Global Plant Council E-Bulletin December 2016
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E-Bulletin / 
December 2016

Welcome to the final issue of 2016 of the Global Plant Council's monthly e-Bulletin – it's a few days earlier than usual as the GPC team is taking a few days off to celebrate the Christmas and New Year holidays here in the UK. If you are celebrating holidays at this time of year – and even if you're not – we hope you are having fun! 

The Global Plant Council has achieved many successes in the last 12 months – as well as our annual general meeting in Brisbane in October, we have engaged with many plant scientists and policy-makers across the globe in our quest to develop plant science for global challenges.

But what will 2017 have in store for us? We have grand plans and plenty of enthusiasm, but like many non-profits, we are challenged by a tough economic climate. If you would like to make a contribution, however big or small, to help support the GPC to continue, please visit our secure donations page

That's all from us for one year – see you in 2017!

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


This month over 60 new breaking news stories were posted on the GPC website including...

In New Phytologist: Flowers use physics to attract pollinators
A new review indicates that flowers may be able to manipulate the laws of physics, by playing with light, using mechanical tricks, and harnessing electrostatic forces to attract pollinators.

In Nature Plants: Common grass could help boost food security
Australian researchers have discovered that the common Panic grasses could hold the secret to increasing the yields of cereal crops and help feed the world with increasing temperature extremes and a population of nearly 10 billion people by 2050.

In Nature Plants: New study of water-saving plants advances efforts to develop drought-resistant crops
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have uncovered the genetic and metabolic mechanisms that allow certain plants to conserve water and thrive in semi-arid climates.

Scientists crack genetic code determining leaf shape in cotton
Researchers know that the variation in leaf shapes can mean big differences in a farmer's bottom line. Now, a new discovery gives plant breeders key genetic information they need to develop crop varieties that make the most of these leaf-shape differences.

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

Plant and Animal Genome XXV
14–17 January 2017. San Diego, USA. 

Phenome 2017

10–14 February 2017. Tucson, Arizona, USA

Bioinformatics for Breeding Workshop
21–24 February 2017. Norwich, UK. 

InterDrought V
21–25 February 2017. Hyderabad, India. 

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'.

Safeguarding of biodiversity must be integrated across agricultural sectors
Governments from 167 countries have given unprecedented recognition to the need to protect biodiversity across the agricultural sectors as a key action to achieve sustainable development, including ensuring food security and addressing climate change.

Women hold the key to building a world free from hunger and poverty
Achieving gender equality and empowering women is not only the right thing to do but is a critical ingredient in the fight against extreme poverty, hunger and malnutrition, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva has said.

Funding Opportunities /

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

Find out more about the International Botanical Congress, taking place in Shenzhen, China from 23–29 July 2017 – the organizing committee has recently announced that two awards are available for this congress: one Outstanding Student Award, and one Excellent Scholar Award. Check the IBC website to find out more and for eligibility criteria. The application deadline is 15th February 2017.

Travel Awards are available for students, postdocs and early career researchers to attend Phenome 2017 (Tucson, Arizona, USA, 10–14 February 2017). If you would like to apply, please hurry as the deadline is January 3rd! 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

Does Australia hold the key to food security?
In this repost from Devex, Lisa Cornish explores Australian efforts to collect, conserve and research crop wild relatives. 

Battening down the hatches: priming plant defense
Dr Mike Roberts explains his research at Lancaster University (UK), which is looking at enhacing plants' natural defense mechanisms against pests and pathogens. 

Aquaporins capable of functioning as all-in-one osmotic systems
University of Adelaide's Dr Caitlyn Byrt guest-blogs for us about her fascinating work on plant aquaporins. 

Please consider making a donation to the Global Plant Council
The Global Plant Council needs your help if we are going to continue working to develop plant science for global challenges in 2017.

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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