Global Plant Council E-Bulletin March 2017
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E-Bulletin / 
March 2017

Welcome to the March issue of the Global Plant Council's e-Bulletin. We have some very exciting announcements for you this month!

1. Bursary available to attend State of the World's Plants Symposium
The GPC, together with the Society for Experimental Biology (SEB), is pleased to announce that one travel bursary of up to £1000 is available to attend the State of the World's Plants Symposium in London, UK, 25–26th May 2017!

To apply, you should be a PhD student or early career researcher within 5 years of your PhD, and a member of the SEB (or be willing to become one). For further information and how to apply, please see our blog post. Deadline is 18th April 2017. 

2. GPC publishes four commentary papers in Food & Energy Security
Following our successful Stress Resilience Symposium in Brazil in October 2015, the GPC has published four commentary papers (1, 2, 3, 4) and an overview editorial in the Association of Applied Botany journal Food & Energy Security.

Based on the discussions held at this meeting, the papers outline recommendations on the strategies required to develop crops and cropping systems that are better able to cope with fluctuating and stressful environmental conditions. Read more here

3. Registration for our 'New Breeding Technologies in the Plant Sciences' workshop is now OPEN! 
This will be a satellite meeting of the SEB's annual main meeting in Gothenburg, Sweden (3–6 July). Please see the website for more information. 

4. 20% discount on Transmitting Science courses for GPC members
And finally, training provider Transmitting Science has generously offered a 20% discount to members of all GPC Member Organizations on all its courses. Usually based in Barcelona, Spain, these postgrad/postdoc-level courses cover a range of interdisciplinary topics including statistics, genetics, ecology, and more. Book your place on the Transmitting Science website using the discount code GC237648

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


This month 62 new breaking news stories were posted on the GPC website including...

In New Phytologist: FRED database gathers root traits to advance understanding of below-ground plant ecology
The Fine-Root Ecology Database (FRED) is a new global, centralized database of plant root traits that can advance our understanding of how the hidden structure of plants belowground may interact with and relate to life aboveground.

In Nature Plants: How plants can tell friend from foe
Japanese scientists says the plant's immune system can recognize whether a piece of RNA is an invader or not based on whether the RNA has a threaded bead-like structure at the end. 

In Journal of Experimental Botany: To branch or not to branch?
A new Insight article from JXBot explores how plants use shade, abscisic acid and auxin to decide whether or not to form branches. 

Current Plant Biology and Current Opinion in Plant Biology supporting journals for Plant Genome Evolution 2017
GPC sponsor Current Plant Biology and its sister journals are supporting the forthcoming Plant Genome Evolution meeting in Spain during October 2017.

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

Fascination of Plants Day
18 May 2017, all over the world. 
Visit to find out what's happening in your country, and to coordinate your own activities. 

State of the World's Plants Symposium
25–26 May 2017, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK. 
**GPC/SEB travel bursary now available! Click here for details!**

ASPB Plant Biology 2017
24–28 June 2017, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

GPC/SEB workshop: New Breeding Technologies in the Plant Sciences
07–08 July 2017, Gothenburg, Sweden. 

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'.

World's future food security "in jeopardy" due to multiple challenges, report warns.
Mankind's future ability to feed itself is in jeopardy due to intensifying pressures on natural resources, mounting inequality, and the fallout from a changing climate, warns a new FAO report.

New EASAC report on genome editing
A new report by the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council on genome editing gives advice to European policy-makers on groundbreaking research involving genome editing and plants, animals, microbes and patients. 

Funding /

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

John Maddox Prize for Standing Up for Science 2017
Do you know someone who "stands up for science"? The 2017 John Maddox Prize is now open to nominations from any science or engineering researcher, from any country around the world, who takes part in any kind of public activity, including all forms of writing, speaking and public engagement, in any of the following areas:

  • Addressing misleading information about scientific or medical issues.
  • Bringing sound evidence to bear in a public or policy debate.
  • Helping people to make sense of a complex scientific issue.

Click here for more information and to nominate. Deadline 31st July 2017. 

Early career researcher travel bursary to attend State of the World's Plants Symposium
The SEB has kindly agreed to sponsor one early career researcher to travel to London, UK, to attend the State of the World's Plants Symposium (25–26 May 2017) on behalf of the Global Plant Council. To apply, you should be a PhD student or within 5 years of your PhD, a member of the SEB (or willing to become one, if selected). Click here for more information. 

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

Sustainable, resilient, and nutritious food production with N8 AgriFood
Dr Sally Howlett explains what the UK's N8 AgriFood Programme is all about. 

Lentils under the lens: Improving genetic diversity for sustainable food security
Crystal Chan explains the Application of Genomic Innovation in the Lentil Economy project at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. 

How to publish your work in New Phytologist
In two short videos, New Phytologist Editor-in-Chief Prof Alistair Hetherington provides a step by step guide for early career researchers.

Synthetic biology in chloroplasts
Dr Anil Day, a synthetic biologist at the University of Manchester (UK) has developed an impressive array of tools and techniques to transform chloroplast genomes.

Plants in Action! Developing a free expert-written plant science textbook
If only there was an online, open access textbook to help teach undergraduates all about plant science... Oh wait, thanks to the plant science societies in Australia and New Zealand, there is! 

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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