Global Plant Council E-Bulletin February 2017
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E-Bulletin / 
February 2017

Welcome to the February issue of the Global Plant Council's e-Bulletin, a monthly round-up of the latest plant science news, events, reports, funding opportunities and blog posts from the GPC community and beyond. 

7–8 July, 2017: Save the Dates! In collaboration with GPC members the Society for Experimental Biology (SEB), the GPC is pleased to announce that we will be hosting a workshop entitled 'New Breeding Technologies in Plant Sciences'. This will be a satellite meeting of the SEB's annual main meeting in Gothenburg, Sweden (3–6 July). Please see the website for more information, and we will let you know as soon as possible when this event is open for registration. 

Sooner than that, don't forget that 18 May 2017 is international Fascination of Plants Day (FoPD)! Coordinated by GPC members the European Plant Science Organisation (EPSO), hundreds of scientists around the world will be holding exciting plant-focused outreach and engagement events. To get involved, please locate the contact details of your country's national coordinator on the FoPD website, here.  

As always, if you have any plant science events, news, reports or information that you would like us to help promote and share with the global community, then please do get in touch! Contact Lisa, GPC's Outreach & Communications Manager:

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


This month 56 new breaking news stories were posted on the GPC website including...

In Journal of Experimental Botany: imaging technique widens our view on the inner worlds of plants and their guests
Scientists from the UK's John Innes Centre have succeeded in improving an imaging technique that helps us to explore 3D gene activity in fixed or living plant structures as large as 6 cm in length.

In New Phytologist: where do flowers come from? Shedding light on Darwin's "abominable mystery"
Reporting in New Phytologist, French and British scientists have partially solved the mystery that is the origin of flowering plants. 

In Nature Plants: how to reduce the environmental impact of a loaf of bread?
In a groundbreaking study researchers have calculated the environmental impact of a loaf of bread and which part of its production contributes the most greenhouse gas.

Current Plant Biology call for papers: special issue on microRNA genes 
Current Plant Biology invites submissions for an upcoming Special Issue on MicroRNA genes - submit by 30 June 2017.

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

State of the World's Plants Symposium
25–26 May 2017, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK. 

ASPB Plant Biology 2017
24–28 June 2017, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

GPC/SEB workshop: New Breeding Technologies in the Plant Sciences
07–08 July 2017, Gothenburg, Sweden. 

GPGR4: 4th International Symposium on Genomics of Plant Genetic Resources
03–07 September 2017, Giessen, Germany. 

Policy /

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'.

Fifth of the world's food lost to over-eating and waste, study finds
Scientists at the University of Edinburgh (UK) examined ten key stages in the global food system - including food consumption and the growing and harvesting of crops - and concluded that almost 20% of the food made available to consumers is lost through over-eating or waste. 

Forests to play a major role in meeting Paris climate targets
Forests will be important for meeting the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement; however, a consistent, robust, transparent and credible approach to measuring the impact of forests on greenhouse gas emissions is needed.

Funding /

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

Looking for funding for your research, a prize to bolster your résumé, or a summer internship? A list of some of the opportunities we've found this month can be found here, including: 

  • American Society of Plant Biologists internships
  • Grants from The Royal Society
  • Canadian Society of Plant Biologists travel bursaries
  • Botanic Gardens Conservation International competition
  • Society for Experimental Biology internships and prizes
  • American Society of Agronomy/Crop Science Society of America/Soil Science Society of America scholarships
Click here for more details. 

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 Future of Phenotyping
In this guest post, Rothamsted Research scientist Dr Kasra Sabermanesh discusses the development of new and exciting technology for in-field plant phenotyping.

Mother grain genome: insights into quinoa
The GPC's Sarah Jose delves into the recently published Quinoa genome and reveals some of the secrets of the 'mother grain'. 

RNA clay offers green alternative to plant pesticides
In this SciDevNet repost, Neena Bhandari explains how a nano-sized bio-degradable clay-comprising double stranded ribonucleic acid (dsRNA) could offer a cost-effective, clean and green alternative to chemical-based plant pesticides.

Chickpea innovation: Revisiting the origins of crops to solve the challenges of modern agriculture
Dr Doug Cook from the University of California, Davis, looks to chickpea's origins to solve modern problems in agriculture. 

Members / 

Click here for details of the GPC Member Societies and Affiliates and their 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 and affiliates 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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