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The Week in Botany 185

February 1, 2021

It's been a busy week here. Our new editor, Lorena Villanueva Almanza has started. She'll be our first editor specifically with a role in looking for stories outside the Annals of Botany Company journals. I'm looking forward to seeing how our coverage develops.
I've also made time to sign up for the reforestation conference at Kew. That's coming up at the end of February. The last online conference of theirs that I went to was enjoyable, so I'm optimistic about this one.
There should be another round-up of the stories shared by people following @botanyone on Twitter with you the same time next week. Until then, take care.
Alun (

From Botany One

The molecular evolution of vitamin C biosynthesis in plants
What are the molecular evolutionary patterns of the GDP-L-galactose phosphorylase gene in plants?

What’s new in soybean transcriptomics?
An update on major microarray and RNA-seq studies, exploration of data integration approaches using gene coexpression network, and outline of important web resources.

Post-soviet land use change in Russia a driver of restored steppes
More connectivity between steppe areas provide corridors for the reintroduction of flora and fauna.

What plant is that? Testing out automated plant identification apps
Can smartphone apps successfully identify British native flora?

Advancing crop growth models using genotype-specific parameters
Incorporating genotype-specific parameters and realistic trait physiology will advance crop growth models.

Mum’s the word* in new plant book
"Whilst chrysanthemum lovers should need no encouragement to read the book, I’d urge other ‘mumophobes’ out there to overcome their prejudices and give it a go."

Introducing our new editor, Lorena Villanueva Almanza
Botany One welcomes a new editor and a slight change in direction.

News and Views


Reforestation for Biodiversity, Carbon Capture and Livelihoods
This online conference will create a global hub of expertise and new ideas on reforestation.

Postdoctoral Scholar Opening
The Wright lab will soon be accepting applications for a postdoctoral associate, funded via NSF-DEB 2045842. This postdoc will perform both research and teaching duties.
Southeastern Louisiana University

Scientists address myths over large-scale tree planting
Scientists have proposed 10 golden rules for tree-planting, which they say must be a top priority for all nations this decade.
BBC News

Seabird’s poop was a fertiliser during Prehispanic times in the Atacama Desert
Carbon and nitrogen isotopes in ancient crops reflect the use of guano as a fertiliser since at least AD 1000
Nature Research Ecology & Evolution Community

PhD position in mechanical modelling of plant cell growth
"We are seeking a motivated candidate to join our biophysics group. The project will involve mechanical modeling (FEM) and 3D image analysis of growing plant cells. A background in Biophysics, Physics, Computer Sciences or Mathematics is required."
Routier-Kierzkowska group

Herbarium Curator and Adjunct Assistant Professor at UCLA (JPF06115)
The UCLA Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden and Herbarium and the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) invite applications for a plant systematics position with title of Herbarium Curator and Adjunct Assistant Professor. The UCLA Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden ( is a seven-acre garden on the UCLA campus and the Herbarium is located in the adjacent La Kretz Botany Building.

Assistant Professor of Biology
The Department of Biology at Millikin University invites applications for a tenure-track, Assistant Professor position in Biology to commence on August 1, 2021. A Ph.D. in Biology or a related discipline conferred before August 2021 is required for a tenure-track position.
Millikin University

Two Year Postdoctoral Fellow
The Department of Environmental Studies at Macalester College announces an opening for a two-year Wallin Postdoctoral Fellow in Urban Environmental Science to begin in Fall 2021. This position is open to those who have been awarded a doctorate at the time of appointment in Environmental Studies or a relevant field in the environmental sciences. We prefer that the PhD has been completed by July 1, 2021, but will consider ABD candidates who expect completion by October 1, 2021.
Macalester College

The delicate balance of our 40 shades of green grasses
Ireland has some of the most diverse and interesting semi-natural grasslands in Europe
The Irish Times

Scientific Papers

Ten golden rules for reforestation to optimize carbon sequestration, biodiversity recovery and livelihood benefits
Di Sacco et al. highlight the main environmental risks of large‐scale tree planting and propose 10 golden rules, based on some of the most recent ecological research, to implement forest ecosystem restoration that maximizes rates of both carbon sequestration and biodiversity recovery while improving livelihoods.
Global Change Biology

Status and prospects of genome‐wide association studies in plants
The development of the mixed model framework for GWAS dramatically reduced the number of false positives compared with naïve methods. Building on this foundation, many methods have since been developed to increase computational speed or improve statistical power in GWAS.
The Plant Genome

Convergence of sphingolipid desaturation across over 500 million years of plant evolution
Resemann et al. suggest that adjustment of membrane fluidity evolved independently in mosses and seed plants, which diverged more than 500 million years ago.
Nature Plants

Teosinte introgression modulates phosphatidylcholine levels and induces early maize flowering time
Rodríguez-Zapata et al. combined linkage mapping analysis with genome scans to identify High PhosphatidylCholine 1 (HPC1), a gene which encodes a phospholipase A1 enzyme, as a major driver of phospholipid variation in highland maize. Common garden experiments demonstrated strong genotype-by-environment interactions associated with variation at HPC1, with the highland HPC1 allele leading to higher fitness in highlands, possibly by hastening flowering.

UVR8 interacts with de novo DNA methyltransferase and suppresses DNA methylation in Arabidopsis
Jiang et al. uncovered a connection between ultraviolet B (UVB) signalling and DNA methylation involving UVB photoreceptor (UV RESISTANCE LOCUS 8 (UVR8)) and a de novo DNA methyltransferase (DOMAINS REARRANGED METHYLTRANSFERASE 2 (DRM2)) in Arabidopsis.
Nature Plants

Two NLR immune receptors acquired high-affinity binding to a fungal effector through convergent evolution of their integrated domain
Białas et al. reconstructed the evolutionary history of Pik-1 and its NLR partner, Pik-2, and tested hypotheses about adaptive evolution of the HMA domain. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that the HMA domain integrated into Pik-1 before Oryzinae speciation over 15 million years ago and has been under diversifying selection.

The rise of angiosperms strengthened fire feedbacks and improved the regulation of atmospheric oxygen
Belcher et al. show, using the COPSE biogeochemical model, that angiosperm-driven alteration of fire feedbacks likely lowered atmospheric oxygen levels from ~30% to 25% by the end of the Cretaceous. This likely set the stage for the emergence of closed-canopy angiosperm tropical rainforests that they suggest would not have been possible without angiosperm enhancement of fire feedbacks.
Nature Communications


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