American Society of Plant Biologists

Rockville, United States

American Society of Plant Biologists

Rockville, United States
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Karnik R.,University of Glasgow | Grefen C.,University of Glasgow | Bayne R.,University of Glasgow | Honsbein A.,University of Glasgow | And 5 more authors.
Plant Cell | Year: 2013

The Arabidopsis thaliana Qa-SNARE SYP121 (=SYR1/PEN1) drives vesicle traffic at the plasma membrane of cells throughout the vegetative plant. It facilitates responses to drought, to the water stress hormone abscisic acid, and to pathogen attack, and it is essential for recovery from so-called programmed stomatal closure. How SYP121-mediated traffic is regulated is largely unknown, although it is thought to depend on formation of a fusion-competent SNARE core complex with the cognate partners VAMP721 and SNAP33. Like SYP121, the Arabidopsis Sec1/Munc18 protein SEC11 (=KEULE) is expressed throughout the vegetative plant. We find that SEC11 binds directly with SYP121 both in vitro and in vivo to affect secretory traffic. Binding occurs through two distinct modes, one requiring only SEC11 and SYP121 and the second dependent on assembly of a complex with VAMP721 and SNAP33. SEC11 competes dynamically for SYP121 binding with SNAP33 and VAMP721, and this competition is predicated by SEC11 association with the N terminus of SYP121. These and additional data are consistent with a model in which SYP121-mediated vesicle fusion is regulated by an unusual "handshaking" mechanism of concerted SEC11 debinding and rebinding. They also implicate one or more factors that alter or disrupt SEC11 association with the SYP121 N terminus as an early step initiating SNARE complex formation. © 2013 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.

News Article | February 2, 2017

The March for Science, set for 22 April, is creating a buzz in the scientific community. The march arose as a grassroots reaction to concerns about the conduct of science under President Donald Trump. And it has spurred debate over whether it will help boost public support for research, or make scientists look like another special interest group, adding to political polarization. Leaders of many scientific societies have been mulling whether to formally endorse or take a role in the event. ScienceInsider has been tracking what they decide, and here's what we know as of 28 February (most recent updates at the top of each section): On 2 March, the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) in Washington, D.C., endorsed the march and encouraged its 37,000 members to participate. The move followed a unanimous decision by the organization’s governing council. “The Council believes that support for the March is consistent with the Society’s founding principles, which include promoting the essentiality of open exchange of scientific ideas and global scientific collaboration, the importance of evidence and experimental data as a foundation for decision-making, and nonpartisan advocacy for sustained, robust funding for science,” wrote SfN President Eric Nestler in a statement on the society website. On 1 March, the 12,000-member American Association of Geographers in Washington, D.C., endorsed the march in a statement reading, “We are proud to join with our colleagues in all disciplines to champion the ideals that science is critical to societal and human rights, and is a pillar in educating and protecting us.” On 28 February, the Society for Freshwater Science (SFS) in Logan, Utah, formally endorsed the march. "For those SFSers that march, SFS will be preparing a series of short statements (suitable for signs, buttons, t-shirts) that call particular attention to recent efforts to roll back environmental protections for U.S. freshwaters (WOTUS and the stream protection rule) that are in clear disregard of the best available science," SFS President Emily S. Bernhardt and President-elect Colden Baxter wrote in a statement."We would appreciate your creative suggestions for pithy, eye catching and reasonable statements." On 23 February, some major groups—including AAAS (publisher of  Insider), which has about 100,000 members, and the American Geophysical Union (AGU), which has about 60,000 members—announced they are signing on. The two organizations were on a list of 25 formal partners unveiled by the March for Science. “We see the activities collectively known as the March as a unique opportunity to communicate the importance, value and beauty of science,” AAAS CEO Rush Holt wrote in a statement on the website of the Washington, D.C.–based organization, which bills itself as the largest general science society in the world. Participation “is in keeping with AAAS’ long-standing mission to ‘advance science, engineering and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people.'” “This is a unique moment for AGU, the scientific community, our nation, and the world,” AGU President Eric Davidson and President-elect Robin Bell wrote in a statement on the website of the organization, also based in Washington, D.C. The March “presents … a very real, high-profile opportunity to call on our elected leaders to remember the role science plays in our society and to support scientific innovation and discovery, and the people and programs that make it possible,” wrote AGU CEO Chris McEntee. The details of how the endorsing organizations will be involved in the march are still being worked out, AAAS CEO Rush Holt told Insider. For instance, possible financial support from AAAS has not yet been discussed, he says. Holt acknowledged concerns that the march could lead to a political backlash if it is perceived primarily as a partisan attack on the Trump administration. But he says “I would be more concerned about having a big rally on behalf of science and our not being there.” Here are the groups included on the 23 February list of formal March for Science partners: The Optical Society (OSA) in Washington, D.C. “We are still considering at this time if or how we will get involved. In the meantime, we will continue to monitor the news for planning updates,” Rebecca Andersen, OSA’s public relations director, wrote in an email (more than 20,000 members). The American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) in Rockville, Maryland. “Although we have a date and a compelling mission statement, there’s a lot that has yet to be worked out,” noted ASPB Chief Executive Officer Crispin Taylor in an email. “That said, to the extent that the march organizers maintain their emphasis on a positive and apolitical message regarding empirical science and its role in decision making, I expect that, at a minimum, ASPB will support the participation of its members in the march.” (about 4000 members). The American Institute of Physics (AIP) in College Park, Maryland. “We simply do not know much about this march yet,” wrote AIP Chief Executive Officer Robert Brown in an email. But he noted that AIP staff is “free to exercise their free speech by participating in this demonstration as individuals.” (a federation of 10 societies that, combined, have more than 120,000 members). The American Chemical Society (ACS) in Washington, D.C. “The American Chemical Society is impressed with [the] number of individuals who have already voiced their support for science and the march—it is a testament to the grassroots organizing power of social media. ACS is currently seeking to gain greater insight into the goals and messaging of the march to determine if there is an appropriate role for the Society,” reads a statement from ACS (more than 157,000 members). So far no organizations have explicitly come out against the march. But American Institute of Physics Chief Executive Robert Brown suggested in an email that any “inflammatory demonstrations will cause negative retaliations.”

