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The Week in Botany 40

March 26, 2018

It's been a work behind the scenes week for us. Thanks to help from Microsoft, we've improved our email system, so Anne's editor account editor@botanyone should be working better. If you're interested in writing something for Botany One, that's the email address to use. As for the news, we're keeping an eye on Facebook, but don't plan to delete the site's account yet. If you're not a fan of Facebook you can still follow us @botanyone on Twitter.

From Botany One

Thermal acclimation of photosynthesis and dark respiration in white spruce
Benomar et al. use eight young forest plantations established along a gradient of 5.8°C in the eastern boreal forest of Canada to examine thermal acclimation of photosynthesis and respiration of seeds from northern and southern white spruce (Picea glauca) seed orchards.

Induced Resource Partitioning: Effects of Mycorrhizae and Herbivory
In a recent article published in AoB PLANTS, Orians et al. studied the net effects of such interaction on plant internal resources and growth and found that while both organisms had an impact on the plant individually, the magnitude or direction of the individual effects generally did not differ when both organisms were present simultaneously.

Early Palaeocene fossil flowers of Patagonia
Sixty-four million years ago, this elaborate flower grew in Patagonia, Argentina. The new species described by Jud et al. is named Lacinipetalum spectabilis Jud, Gandolfo, Iglesias & Wilf, gen. et. sp. nov. 

The Delights and Dangers of Tree-Hugging
On the International Day of Forests how will you be showing your appreciation for trees? Tree-hugging might be a sound good idea, but it's not without risk.

The development of Ramularia leaf spot disease in barley
The fungus Ramularia collo-cygni (Ascomycotina) has recently become an important pathogen of barley (Hordeum vulgare), causing leaf spotting on upper leaves.

Flying insects plummet
Where have all the flower-pollinating insects have gone?

Photoinhibition of seed germination in Lilioids
The results show the relative importance of the different factors that may be involved in explaining the occurrence of photoinhibition in Lilioid monocots.​

Origins and domestication of the olive
Besnard et al. review the literature on the timeline of Mediterranean olive evolution and discuss the questions that remain unanswered. 


One of our more popular recent book reviews has been Plants of the World: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Vascular Plants by Maarten JM Christenhusz, Michael F Fay and Mark W Chase, 2017. Kew Publishing/University of Chicago Press. Nigel Chaffey was very impressed by it, saying: "Christenhusz et al‘s Plants of the World is not only a very worthy successor to Heywood et al’s Flowering Plant Families of the World, it takes this visually-appealing, encyclopaedic cataloguing of plant diversity to the next level." At the time of writing Wordery has a limited stock of the book at £54.99, that's 23% of the standard price - and free international shipping.

News and Views

How GMOs can save civilization (and probably already have)
Michael Eisen, Ph.D., Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley on inventing better ways to feed the planet.
Impossible Foods

Children drawing more women in science
Children in the US are drawing more women scientists than in previous decades, according to a new study.
BBC News

How my student has explored career interests outside academia
Here’s the story of how one of Meghan Duffy's students has explored career interests outside academia.
Dynamic Ecology

Questionable Research Practices in Ecology and Evolution
Survey of researchers who recently published in one of 20 leading ecology and evolution journals. We asked how often they use each of 10 QRPS, how often the think others use them, and how acceptable they find each one.
OSF Home

Bacteria Trick Plant Cells into Digesting Themselves - Here’s How
Plant and animal cells have two ways of getting rid of proteins: autophagy and the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS). The UPS does most of the work, but cells rely on autophagy for getting rid of extra-large protein complexes.
Plant Cell Extracts

The Many-Faced Auxin Adds to Its Collection – Characterizing two new roles for auxin signaling in the establishment of lateral root growth angles (via PIN7), and in the root growth response to high temperature (via PILS6)

Wheat in heat: the 'crazy idea' that could combat food insecurity
Durum wheat varieties can withstand 40C heat along the Senegal River basin, and could produce 600,000 tonnes of food
The Guardian

Barbara McClintock and the Discovery of Jumping Genes (Transposons)
McClintock’s maize breeding experiments provided the first detailed descriptions of transposable elements. What exactly are these “jumping genes,” and why are they so important?

Making maps of your study sites
From @AlistairPoore: "Need a simple map of your study sites? Don't want to learn a complex GIS program? Our latest tutorial on Environmental Computing by Matt Holland "
Environmental Computing

Celebrating the first women Fellows of the Linnean Society of London
Diversity in science is in the news today as never before, and it is hard to imagine what it might have been like to be a woman scientist in 1900, knocking at the doors of learned societies requesting that women be granted the full advantages of Fellowship.

