Global Plant Council E-Bulletin July 2020

E-Bulletin / 
July 2020

Dear plant science enthusiast,

Welcome to our July 2020 newsletter on plant science!

This past month we have shared 22 plant science-related breaking stories, along with our event collection (over 30 events listed by now, mostly online), open calls and other usefull information. Enjoy!

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


This month 22 new breaking news stories were posted on the GPC website including...

Plants pass on ‘memory’ of stress to some progeny, making them more resilient
By manipulating the expression of one gene, geneticists can induce a form of “stress memory” in plants that is inherited by some progeny, giving them the potential for more vigorous, hardy and productive growth, according to researchers, who suggest the discovery has significant implications for plant breeding.  

Chronobiology: researchers identify genes that tell plants when to flower
How do plants know when it is time to flower? Researchers have studied this question and identified two genes that are key to this process. They were able to show that the ELF3 and GI genes control the internal clock of the plants that monitors the length of daylight and determine when it is the right time to flower. The findings could help to breed plants that are better adapted to their environments. 

Intercropping increases agricultural yield while reducing the use of fertilisers
Intercropping, or the simultaneous cultivation of multiple crops on a single plot of land, can significantly increase the yield, not only of low input agriculture, but also of intensive agriculture, and reduce the use of fertilisers. 

Algal genome provides insights into first land plants
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the genome of a single-celled alga that belongs to the closest lineage to terrestrial plants and provides many clues to how aquatic plants first colonized land. Penium margaritaceum belongs to a group of freshwater algae called charophytes, and specifically to a subgroup called the Zygnematophyceae, which had a common ancestor with the first land plants some 600 million years ago. In order to shift from water to land – a transition that still puzzles scientists –  plants had to protect themselves from drying out and from ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and they had to develop structures to support themselves without the buoyancy provided by water.

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.

Public Engagement 101: The what, why and how of public engagement
16 July 2020. Online.

Three Minute Pitch: Developing your elevator pitch to summarise the highlights of your work in three minutes
30 July 2020. Online.

Plant Biology Worldwide Summit
27–31 July 2020. Online.

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.

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

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'.


IPBES Launches External Review of its Draft Scoping Report for the Nexus Assessment and Requests Input from Technical Experts via ASPB
The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the organization established to improve the interface between science and policy on issues of biodiversity and ecosystem services, welcomes input from technical experts on the draft scoping report of its nexus assessment.  The focus of the nexus assessment is to produce information needed to achieve the policy objectives of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement, and the post-2020 biodiversity framework under the Convention on Biological Diversity by focusing on interlinkages among biodiversity, water, food and health in the context of climate change.

Translating the Green Deal into Practice – R&I opportunities for sustainable food systems via EPSO
Promoting diverse crops and livestock with a variety of farming systems for diverse diets, human health and resilient production, is a joint responsibility of policy makers and actors in many areas: agriculture, health, education, environmental and R&I services.  Experts from three European Technology Platforms developed R&I recommendations to address climate change, biodiversity loss, consumer competence and malnutrition summerized in a policy brief.

Calls for papers /

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

“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: 31 October 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.

- 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.

**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

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

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

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:

Job hunting:  We post daily opportunities on our Facebook and Linkedin groups. Next #plantsicjobs Twitterstorm will take place on the 31st July between 3 and 4 pm CEST.

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


An ECRi activity addressed to help ECRs with their communication and dissemination skills was launched in January 2020. Are you currently involved in anything that we could highlight?  Let us help you reach a wider audience!

Need inspiration? Check the article  "Making your plant science understandable" by our communications officer.

Want to read an example? Check these articles by Touseef Hussain and Guadalupe Fernandez-Milmanda.

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

Latest message from Ros Gleadow, president of The Global Plant Council

Some past posts ⬇️⬇️

Bacterial metabolites: a Gift from Nature for Crop protection by Touseef Hussain

International Day for Biological Diversity 2020 – Message by KC Bansal

The Global Plant Council is global: we are connected to each other and the environment by Ros Gleadow.

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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