Global Plant Council E-Bulletin September 2021

E-Bulletin / 
September 2021


Dear plant science enthusiast,

Welcome to our September 2021 newsletter on plant science!

This past month we shared 19 plant science-related breaking stories and 3 blog posts. Find below a selection of those and other useful information.

Events. We have 26 events waiting in our calendar, including our next 2 webinars with  Philipp von Gillhaussen and Raquel Sánchez Pérez.

Latest News / 
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In August, 19 new breaking plant science related news stories were posted on the GPC website including...

Acid sensor discovered in plants
Climate change is causing increased flooding and prolonged waterlogging in northern Europe, but also in many other parts of the world. This can damage meadow grasses, field crops or other plants – their leaves die, the roots rot. he damage is caused by a lack of oxygen and the accumulation of acids. How do plants perceive this over-acidification, how do they react to it?

Identifying a putative pH switch associated with iron uptake in plants
The discovery of a pH switch in Arabidopsis is remarkable for understanding the plant’s response to pH and pH-dependent nutrient limitations. New study marks an important step forward in the search for pH sensors in plants, and sets the stage for applied research in the near future.

Microbes Play Role in Corn ‘Hybrid Vigor’
Researchers have shown that soil microbes – microscopic organisms like viruses, bacteria and fungi found throughout nature – play a role in the phenomenon of heterosis or “hybrid vigor,” the superior performance of crossed plant lines, or hybrids, over inbred plant lines. Hybrids are often used by farmers for agricultural production due their superior crop yields.

Researchers are first in the world to watch plants ‘drink’ water in real-time
Scientists have become the first in the world to find a way to observe how plant roots take in and circulate water at the cellular level, which could help to identify future drought- and flood-resistant crops.


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

On the blog / 
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Latest posts: Meet our #PlantSciStory2021 storytellers: Laura Kor and Verena Sesin

Philippines becomes first country to approve nutrient-enriched “Golden Rice” for planting by IRRI

Climate change widespread, rapid, and intensifying by IPCC

Science (Fact) Fiction – a tale of ozone, nitrogen and wheat by Clare Brewster

The Global Plant Council Statement for 2021-2022 by The Global Plant Council

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

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.

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

Job hunting:  We post daily opportunities on our Facebook and Linkedin groups. Next #plantscijobs Twitterstorm will take place on the 24th September between 3 and 4 pm CET.

Upcoming Webinars by The Global Plant Council

International Plant Phenotyping Network (IPPN)
Wed, 6 October 2021, 16:00 – 17:00 CEST. Online. In English.

Un dulce final: aplicación de la biotecnología en la mejora del almendro
Wed, 10 November 2021, 16:00 – 17:00 CET. Online. In Spanish.

Check for upcoming webinars here.

We are accepting guest posts!! 🤓

Let us help you reach a wider audience!

Events / 
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Currently, 26 events are published in our events calendar.

International policies governing access to plant genetic resources and benefit-sharing
22 September. Online.

Plant Synthetic Biology (SynBio) 2021
25-27 September. Online.

Online Workshop on CRISPR-mediated plant genome editing
27 September - 1 October. Online.

2nd International Agrobiodiversity Congress – Agrobiodiversity for food system transformation
4-7 October 2021. Online.

GPC webinar: International Plant Phenotyping Network (IPPN)
6 October 2021. Online.

Crop Production with reduced pesticide and fertiliser inputs without compromising yield and quality
14 October 2021. Online.

JXB Series: GARP transcription factors repress Arabidopsis nitrogen starvation response via ROS-dependent and -independent pathways
14 October 2021. Online.

GPC webinar: Un dulce final: aplicación de la biotecnología en la mejora del almendro
10 November 2021. Online. In Spanish.


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

Calls for papers /

Frontiers in Plant Science teams up with The Global Plant Council - Frontiers Research Topics: defined, managed and led by researchers. Click on the banner below for details and to submit your interest form.