PubMed | American Society of Plant Biologists and John Innes Center
Type: | Journal: F1000Research | Year: 2015

In 2009, we started a project to support the teaching and learning of university-level plant sciences, called Teaching Tools in Plant Biology. Articles in this series are published by the plant science journal, The Plant Cell (published by the American Society of Plant Biologists). Five years on, we investigated how the published materials are being used through an analysis of the Google Analytics pageviews distribution and through a user survey. Our results suggest that this project has had a broad, global impact in supporting higher education, and also that the materials are used differently by individuals in terms of their role (instructor, independent learner, student) and geographical location. We also report on our ongoing efforts to develop a global learning community that encourages discussion and resource sharing.

Littlejohn G.R.,University of Exeter | Scott G.,University of Hull | Williams M.,American Society of Plant Biologists
F1000Research | Year: 2016

University-based scientists hold the collective responsibility for educating the next generation of citizens, scientists and voters, but the degree to which they are individually trained and rewarded for this pursuit is variable. This F1000Research channel has its origin in a Society for Experimental Biology Conference held in Prague, 2015 and brings together researchers who excel at undergraduate education or the scholarship of teaching and learning to discuss challenges and best practices in contemporary higher science education. © 2016 Littlejohn GR et al.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 19.00K | Year: 2011

The American Society of Plant Biologists is instituting a workshop, to be held at their annual meeting in August of 2011, in order to discuss and formulate plans for the society to respond to an NSF funded report from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Vision and Change (V&C) in Undergraduate Education, A Call to Action (scheduled for release February 19). The workshop will engage 200 conferees representing a wide spectrum of institutional types (from community colleges to R1 universities) and plant biology interests (from plant molecular biology and genomics to those interested in ecological interactions between populations). Special efforts are being made to attract faculty from the tribal colleges in the area. The workshop is also being planned to serve as a starting point for identifying: resources for responding to V&C recommendations, gaps in those resources, opportunities to disseminate existing resources, and opportunities to develop new resources to address identified gaps.

Intellectual Merit: The American Society of Plant Biologists will host a Plant Science Research Summit at the Conference Center of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Chevy Chase, MD on September 22-23, 2011. The summit will engage the broad plant science research community in a process to develop a consensus plan to invigorate and guide plant science research over the next decade. The summit will bring together representatives of the full spectrum of plant science research, from basic to applied, to identify critical gaps in our understanding of plant biology that must be filled over the next 10 years or more to address grand challenges, such as those in health, energy, food, and environmental sustainability. The primary product of the summit will be a report suggesting a decadal plan for investments in plant science research, describing the contributions of plant science to addressing important scientific priorities and vital societal challenges. The report will be made widely available, and several dissemination activities are planned.

