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Annals of Botany
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Annals of Botany

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Promoting the planet’s plants-and-people future [Or, Probably the best jobs in British Botany…]

We’re not in the habit of posting job advertisements in this column – especially when the application deadlines will have long passed when this collection is published – but some jobs are just too important (and Plant Cuttings’ relevant) not to be highlighted. In early July (2016) when this piece was penned – two of the UK’s most august plant-based organizations advertised for a Head of Interpretation, and a Head of Science and Public Engagement, at RBG Kew, and the University of Oxford Botanic Garden and the Harcourt Arboretum (OBGHA), respectively.

This week, Nigel Chaffey writes on the value of Outreach and Public Engagement.
We’re not in the habit of posting job advertisements in this column – especially when the application deadlines will have long passed when this collection
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Prey-induced responses in carnivorous Nepenthes

Carnivorous plants of the genus Nepenthes catch and digest prey, mainly arthropods, in their pitcher traps in order to obtain additional nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphate. The digestive character of the pitcher fluid is well known; other features of the fluid are less well understood, in particular the induction and regulation of its composition.

Here, Yilamujiang et al. study the induction of both phytohormones and digestion-related genes in the pitcher of Nepenthes alata. The authors demonstrate that insect prey as well as chitin is able to induce first jasmonate phytohormones which in turn can induce genes for digestive enzymes such as a protease, nepenthesin, or a chitinase suggesting a defined signaling pathway.

'Slow food: insect prey and chitin induce phytohormone accumulation and gene expression in carnivorous Nepenthes plants' is available from Annals of Botany at http://buff.ly/2d4FgnR If your library doesn't have access to Annals of Botany it becomes free access after August 2017.
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Joint UK-Chinese crop research centre opens outside Shanghai.
The government is to outline its plans to strengthen collaborative research between the UK and China.
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A bio-photo-electro-chemical cell with spinach extract produces electricity and hydrogen from water using sunlight.
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bio-photo-electro-chemical? WTF?
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Microbes Help Plants Survive in Severe Drought.
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Summer dormancy and seasonal growth in California perennial grasses

Superior drought survival is expected to result in reduced productivity and competitive ability, but this expectation has seldom been tested in herbaceous perennial species. Balachowski et al. quantified seasonal growth, functional traits, and drought survival strategies in eight California perennial grasses.

Contrary to common assumptions, they found that summer dormancy, an adaptation to Mediterranean-type climates, was associated with greater springtime productivity and more competitive functional traits. The authors conclude that, because summer dormancy confers greater functional similarity to exotic annual species currently invading California grasslands, native summer dormant taxa may play an increasingly important ecological role in the future of these ecosystems.

'Summer dormancy, drought survival and functional resource acquisition strategies in California perennial grasses' is online at http://buff.ly/2d4G6Rq If your library does not have access to Annals of Botany, the paper is free access after August 2017.
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Canada: "Analysts determined that plant science innovations provided an economic benefit of $7.1 billion annually."
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Danforth Science Center researches indigo plant genes to make denim jeans more eco-friendly. http://buff.ly/2deqzxs
A collaboration between the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and a textile dyes company could soon produce more eco-friendly denim clothing for
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Secondary phloem diversity and evolution in Bignonieae

Since the appearance of a vascular system in plants, phloem has diversified tremendously but how it has evolved has been explored only across very broad scales. Pace et al. use the species-rich tribe Bignonieae (Bignoniaceae) as a model to study phloem anatomical evolution within a narrower scale by coding 19 characters in 56 species from all 21 genera.

They find that the secondary phloem is extremely diverse, with sister lineages exhibiting distinct anatomies derived from contrasting patterns of evolution in fibre abundance. Fibre abundance in the tribe has diversified in correlation with sieve tube arrangement, sieve tube morphology, number of companion cells and parenchyma type.

'Secondary phloem diversity and evolution in Bignonieae (Bignoniaceae)' is now free access at http://buff.ly/2cPsvkB
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When Women Seldom Travelled Alone, This Botanist Wandered the California Deserts in Search of Rare Plants.
Mary Beal dedicated most of her life to documenting and photographing the plants of the California deserts. Between 1939 and 1953, the now-defunct Desert Magazine published her columns which reminded readers that finding plants could be an adventure.
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"It isn’t always easy to tell the good guys from the bad guys." Are milkweed-eating insects good or bad?
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New book! 'Plant' from Phaidon: "A glorious visual compendium of plants and flowers that spans thousands of years." http://buff.ly/2cqzHlH
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Annals of Botany: Plant Science Research
Introduction
The Annals of Botany is a journal that covers all aspects of Plant Science. We also publish AoB Plants, a free Open Access journal.

At AoB Blog we keep you up-to-date with the latest research in our journals and interesting Plant Science news from around the world.


AoB Bloggers

A few people in the AoB office have their own G+ accounts

• Pat Heslop-Harrison is Editor-in-Chief, and you'll find him posting about research and adding videos.

• AJ Cann is the Internet Consulting Editor and a microbiologist. You can read more about him at http://bit.ly/AJCann 

• Alun Salt backs up AoB Blog and stops it falling over. He works for Annals of Botany around 50% of the time, which is why a lot of his personal stream has no obvious botanical connection.


Guest Bloggers

There are also some guest bloggers for AoB Blog on G+. In alphabetical order they are



Contact Information
Contact info
Address
The quickest way to contact someone here is to send a message to +Alun Salt and he'll either answer or forward it to someone who might know the answer.