Weeding out bad alleles
Geneticists and breeders are enthralled with the variability of traits within a species, but fundamental questions remain about what types of molecular changes underlie phenotypic variation. An investigation of the transcriptomes of agricultural varieties of maize provides insights into the variability of gene expression and it’s phenotypic consequences.
Nature Plants

Call for papers: Developing sustainable bioenergy crops for future climates

Rapid progress has been made over the last five years with respect to emerging new genomic technologies for crop improvement and this Annals of Botany Special Issue will be devoted to highlighting the latest findings and considering the potential of these technologies for the future deployment of bioenergy crops in the face of climate change. At the same time, cutting-edge research that provides insights into the complex plant traits underpinning drought tolerance and response to other abiotic and biotic stresses is required for these relatively new crops. Knowledge in this area will be brought together in this Special Issue, and there will be a focus on recent advances in high throughput phenotyping to unravel these complex responses. See the full call for papers for more information.

Scientific Papers

AUX1-mediated root hair auxin influx governs SCFTIR1/AFB-type Ca2+ signaling
Dindas et al. describe auxin uptake, together with early steps in signaling, in Arabidopsis root hairs. Using intracellular microelectrodes they show membrane depolarization, in response to IAA in a concentration- and pH-dependent manner.
Nature Communications

MUTE Directly Orchestrates Cell State Switch and the Single Symmetric Division to Create Stomata
Torii Lab: "How MUTE orchestrates the symmetric division to happen only once to make stomata? Through a sophisticated feed-forward loop (but not via CYCD7). "

Auxin is not asymmetrically distributed in initiating Arabidopsis leaves
It has been proposed that asymmetric auxin levels within initiating leaves help establish leaf polarity, based in part on observations of the DII auxin sensor. Bhatia and Heisler show that the mDII control sensor also exhibits an asymmetry and that according to the ratio-metric auxin sensor R2D2, no obvious asymmetry in auxin exists. Together with other recent findings, their results argue against the importance of auxin asymmetry in establishing leaf polarity.

A single fungal MAP kinase controls plant cell-to-cell invasion by the rice blast fungus
When the rice blast fungus enters a rice cell, the plasma membrane stays intact, so the rice cell remains viable. The fungus then moves to adjacent cells via plasmodesmata, the plant's intercellular channels. Sakulkoo et al. used a chemical genetic approach to selectively inhibit a single MAP (mitogen-activated protein) kinase, Pmk1, in the blast fungus.

The Role of Auxin in Cell Wall Expansion
Majda and Robert focus particularly on the auxin role during cell expansion linked directly to cell wall modifications. We also analyze downstream targets of transcriptional auxin signaling, which are related to the cell wall and could be linked to acid growth and the action of wall-loosening proteins. 
International Journal of Molecular Sciences

Conservation and Divergence of YODA MAPKKK Function in Regulation of Grass Epidermal Patterning
Abrash et al. find that YODA genes promote normal stomatal spacing patterns in both Arabidopsis and Brachypodium, despite species-specific differences in those patterns. Using lineage tracing and cell fate markers, we show that, unexpectedly, patterning defects in bdyoda1 mutants do not arise from faulty physical asymmetry in cell divisions but rather from improper enforcement of alternative cellular fates after division.

Phenotyping Crop Root Crowns: General Guidance and Specific Protocols for Maize, Wheat, and Soybean
York gives general guidance for how to optimize root crown phenotyping for unique research questions, and specific protocols are given for acquiring images of root crowns of three crop species: maize, wheat, and soybean.
Root Development

Water relation, leaf gas exchange and chlorophyll afluorescence imaging of soybean leaves infected with Colletotrichum truncatum
Silva Dias et al. performed an in-depth analysis of the photosynthetic performance of soybean leaflets challenged with Colletotrichum truncatum by combining chlorophyll a fluorescence images with gas-exchange measurements and photosynthetic pigment pools. There were no significant differences between non-inoculated and inoculated plants in leaf water potential, apparent hydraulic conductance, net CO2 assimilation rate, stomatal conductance to water vapor and transpiration rate.
Plant Physiology and Biochemistry


Next week and onwards

The Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society is on a run with orchid pollination papers. I'm hoping to have one or two articles on those out this week. If you're not an orchid person, then Nigel Chaffey will be writing on Heavy Metal.
If you need to contact me, then the easiest way is
Enjoy your week.



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