Global Plant Council E-Bulletin July 2020

E-Bulletin / 
July 2020

Dear plant science enthusiast,

Welcome to our August 2020 newsletter on plant science!

This past July we shared 20 plant science-related breaking stories, along with our event collection (33 events listed right now, mostly online), open calls and other usefull information.

Additionally, you are invited to check the 15 #PlantSciVid entries received for our video competition. Congratulations to the winners, Gabriela and Ilaria, and very well done to all 15 participants. To watch all contributions you may watch the full playlist on Youtube,  or you visit the partial lists created on Twitter or Instagram.


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


This past month, 20 new breaking plant science related news stories were posted on the GPC website including...

Threats to global food security from emerging fungal crop pathogens
Amongst the world's most challenging problems is the need to feed an ever-growing global population sustainably. Securing the food supply is of paramount importance, and more attention must be given to the threat from fungal pathogens competing with us for our own crops. Recently, a consortium of world-leading fungal researchers has merged their expertise to highlight the threat of fungal disease for our food security.

Biologists unravel tangled mystery of plant cell growth
When cells don’t divide into proper copies of themselves, living things fail to grow as they should. For the first time, scientists now understand how a protein called TANGLED1 can lead to accurate cell division in plants. This insight could lead to bigger crops and better yields.

Newly Identified Gene Reduces Pollen Number of Plants
Producing fewer sperm cells can be advantageous in self-fertilizing plants. An international study has identified a gene in the model plant Arabidopsis that reduces the number of pollen. In addition to supporting the evolutionary theory, these findings could help to optimize plant breeding and domestication in agriculture.

Plant detectives develop new way to trace global spread of major plant disease
A team of scientists has developed a way to potentially thwart the spread of crown-gall disease caused by Agrobacbacterium that harms more than 100 plant species worldwide, an advance that could save the nursery industry billions of dollars a year.

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

Due to Coronavirus outbreak, many meetings/conferences are either postponed or cancelled.  We have reviewed all of the following, but please, make sure to confirm with the event organizers also when checking our events calendar.

Plant Health 2020
08–12 August 2020.  Online.

Naturalistic and Scientific Illustration
17–21 August 2020.  Online.

11th SPPS PhD Student Conference 2020
2–4 September 2020.  Online.

8–10 September 2020.  Online.

Plant Genomes in a Changing Environment
12–14 October  2020. Online.

International Symposium on Climate-Resilient Agri-Environmental Systems (IS-CRAES)
3–6 November 2020. Dublin, Ireland.

16th Congress of the Mediterranean Phytopathological Union
17–20November 2020. Limassol, Cyprus.

Calls for papers /

Want to share an interesting call for papers we've missed? Please tell us about it by emailing

"Focus Issue on the Biology of Plant Genomes" open call for paper by "The Plant Cell"
Possible submissions: sequencing/analysis of plant genomes of particular interest, comparative genomics, genome evolution, advances in genome modification, epigenomics and genome-wide studies of chromatin, large-scale analyses of RNA in a genomic context, systems or synthetic biology on a genomic scale, or any of these topics as applied to plastid or mitochondrial genomes.
Submission date: 1st September 2020

“Crop digital information - sharing access and benefits” open call for papers by "Plants, People, Planet"
Crop diversity remains as valuable to global food security as ever. Yet information about this diversity seems to have become nearly as important as the seeds themselves. With the advent of high‐throughput DNA sequencing technologies and emerging “phenomic” approaches, and new platforms to store and explore the data they generate, the ways in which our global community can produce and access this information, and share the benefits of its use, is rapidly changing, creating a set of challenges that we will explore in a special collection of papers in Plants, People, Planet. Organised by Colin Khoury and Eric von Wettburg, this call seeks a range of contributions on this important topic including: Opinions, Historical Perspectives, Technical Reviews and Case Studies.
Submission date: 31st October 2020.

"Transport and Signaling" open call for papers by "Plant Physiology"
This Focus Issue will highlight the recent advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind membrane transport, its integration with signaling, and its roles in homeostasis. A selection of Update Reviews, included within the Issue, will address new and transformative insights that are driving research beyond the traditional boundaries of transport physiology. We encourage submissions that address quantitative frameworks in understanding membrane transport, transport proteins, and the integration of transport and signaling across scales.
Submission date: 3rd November 2020.

Funding Opportunities /

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

You are invited to check the ECRi devoted section ( and our Resources section ( for more info.

**A number of funding calls by the EU are or will be open in the following months in the frame of Horizon2020. Check if you organization is located in a country elegible for funding here. Some open or forthcoming calls of interest for plant scientists are:

- International Cooperation on alternative renewable fuels from sunlight for energy, transport and chemical storage with:
- International cooperation with Canada on advanced biofuels and bioenergy. Deadline:  01 September 2020

- Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions – Individual Fellowships are available for applicants with a doctoral degree or at least four years´ full time research experience. There are both European and Global Fellowships and last 1-3 years. The call is already open. Deadline: 9th September 2020.

- The Plant Biotic Interactions (PBI) program supports research on the processes that mediate beneficial and antagonistic interactions between plants and their viral, bacterial, oomycete, fungal, plant, and invertebrate symbionts, pathogens and pests. This joint NSF/NIFA program supports projects focused on current and emerging model and non-model systems, and agriculturally relevant plants. Funding rates in the >30% range.  Full Proposals Accepted Anytime.

- Funding Opportunity: AFRI Releases RFA for Foundational and Applied Science Program. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) recently released a request for applications for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Foundational and Applied Science (FAS) program. During the fiscal years 2021 and 2022  AFRI will distribute approximately $290 million per year. AFRI has numerous program area priorities and each program area priority has its own deadline(s). Please, check them here.

ECRi / The GPC Early Career Researcher (ECR) Insternational Network

ECRi is a collection of activities addressed to help the ECRs with 4 essential matters: job hunting, grant funding, dissemination of research results and networking. Ongoing activities are:

Do you want to learn more about ECRi? Please get in touch by emailing

Job hunting:  We post daily opportunities on our Facebook and Linkedin groups. Next #plantscijobs Twitterstorm will take place on the 28th August between 3 and 4 pm CEST.

The latest on the ECRi network is published in the GPC website here. Additionally, sign-up to our bi-monthly ECRi mailing.

Are you an ECRs? Currently involved in plant science research?  Let us help you reach a wider audience! Learn how here

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

The Global Plant Council Statement for 2020-2021

More posts ⬇️⬇️

‘Science is not finished until it’s communicated’ by James Piercy, Communications and Engagement Officer at the John Innes Centre Norwich U.K.

#PlantSciVid Competition Results Announcement

International Day for Biological Diversity 2020 – Message by KC Bansal

The United Nations  declared 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health (#IYPH2020). IYPH2020 is a once in a lifetime opportunity to raise global awareness on how protecting plant health can help end hunger, reduce poverty, protect the environment, and boost economic development. 

At GPC we have a devoted IYPH2020 section where you will find news connected with plant health.

Are you organizing an IYPH2020 activity? Please tell us about it by emailing

Members / 

Click here for details of the GPC Member Societies and their representatives. 

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

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