AoB Blog

Posts on botany and plant science from AoB Blog.
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Another kind of experiment that takes place out in the real world is when non-native species are introduced into new areas. Usually and understandably this causes a knee-jerk response that assumes this must be a bad thing and the invaders must be removed at all costs. However is such an invasion always bad? Might there actually be some positives to come out of this situation? Well work of Aaron Ramus et al. gives cause for pause for thought on this question  at least as far as plants or…

Red Lionfish, a beautiful venomous marine fish that comes from the Indo-Pacific. They may be an aggressively invasive species in some parts of the world, but in terms of looks they are my favorite.

The study of plant evolution and development in a phylogenetic context has accelerated research advances in both areas over the last decade. The addition of a robust phylogeny for virtually all plant taxa based on DNA as well as morphology has given a strong context for this research. Genetics and genomics including sequencing of many genes and a better understanding of non-genetic responsive changes by plants has increased knowledge of how the different body forms of plants have arisen…

The study of plant evolution and development in a phylogenetic context has accelerated research advances in both areas over the last decade. The addition of a robust phylogeny for virtually all plant taxa based on DNA as well as morphology has given a strong context for this research. Genetics and genomics including sequencing of many genes and a better understanding of non-genetic responsive changes by plants has increased knowledge of how the different body forms of plants have arisen…

The characterization of transgenic plants expressing the sunflower transcription factor HaHB4 uncovered a new role for the lateral auxin influx carrier LAX2 in venation patterning and xylem vasculature development. Most of single and multiple mutants for AUX/LAX genes presented an enhanced asymmetry in the venation patterning.  Ectopic expression ofHaHB4in transgenic soybean leaves enhances the asymmetric formation of secondary vein pairs. (A) Illustrative photographs of the terminal…

The characterization of transgenic plants expressing the sunflower transcription factor HaHB4 uncovered a new role for the lateral auxin influx carrier LAX2 in venation patterning and xylem vasculature development. Most of single and multiple mutants for AUX/LAX genes presented an enhanced asymmetry in the venation patterning. Ectopic expression ofHaHB4in transgenic soybean leaves enhances the asymmetric formation of secondary vein pairs. (A) Illustrative photographs of the terminal…

Outside of Los Angeles in mid-October Sci Comm Camp was held for the third year in a row. Camp gathers science communicators at all stages of their career to learn about the sci comm industry and talk about what works and doesnt when communicating science.  What follows is a list of some of the key take-aways from the weekend. I wrote about some of this on my own blog The Quiet Branches.  The false pepper trees (Schinus molle Anacardiaceae) that were everywhere at Sci Comm Camp. Photo by Ian…

Outside of Los Angeles in mid-October Sci Comm Camp was held for the third year in a row. Camp gathers science communicators at all stages of their career to learn about the sci comm industry and talk about what works and doesnt when communicating science. What follows is a list of some of the key take-aways from the weekend. I wrote about some of this on my own blog The Quiet Branches. The false pepper trees (Schinus molle Anacardiaceae) that were everywhere at Sci Comm Camp. Photo by Ian…

Mushrooms: A Natural and Cultural History by Nicholas P. Money 2017. Distributed by University of Chicago Press for Reaktion Books.  Why does anybody review books?  I cant speak for others but I do it to get hold of a free copy of the book. Well not just that  its also an opportunity to read and write about plants (and plant-related things more broadly)  which I enjoy doing  and to share my uninvited views with an unsuspecting world. But and lets be honest the thrill of seemingly getting…

Mushrooms: A Natural and Cultural History by Nicholas P. Money 2017. Distributed by University of Chicago Press for Reaktion Books. Why does anybody review books? I cant speak for others but I do it to get hold of a free copy of the book. Well not just that its also an opportunity to read and write about plants (and plant-related things more broadly) which I enjoy doing and to share my uninvited views with an unsuspecting world. But and lets be honest the thrill of seemingly getting…

Zotz et al. examine the velamen radicum. You may be familiar with the velamen radicum from orchids but in their paper they find The velamen radicum is common among terrestrial monocotyledons.  Root transection of Rhodohypoxis thodiana (Hypoxidaceae) drawn from a freehand section. Image by Zotz et al. 2017. If youre not familiar with it the velamen radicum is a spongy root epidermis. It can have multiple layers of dead cells when mature and overlies an exodermis which itself can have a…

Zotz et al. examine the velamen radicum. You may be familiar with the velamen radicum from orchids but in their paper they find The velamen radicum is common among terrestrial monocotyledons. Root transection of Rhodohypoxis thodiana (Hypoxidaceae) drawn from a freehand section. Image by Zotz et al. 2017. If youre not familiar with it the velamen radicum is a spongy root epidermis. It can have multiple layers of dead cells when mature and overlies an exodermis which itself can have a…

I think and talk a lot about education with friends and colleagues what it means to us what our experiences were how current higher education looks in comparison to our own experiences etc. Making decisions about your personal educational or academic path is tricky and not always obvious especially in a time where it really seems more like an expectation rather than a personal choice to go to university or obtain some form of higher education.  I was a pretty standard over-achiever as a kid…

I think and talk a lot about education with friends and colleagues what it means to us what our experiences were how current higher education looks in comparison to our own experiences etc. Making decisions about your personal educational or academic path is tricky and not always obvious especially in a time where it really seems more like an expectation rather than a personal choice to go to university or obtain some form of higher education. I was a pretty standard over-achiever as a kid…

The advent and breadth of bioinformatics resources have made scientists jobs easier. Before jumping into wet lab work they are able to parse gene targets and construct better hypotheses. Several groups and research institutes have taken the initiative to provide datasets tools algorithms open source code and visualization platforms.  A comprehensive study of a gene or protein requires enlisting multiple online tools databases and visualization platforms. For instances Araport or TAIR for…

