Global Plant Council E-Bulletin October 2020

E-Bulletin / 
October 2020

Dear plant science enthusiast,

Welcome to our October 2020 newsletter on plant science!

This past month we shared 22 plant science-related breaking stories. Find below a selection of those along with a selection of  events  (mostly online), some open calls and other useful information.

Latest News / 
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In September, 22 new breaking plant science related news stories were posted on the GPC website including...

Gluten in wheat: What has changed during 120 years of breeding?
In recent years, the number of people affected by coeliac disease, wheat allergy or gluten or wheat sensitivity has risen sharply. But why is this the case? Could it be that modern wheat varieties contain more immunoreactive protein than in the past? Results from a new study are helping to answer this question. 

In "The Plant Cell": A new method for in vivo plant cell imaging with SNAP-tag proteins
Researchers have succeeded in visualizing the microtubule dynamics and cell membrane protein endocytosis of living plant cells via a method using SNAP-tag and a synthetic fluorescent probe. This discovery, providing a new method for fluorescent marking of proteins in plant cells, represents an important advancement in plant cell biology. It is expected to find use in super-resolution imaging using extremely light stable markers, and techniques for determining place- and time-specific pH and Ca2+ levels.

Strigolactones increase tolerance to weevils in tobacco plants
A team of researchers has discovered that strigolactones mediate the fine-tuning of the production plant defensive substances in the stem of plants of the wild tobacco species Nicotiana attenuata. They found that strigolactones and their crosstalk with other hormones involved in plant defense were crucial for tobacco plants’ ability to tolerate insects that live inside the stem. Plants that are no longer able to produce strigolactones also have altered concentrations of jasmontates and auxins and consequently a reduced resistance against the stem-boring larvae of the weevil Trichobaris mucorea.

Discovered a new method of biofortification that transforms leaves into nutrient stores
A  collaborative study describes a promising strategy to improve the nutritional benefits of crops. The study proposes the controlled transformation of chloroplasts (organelles that conduct the photosynthesis in plant leaves) into chromoplasts (organelles specialized in producing and storing large amounts of carotenoids). This technology has been patented and opens new perspectives for the nutritional improvement (biofortification) of crops and for the sustainable production of carotenoids of interest to the cosmetic, pharmaceutical and food industries.

New research reveals previously hidden features of plant genomes
An international team has decoded the full genome for the black mustard plant—research that will advance breeding of oilseed mustard crops and provide a foundation for improved breeding of wheat, canola and lentils. The team used a new genome sequencing technology (Nanopore) that results in very long “reads” of DNA and RNA sequences, providing information for crop breeding that was previously not available.

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

ECRi /


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.

Job hunting:  We post daily opportunities on our Facebook and Linkedin groups. Next #plantscijobs Twitterstorm will take place on the 30th October between 3 and 4 pm CET.

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

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

Events / 
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We have reviewed all of the following, but please, make sure to confirm with the event organizers.

Currently, 38 events are published in our events calendar. Below, some examples.

Gene Editing in Agriculture and Food: Social Concerns, Public Engagement and Governance
20–21 October  2020. Online.

Digicrop 2020
1–10 November 2020. Online.

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

ASA, CSSA, SSSA Virtual Annual Meeting: Translating Visionary Science to Practice
9–13 November 2020. Online.

Postharvest 2020 Webinar Series
11–13 November 2020. Online.

XV Spanish Meeting of Plant Molecular Biology
26–26 November 2020. Online.

The 31st International Conference on Arabidopsis Research (ICAR)
21–25 June 2021. Seatle, WA, United States.

26th International Conference on Sexual Plant Reproduction
21–25 June 2021. Prague, Czech Republic.


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

On the blog / 
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Review confirms impact and importance of WHEAT research. A “track record of delivering local solutions with a global perspective” by

More posts ⬇️⬇️

Plant Science Research Network Releases Decadal Vision 2020-2030 by Aaron J. Bouchie (BTI)

Lipid distribution in cuticles affects flower architecture in Medicago by Humberto Herrera-Ubaldo

Training people to provide food for the future by the Lancaster Environment Centre

The Global Plant Council Statement for 2020-2021

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

Calls for papers /


"Plants, People, Planet" open call for papers by“Crop digital information - sharing access and benefits”

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.


"Redox Control during Developmental and Stress Processes through Nitric Oxide-Mediated Post-translational Modifications" Speacial Issue open call for papers by "Plants"

Nitric oxide (NO) has evolved as a key gasotransmitter in living systems. A growing number of investigations have shown the significance of NO in the regulation of developmental processes and in response to (a)biotic processes. How NO can exert its action has been extensively studied in recent times, highlighting that this molecule is able to modify biomolecules, including nucleic acids, proteins, and fatty acids. Importantly, NO alters the protein structure and function through post-translational modifications, including S-nitrosation, nitration of tyrosine residues, or nitroakylation. This Special Issue of Plants (MDPI) will gather articles converging on the study of the redox mechanisms underlying developmental and stress processes through nitric oxide- mediated post-translational modifications.
Submission date: 31st May 2021.


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

Funding Opportunities/

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

- 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) 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.

- Horizon 2020 Call: Restoring biodiversity and ecosystem services. The EU Commision released a call for proposals on the 22nd of September. Actions are expected to demonstrate how transformational change through ecosystem restoration delivers at large scale, delivering first visible results and examples on land and at sea by 2024, with benefits increasing in the long-term. The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 16 and 25 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. All details here.   Deadline: 26th January 2021.

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

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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