Global Plant Council E-Bulletin December 2015
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E-Bulletin / 
December 2015

Happy New Year! The holiday season means our December round-up is a little bit late this month, but never fear, this e-Bulletin is still packed full of new and fascinating plant science, reports, funding opportunities, events and information from around the world. 

Before you delve into this newsletter, a few things from us:

  • Some of the presentations made during our Stress Resilience Symposium can now be found online on the SEB website, here.
  • On that note, if you'd like to contribute an article on the topic of plant stress resilience to a special issue of the Journal of Experimental Botany (JXB), the deadline is January 31st. Find out how here
  • Finally, welcome and thank you to New Phytologist and Nature Plants who have joined JXB in kindly agreeing to provide sponsorship for the Global Plant Council. If you work for a journal that would be interested in sponsoring us, please get in touch!

Latest News / 
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If you have news you would like us to share on our website, please contact 

This month 62 new breaking news stories were posted on the GPC website including...

In Nature Plants: Theory of 'smart' plants may explain the evolution of global ecosystems
A new theory presented by Princeton University (USA) researchers suggests that the ecosystems of the world have their various forms because of plant "decisions" that made them that way. 

In New Phytologist: How fresh is your maple syrup?
Sugar maple trees can store carbon from the atmosphere for several years in non-structural reserves as a buffer against disturbances such as droughts, hurricane damage, or attacks by insects. A new study shows that trees draw on this reserve when springtime sap begins to flow.

Scientists create first map of the wheat epigenome
Scientists at the University of Liverpool (UK) have carried out the first ever genome-wide survey of heritable molecular changes that regulate gene activity in wheat, in what could become a new tool to improve crop breeding technologies.

Launch of the Latin American Plant Phenotyping Network (LatPPN)
A new network for Latin America to facilitate training of breeders and development of scientists on several aspects of phenotyping and pre-breeding methodologies, scientific exchange of young/senior researchers and students, and international access to resources and research facilities.

2016 named International Year of Pulses
The UN declared 2016 as the International Year of Pulses (IYP). And, no, they don’t mean the pulse you take to measure your heartbeat.

Events / 
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If you have a conference, meeting, workshop, training course or other event coming up, we can include it in our Events calendar! Please email

International Plant & Animal Genome XXIV
09–13 January 2016. San Diego, USA. 

World Congress on Root and Tuber Crops
18–22 January 2016. Nanning, Guangxi, China.

Pan-African Grain Legume & World Cowpea Conference
28 January–04 February 2016. Livingstone, Zambia.

Reports /

Lots of new reports, and an archive of useful documents from the last few years, are available on our website. Head to the Resources page and click 'Reports'.

Climate Change, Global Food Security, and the US Food System (PDF)
A USDA state-of-the-science assessment, which establishes the technical foundation for managing food security outcomes around the world and for preparing consumers, agricultural producers, and others in the United States for changing conditions.

Funding Opportunities /

Spotted a funding opportunity we've missed? Please tell us about it by emailing

This month we found some new funding opportunities, including the Rothamsted International Fellowship Scheme for scientists from developing countries, Institutional Skills Grants to develop new UK-Brazil training programs to support staff or researchers in public and civil society institutions, science museums and botanic gardens, the Novo Nordisk Foundation Interdisciplinary Synergy Program for Denmark, and scholarship opportunities for PhD students to study in China. 
More info...

Congratulations also to Alexander Jones, formerly of the Carnegie Institution for Science, now at The Sainsbury Laboratory, UK, who has won the New Phytologist Tansley Medal for Excellence in Plant Science

On the blog / 
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Would you like to contribute an article to the GPC's blog? Please get in touch! Email

GPC/SEB Stress Resilience Symposium: online tools for stress resilience research
In summarizing this meeting, Lisa Martin also highlights some of the excellent digital tools mentioned by our speakers for plant science research and breeding. 

Making Plant Genomics Front Page News with an Emblematic Genome Project: The Bauhinia Flower
Scott Edmunds from GigaScience Journal talks about an innovative new plant genomics initiative to sequence the national flower of Hong Kong. 

How to create a successful crop research partnership: the Generation Challenge Programme
GPC New Media Fellow Sarah Jose describes the Generation Challenge Programme, a 10-year collaborative project to develop food crops with improved stress resilience.

Now That's What I Call Plant Science 2015
In the first of two 2015 round-up posts, New Media Fellow Amelia Frizell-Armitage reveals the Top 5 Most Influential Plant Science Stories of 2015, as voted for by GPC followers. 

2015 Plant Science Round-up
In Sarah's round-up post, she takes a look at some of the plant science breakthroughs of 2015.

Members / 

Click here for details of the GPC Member Organizations and representatives. 

Please contact Ruth Bastow ( to find out how your organization can join the Global Plant Council. 

The GPC is a coalition of plant and crop science societies from across the globe. The GPC seeks to bring plant scientists together to work synergistically toward solving the pressing problems we face.
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