lepiniec
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Exploiting pathogens' tricks of the trade for engineering of plant disease resistance: challenges and opportunities

Exploiting pathogens' tricks of the trade for engineering of plant disease resistance: challenges and opportunities | Plant Science in the 21st Century | Scoop.it

Scooped from: Microbial Biotechnology, 2013

Authors: Murray R. Grant, Kemal Kazan & John M. Manners

 

Abstract:

With expansion of our understanding of pathogen effector strategies and the multiplicity of their host targets, it is becoming evident that novel approaches to engineering broad-spectrum resistance need to be deployed. The increasing availability of high temporal gene expression data of a range of plant–microbe interactions enables the judicious choices of promoters to fine-tune timing and magnitude of expression under specified stress conditions. We can therefore contemplate engineering a range of transgenic lines designed to interfere with pathogen virulence strategies that target plant hormone signalling or deploy specific disease resistance genes. An advantage of such an approach is that hormonal signalling is generic so if this strategy is effective, it can be easily implemented in a range of crop species. Additionally, multiple re-wired lines can be crossed to develop more effective responses to pathogens.


Via Freddy Monteiro, Nicolas Denancé
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Homeostatic response to hypoxia is regulated by the N-end rule pathway in plants : Nature : Nature Publishing Group

Homeostatic response to hypoxia is regulated by the N-end rule pathway in plants : Nature : Nature Publishing Group | Plant Science in the 21st Century | Scoop.it
Plants and animals are obligate aerobes, requiring oxygen for mitochondrial respiration and energy production.
Dr Laura Vickers's insight:

Really nice work elucidating a direct oxygen sensing mechanism in plants!

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Rescooped by Dr Laura Vickers from Plant Breeding and Genomics News
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Trends in Plant Science - Field high-throughput phenotyping: the new crop breeding frontier

Constraints in field phenotyping capability limit our ability to dissect the genetics of quantitative traits, particularly those related to yield and stress tolerance (e.g., yield potential as well as increased drought, heat tolerance, and nutrient efficiency, etc.). The development of effective field-based high-throughput phenotyping platforms (HTPPs) remains a bottleneck for future breeding advances. However, progress in sensors, aeronautics, and high-performance computing are paving the way. Here, we review recent advances in field HTPPs, which should combine at an affordable cost, high capacity for data recording, scoring and processing, and non-invasive remote sensing methods, together with automated environmental data collection. Laboratory analyses of key plant parts may complement direct phenotyping under field conditions. Improvements in user-friendly data management together with a more powerful interpretation of results should increase the use of field HTPPs, therefore increasing the efficiency of crop genetic improvement to meet the needs of future generations.


Via Plant Breeding and Genomics News
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Rescooped by Dr Laura Vickers from Grain du Coteau : News ( corn maize ethanol DDG soybean soymeal wheat livestock beef pigs canadian dollar)
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Chinese Scientists Cultivate High-yield Salt-resistant Rice

Chinese Scientists Cultivate High-yield Salt-resistant Rice | Plant Science in the 21st Century | Scoop.it

Chinese scientists have cultivated a high-yield salt-resistant rice variety that boasts an output of six tonnes per hectare.

In an experimental program, two professors from Hainan University and additional researchers from the Hunan Provincial Academy of Agricultural Sciences planted 18 salt-resistant varieties on 3 mu (0.2 hectares) of saline-alkali land along the sea coast in the city of Yancheng in eastern Jiangsu province this year.

After harvesting in October, one variety has proved to have similar output as varieties growing on normal farmland, said Lin Qifeng, one of the professors from Hainan University.

The progress marks a big breakthrough in the application stage as the varieties were planted in real saline-alkali soils rather than in labs, Lin said.

The professor said they will expand the experimental plantation to 100 mu in Yancheng in 2014 to further evaluate the performance of the salt-resistant varieties.

Yancheng currently has 410,000 hectares of coastal marsh, but saline-alkali land is expanding by 2,000 hectares per year.

If it proves successful in further tests and is approved by agricultural authorities, the high-yield salt-resistant variety could mean enormous economic benefits by helping the world's most populous nation cultivate its vast idle saline-alkali land, he said.

Cultivation, together with the use of rice straw and other organic fertilizers, could help improve soil conditions in the long term, said Li Guanyi, another professor with Hainan University.

China has some 13.3 million hectares of saline-alkali soils with the potential to be cultivated, equivalent to one tenth of the country's total farmland, according to data from the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Wang Cailin, chief scientist of the rice breeding program in Jiangsu, said more than one quarter of the world's land is saline-alkali soil and another 20 percent of farmland is at risk of salination.

Traditional methods of desalination, such as soil replacement and watering down the salt, are less efficient and also costly, while the research progress on salt-resistant plants points to promising new prospects.

The professors inserted a salt-resistant gene from a wild plant into a normal rice variety six years ago. After five years of screening, they have obtained 18 salt-resistant rice varieties.

The two began to dedicate themselves to research on the development of salt-resistant varieties as early as 1992. They managed to cultivate salt-resistant vegetables, including tomatoes, eggplant, cowpeas and pepper, years later in the late 1990s.

Scientists in other countries, including the United States, have also developed salt-resistant varieties such as barley, wheat, sorghum and tomatoes. However, most saline-alkali soil exploitation worldwide focuses on landscape greening rather than the cultivation of crops and vegetables.


Via Stéphane Bisaillon
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Our Future is Rooted in Plant Science

Our Future is Rooted in Plant Science | Plant Science in the 21st Century | Scoop.it

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DevCell: Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier Protein SUMO Enables Plants to Control Growth Independently of Gibberellin

DevCell: Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier Protein SUMO Enables Plants to Control Growth Independently of Gibberellin | Plant Science in the 21st Century | Scoop.it

"Plants survive adverse conditions by modulating their growth in response to a changing environment. Gibberellins (GAs) play a key role in these adaptive responses by stimulating the degradation of growth-repressing DELLA proteins. GA binding to its receptor GID1 enables association of GID1 with DELLAs. This leads to the ubiquitin-mediated proteasomal degradation of DELLAs and consequently growth promotion. We report that DELLA-dependent growth control can be regulated independently of GA. We demonstrate that when a proportion of DELLAs is conjugated to the Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier (SUMO) protein, the extent of conjugation increases during stress."


Via Mary Williams
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