The advent and breadth of bioinformatics resources have made scientists jobs easier. Before jumping into wet lab work they are able to parse gene targets and construct better hypotheses. Several groups and research institutes have taken the initiative to provide datasets tools algorithms open source code and visualization platforms. A comprehensive study of a gene or protein requires enlisting multiple online tools databases and visualization platforms. For instances Araport or TAIR for…

To ensure effective pollen transfer constancy in the morphological expression of traits involved in the spatial disunion of pistil and stamen (herkogamy) along successive branching is necessary. Camargo et al. measured within-plant trend variation of herkogamy-related traits expressed in response to variation in nutrient availability of two populations that differ in pollinator abundance.  Leeuwenbergs architectural model ofDatura stramonium. The model consists of a sympodial succession of…

To ensure effective pollen transfer constancy in the morphological expression of traits involved in the spatial disunion of pistil and stamen (herkogamy) along successive branching is necessary. Camargo et al. measured within-plant trend variation of herkogamy-related traits expressed in response to variation in nutrient availability of two populations that differ in pollinator abundance. Leeuwenbergs architectural model ofDatura stramonium. The model consists of a sympodial succession of…

The Language of Plants: Science Philosophy Literature by Monica Gagliano John C. Ryan and Patrícia Vieira (Editors) 2017. University of Minnesota Press.  Monica Gagliano et als The Language of Plants [hereafter referred to as Plantspeak] is an important book because of its subject matter. Plantspeak deals with the problem that humans have in trying to understand the way plants communicate  i.e. the language plants use and the messages they exchange both with other plants and with non-plant…

The Language of Plants: Science Philosophy Literature by Monica Gagliano John C. Ryan and Patrícia Vieira (Editors) 2017. University of Minnesota Press. Monica Gagliano et als The Language of Plants [hereafter referred to as Plantspeak] is an important book because of its subject matter. Plantspeak deals with the problem that humans have in trying to understand the way plants communicate i.e. the language plants use and the messages they exchange both with other plants and with non-plant…

A vineyard in New Zealand in which ryegrass has evolved resistant to glyphosate. Photo courtesy of Rod Brailsford Blenheim New Zealand. Theres no doubt that herbicide resistance is a problem. It damages profits and the environment but how does it happen? In a recent article in AoB PLANTS Ghanizadeh and Harrington suggest that we could get a better understanding of herbicide resistance in weeds by investigating the evolutionary physiology involved. They list three ways they think plant…

A vineyard in New Zealand in which ryegrass has evolved resistant to glyphosate. Photo courtesy of Rod Brailsford Blenheim New Zealand. Theres no doubt that herbicide resistance is a problem. It damages profits and the environment but how does it happen? In a recent article in AoB PLANTS Ghanizadeh and Harrington suggest that we could get a better understanding of herbicide resistance in weeds by investigating the evolutionary physiology involved. They list three ways they think plant…

Understanding the interactive effects of elevated CO2 concentration and water availability on tree functioning is fundamental for the advance of both forest science and global climate change research. In this study Sánchez-Gómez et al. conduct a controlled experiment in growth chambers with clones of Pinus pinaster with contrasting drought tolerance to test the hypothesis that intraspecific variability in drought tolerance can be modulated by elevated [CO2].  Intraspecific variation in leaf…

Essay on human language and animal communication books Premium and Free Essays, Term Papers & Book, imitating human language. However, animals don’t. Human and Animal Communication Essay.

Experiments with the aspiration to undertake investigations in a controlled way that permits analysis and interpretation are one of the cornerstones of modern science. But how valid are they at showing us what goes on out there in the real world?  Photo: roseoftimothywoods/Flickr Im sure those of an experimental science persuasion will say they are great and the only way to really understand the complex natural situation. OK but really how valid are they at showing us what goes on in nature?…

Amazing May Our Relationships with Ourselves The final words and final “thank you” in My Amazing Day are “Thank you, me” because when we thank ourselves we are thanking that one person that was there for every moment of our amazing day.

Post-anthesis colour change (PACC) is widespread in the angiosperms. Yet we know little about how this trait operates at the molecular level. By comparing the transcriptomes of pre- and post-colour change flowers in Lotus Boehm et al. propose a model that encompasses the anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway and related transcription factors as the drivers of PACC.  Understanding how PACC is regulated at the molecular level is crucial to understanding how flower colour has evolved in response to…

Post-anthesis colour change (PACC) is widespread in the angiosperms. Yet we know little about how this trait operates at the molecular level. By comparing the transcriptomes of pre- and post-colour change flowers in Lotus Boehm et al. propose a model that encompasses the anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway and related transcription factors as the drivers of PACC. Understanding how PACC is regulated at the molecular level is crucial to understanding how flower colour has evolved in response to…

Flower of the rare Cyanaeorchis arundinae occurring in wet grasslands (vereda vegetation) from central Brazil. Photo by Emerson Pansarin Edible trichomes have been recorded in several plant families. However food hairs have not been recorded among the Catasetinae a subtribe of Orchidaceae. In a recent article published in AoB PLANTS Pansarin and Maciel used data on floral biology to perform studies involving Cyanaeorchis a genus for which pollinators and rewards are unknown. They also…

Flower of the rare Cyanaeorchis arundinae occurring in wet grasslands (vereda vegetation) from central Brazil. Photo by Emerson Pansarin Edible trichomes have been recorded in several plant families. However food hairs have not been recorded among the Catasetinae a subtribe of Orchidaceae. In a recent article published in AoB PLANTS Pansarin and Maciel used data on floral biology to perform studies involving Cyanaeorchis a genus for which pollinators and rewards are unknown. They also…

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