Focus Issue on Circadian Rhythms in Plant Physiology
The Focus Issue on Circadian Rhythms will address topics ranging from the molecular nature of the circadian oscillator to ways in which it influences diverse aspects of plant physiology, growth, or development. Submissions of primary research articles from the plant biology community on all aspects of this broad theme are encourage. In addition, Invited Updates will highlight recent insights into rapidly developing areas of broad interest.
Submission deadline: 1 November 2021

Research topic. The Phyllosphere Microbiome in Frontiers in Plant Science.
The phyllosphere refers to all aboveground compartments of a plant, including stems, leaves, flowers, and fruits. It is the largest biological surface on Earth and an important habitat for microbial colonizers. This research topic aims to collect a broad spectrum of contributions that address the phyllosphere microbiome from different perspectives. The overall aims are to i) expand our knowledge related to microbial diversity in the phyllosphere, ii) deepen mechanistic insights into the function of phyllosphere microbiota, and iii) identify potential applications for such microorganisms in agriculture and beyond.
Submission deadline: 30 November 2021

Research topic. Harnessing Genebanks: High-Throughput Phenotyping and Genotyping of Crop Wild Relatives and Landraces in Frontiers in Plant Science.
As with the green revolution in the past century, worldwide genebanks can confer phenotypic and genetic novelty useful to increase yield and crop adaptability. However, new strategies for genebank utilization must be empowered in order to meet the increasing global food demand. This Research Topic envisions bringing major recent ‘big data’ developments that are likely to speed up the identification, conservation, and pre-breeding of better-adapted crop varieties.
Submission deadline: 30 November 2021

Research topic. Towards Plant-Based Foods: From Plant Biodiversity to Discovery of Sensorically Active Compounds in Frontiers in Plant Science.
The plant kingdom is remarkably rich in chemical (metabolic) diversity, harboring over 200,000 distinct metabolites in different plant materials, including fruit, seed, leaf, and stem, providing food industrialists with a rich resource of natural origin for the development of plant-based foods. This research topic welcomes all research articles and review papers focusing on flavor-related metabolite profiling, including both volatile aroma metabolites as well as non-volatile taste metabolites. The aim is to bridge plant scientists and food industrialists for the development of superior PBFs.
Submission deadline: 31 December 2021

Focus Issue on Evolution of Plant Structure and Function in Plant Physiology
This focus issue calls for review or research articles, short letters, and reports that provide novel insights into evolutionary mechanisms underpinning plant phenotypic variation. Work involving comparisons of disparate organisms (from between species to between kingdoms) is most welcome. The issue will be centered on timely topics, including but not limited to the role of epigenetic, small RNA or phenotypic plasticity evolution in shaping plant form; the evolution of plant-microbe interactions; diversification of meristems, flowers or root anatomy in an ecological context; and origins of CAM/C4 photosynthesis.
Submission deadline: 1 November 2021


Want to share a call for papers your are involve with and we've missed? Please tell us about it by emailing

Funding and Grant Opportunities/

- European Research Council Grant Calls for 2021 and 2022 are now public. Briefly:

  • ERC Advanced Grant. These grants are for active researchers with a track-record of significant research achievements in the last 10 years. Opened 20th May 2021
  • ERC Proof of Concept. These grants are for researchers who have already received an ERC grant for their frontier research project and now want to explore the commercial or societal potential of it. Opened 14th January 2021
  • ERC Synergy Grant. These grants are for two to maximum four researchers working together and bringing different skills and resources to tackle ambitious research problems. Opens in 2022

- 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.

PlantEd is offering conference Grants aimed at supporting researchers from COST participating Inclusiveness Target Countries to attend high profile international science and technology related events. Attendance at European conferences is preferred; conferences held elsewhere can be considered. If you are a PhD student or Early Career Investigators and find a suitable conference where you would like to participate actively, you may apply for funding from PlantEd. Also conference fees for virtual events are eligible. You can read more about the conditions for ITC grants here.

You are invited to check the grant ECRi devoted section and our Resources section for more on funding opportunities.

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

The UN General Assembly designated 2021 the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables (IYFV). The IYFV2021 is a unique opportunity to raise awareness on the important role of fruits and vegetables in human nutrition, food security and health and as well in achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Are you organizing an IYFV2021 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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