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

Welcome to another issue of the Global Plant Council's e-Bulletin. 

We were really excited to see our President Professor Bill Davies on the TV this month! Bill was interviewed for the CNN news program 'EcoSolutions' and spoke about reducing water use in agriculture. Read more and watch the video here

Are you looking for a new job or PhD position in plant science, or do you have a vacancy to fill? We post relevant jobs or studentships to our Twitter and Facebook pages using the clickable, searchable hashtags #PlantSciJobs and #PlantSciPhD –and these posts are proving very popular indeed! Please use these hashtags if you're posting new opportunities; we're also happy to tweet/post these on your behalf – just let us know!

We are delighted to announce that Dr Deena Errampalli, President of Plant Canada, has joined our Executive Board. Deena replaces Professor Carl Douglas who very sadly passed away earlier this year. Welcome to the team, Deena!

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


This month 63 new breaking news stories were posted on the GPC website including...

Sharon Gray Memorial Fund
Friends and colleagues of Dr Sharon Gray – a plant science postdoc from the University of California, Davis, who was tragically killed in Ethiopia earlier this month – have established a memorial fund. The fund will be used to establish a fellowship in Dr Gray's honor. 

In New Phytologist: Scientists Root for More Cassava Research to Help Meet Greater Demand for Food
A new review brings together research on the potential for improving cassava yields, such as by boosting the efficiency with which the plant captures sunlight and converts it into sugars.

In Journal of Experimental Botany: How To Build Beautiful Biochemical Factories
New research and an accompanying Insight article shed new light on the regulation of glandular trichome development in plants. 

In Current Plant Biology: Special Issue on Protein Networks
Our newest journal sponsors have a new special issue, which focuses on protein networks - in particular, the centrality of proteins in the study of fundamental aspects of plant biology and plant interface with abiotic and biotic factors in the environment. 

In Nature Plants: New Strategy to Accelerate Plant Breeding by Turbocharging Gene Banks
A new study led by an Iowa State University agronomist may help scientists sift through vast amounts of plant seeds stored in gene bank facilities across the globe to identify those useful to plant breeders attempting to produce better varieties.

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

Cold Spring Harbor Asia Conference: Latest Advances in Plant Development & Environmental Responses
29 November–02 December 2016. Awaji, Japan. 

4th International Plant Phenotyping Symposium
13–15 December 2016. El Batán, Mexico. 

International Conference on Plant Synthetic Biology and Bioengineering
16–18 December 2016. Miami, Florida, USA. 

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'.

US Senate Decides on the Ratification of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
"The joining of the United States will represent a major milestone towards universal membership of the Treaty," said Shakeel Bhatti, Plant Treaty Secretary.

Online Sales of Threatened Cacti Highlight Open Door for Illegal Trade
Threatened cacti are available on websites and shipped across countries without any legal documents to certify their trade. A study published in Nature Conservation reports on this activity and discusses assessment methods and solutions.

Report Provides Options for Organic Soybean Growers
Despite soybean being one of the most widely grown crops in the US, few soybean farmers use organic practices. A new  report details organic products and practices to combat pathogens and insect pests. 

Funding Opportunities /

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

New Phytologist Tansley Medal
The New Phytologist Tansley Medal is awarded annually in recognition of an outstanding contribution to research in plant science by an individual in the early stages of their career (including students and any researcher with up to five years’ experience since gaining/defending their PhD). The winner recives a prize of £2000 (GBP) and authors a short review, published in New Phytologist, accompanied by an Editorial.

The deadline for 
first-round submissions is 30th November 2016

Trellis Fund projects
Horticulture Innovation Lab has selected nine new Trellis Fund projects led by organizations in Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Cambodia and Nepal. These six-month projects are each funded with a $2,000 grant, with work scheduled to begin in 2017. A US graduate student with related expertise will be matched to each project, to provide agricultural knowledge and support for local goals.

Graduate students at UC Davis, North Carolina State University, the University of Florida and University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa are now invited to apply to participate in these new Trellis Fund projects. The deadline for applications is November 4th.


On the blog / 
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How trees communicate via a Wood Wide Web
In this repost from The Conversation, Stuart Thompson discusses how plants communicate. 

Farming Futures: integrating plant research and industry in the agri-food supply chain
Tim Williams, Business Manager of Farming Futures and Research Fund Development Manager at Aberystwyth University, UK, tells us all about how Farming Futures links researchers with industry. 

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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