Global Plant Council E-Bulletin February 2021

E-Bulletin / 
February 2021

Dear plant science enthusiast,

Welcome to our February 2021 newsletter on plant science!


This past month we shared 20 plant science-related breaking stories. Find below a selection of those, along with approaching events, some open calls for papers, and other useful information.


A short note. At The Global Plant Council, we are working on a new series of cross-cutting webinars addressed to plant scientists. We hope to be able to announce the dates soon.

Stay tuned!

Latest News / 
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In January, 20 new breaking plant science related news stories were posted on the GPC website including...

Ancient DNA Continues To Rewrite Corn’s 9,000-Year Society-Shaping History Some 9,000 years ago, corn as it is known today did not exist. Ancient peoples in southwestern Mexico encountered a wild grass called teosinte that offered small ears with just a handful of stony kernels. These Indigenous cultivators saw potential in the grain, adding it to their diets and putting it on a path to become a domesticated crop that now feeds billions.

The puzzle of nonhost resistance: why do pathogens harm some plants but not others? People have puzzled for years why pathogen Phytophthora infestens causes the devastating late blight disease, source of the Irish Potato famine, on potatoes, but has no effect at all on plants like apple or cucumber. How are apple trees and cucumber plants able to completely shake off this devastating pathogen?

Chloroplasts on the move The genetic material of plants, animals and humans is well protected in the nucleus of each cell and stores all the information that forms an organism. In addition, cells contain small organelles that contain their own genetic material. These include chloroplasts in plants. But is the genetic material actually permanently stored within one cell?

A CRISPR picture emerges on European Union GMO directive A European Court ruling widely interpreted to mean that all gene-edited organisms are GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) may not be as prescriptive as many first assumed.


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

On the blog / 
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Plant scientists need to urgently reconcile their open access needs with the benefit-sharing rights associated with plant material by Ros Gleadow, Brad Sherman and Robert Henry
The Global Plant Phenotyping Survey 2020/21 Please, help disseminate the IPPN survey among your contacts and any relevant audiences.

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

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.

Job hunting:  We post daily opportunities on our Facebook and Linkedin groups. Next #plantscijobs Twitterstorm will take place on the 26th February 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.

Grant and Internship Opportunities

ASPB Ambassador Program. Deadline 28th February 2021
ASPB Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships. Deadline 28th March 2021
BSA Public Policy Award. Deadline 1st March 2021
ASAPbio Fellow program 2021. Deadline 5th March 2021


We are accepting guest posts!! 🤓

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, 32 events are published in our events calendar.

Our Plants, Our Future
11-12 February 2021. Royal Society, Carlton House Terrace, London, UK.

Webinar: CRISPR/Cas-mediated mutagenesis of plant traits
23 February 2021. Online.

Bring Science to the Public
Series 1: March 15 – 17 | 1 – 3 p.m. EST
Series 2: March 22 – 24 | 3 – 5 p.m. EST.

Monogram Network Meeting 2021
27-29 April 2021. Dundee, United Kingdom.

Plant Biology Europe 2021
28 June-1 July 2021. Online.

SEB 2021 Annual Conference
29 June-8 July 2021. 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

Calls for papers /


"Focus Issue on Transport and Signaling" Focus Issue 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 deadline: March 8, 2021.

"Plant Cell Biology" Focus Issue Call for Papers by "The Plant Cell"
In 2022, The Plant Cell will publish a Focus Issue on Plant Cell Biology. The field of plant cell biology has seen so many exciting discoveries over the years, and continues to be a source of amazing findings. Of course, it is hard to draw hard lines to demarcate where cell biology ends or begins. In fact, considering the cellular unit is a way of looking at any biological process, and the field of cell biology encompasses that vista on the plant. The FI welcomes a exciting original papers and authoritative review articles. Submission deadline: May 1, 2021.


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

Funding Opportunities/

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

  • ERC Starting Grant.  These grants are for researchers with 2-7 years of experience since the completion of their PhD, a scientific track record showing great promise and an excellent research proposal. Opened 12th January 2021
  • ERC Consolidator Grant. These grants are for researchers with 7-12 years of experience since completion of PhD, a scientific track record showing great promise and an excellent research proposal. Opened 21st January 2021.
  • ERC Advanced Grant. These grants are for active researchers with a track-record of significant research achievements in the last 10 years. Opens 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.


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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