Broader Impacts: The Plant Science Research Summit will help bring together the broad plant science community across a variety of sectors, model systems, institution types, scientific approaches, and other dimensions. The participants in the summit will also be drawn from the community in a way that maximizes diversity by gender, geography, age, disability, and other characteristics. An extensive dissemination plan is proposed that will bring the results of the project throughout and beyond the plant science community. This will help broaden the reach of the project and of plant science to new communities. The report will be written with a minimum of technical language so that it can be accessible to a wide range of readers including policymakers, funders, educators, opinion leaders, and others. Moreover, the results of the project are expected to be broadly applicable not only to help guide research directions over the next decade, but to provide a framework for education about the big questions in plant science. It is expected that professional societies and other stakeholders will be able to develop educational materials related to the priorities identified in the report.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 22.15K | Year: 2011

Intellectual Merit: The American Society for Plant Biologists (ASPB) will host a Laboratory Leadership Workshop for new and prospective PIs to provide training in skills and approaches required for success in mentoring, networking, research ethics, grant-writing, publication, teaching, and reaching out to the public. The workshop will be held August 4-6, 2011 in Minneapolis, MN just prior to the annual meeting of ASPB. Approximately 20 early-career faculty and 50 postdoctoral scientists are expected to attend. The format of the meeting will be a combination of presentations by invited speakers and discussion among participants. Sessions are aimed at dual-track professional development for those interested in careers in research-intensive institutions and in predominantly undergraduate institutions. Highlights of the workshop will be published in an upcoming ASPB newsletter.

Broader Impacts: The workshop will bring together established investigators and early-career scientists with the aim of providing training in areas not usually encompassed by the traditional route of postdoctoral training. The emphasis on networking will have allow participants to build relationships that will last beyond the workshop itself. Careful attention has been paid to encouraging participation by women and minority scientists, through targeted advertising and availability of travel grants.

PI: Crispin Taylor [American Association of Plant Biologists (ASPB)]

CoPIs: Leon V. Kochian (USDA-ARS/Cornell University), Jurandir Magalhaes (Embrapa Maize and Sorghum, Brasilia, Brazil), and George N. Ude (Bowie State University)

A workshop to broaden participation and strengthen linkages between African and US scientists will be held at the ASPB 2012 Annual Meeting July 20-24, 2012 in Austin, TX. Funding provided by NSF will support activities that involve participation of eight crop scientists from East and West Africa who attended New Tools for Molecular Breeding, an ASPB workshop held November 15-18, 2011, on at the BioSciences of East and Central Africa (BECA) hub in Nairobi, Kenya. Sponsored by the ASPB International Committee, with assistance from the CGIAR Generation Challenge Program (GCP), and in collaboration with the African Crop Science Society and the International Society of African Bioscientists and Biotechnologists, the New Tools for Molecular Breeding workshop provided training to African crop scientists on the use of molecular markers and new genotyping strategies for plant breeding and genetic diversity assessment. The activities planned for the workshop at ASPB 2012 that include plenary talks from Africa- and US-based scientists, brief scientific presentations from participants, and round table discussions will build upon the activities of the BecA workshop and provide excellent new opportunities for networking and setting up meaningful collaborations between the African participants and interested US plant biologists.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 15.00K | Year: 2015

The transition from a research-intensive environment to a Primarily Undergraduate Institution (PUI) such as a small liberal arts college can make it difficult for scientists to maintain connections with the broader science community, and ASPB is an important resource for those connections. This pre-annual meeting extended workshop is designed to enhance the participation of PUI scientists at the national meeting and to introduce them to research resources and opportunities that will help them connect to the broader plant biology research community year round. These connections are critical for PUI scientists seeking to build and maintain successful research programs. A second goal is to help graduate students and postdocs become more acquainted with the expectations for a successful career at a PUI so that they are better prepared to enter the job market.

The American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) is a leader in supporting career development opportunities for a wide variety of scientists. In an effort to boost research engagement at Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs) for current and prospective faculty, ASPB is offering an extended workshop prior to the annual meeting (PB2015) in Minneapolis, MN in July 2015. The workshop is designed to help current faculty share best practices in experimental design, collaboration, grant writing, and time management for conducting research in the undergraduate setting. Numerous national studies have shown that undergraduate research promotes intellectual development and preparation for science careers. PUI faculty are often removed from the rich research environment of research-intensive schools and need connections through societies, such as ASPB, to develop and maintain robust research programs. This workshop will help PUI faculty develop connections that can be maintained through year-round networking opportunities in the online ASPB community. This award will facilitate recruitment of PUI faculty that most need assistance connecting with the broader plant biology research community to help them better engage the undergraduates at their institutions in research. The workshop will also expose graduate students and postdoctoral associates to resources needed for planning a research career at a PUI. Travel to the annual meeting and attendance at the workshop poses a financial hardship to many PUI faculty members without extensive research
support. To offset this hardship and encourage attendance among faculty who do not already have research support, this proposal will allow travel awards for participants who need assistance.

PubMed | University of Exeter, American Society of Plant Biologists and University of Hull
Type: | Journal: F1000Research | Year: 2016

University-based scientists hold the collective responsibility for educating the next generation of citizens, scientists and voters, but the degree to which they are individually trained and rewarded for this pursuit is variable. This F1000Research channel has its origin in a Society for Experimental Biology Conference held in Prague, 2015 and brings together researchers who excel at undergraduate education or the scholarship of teaching and learning to discuss challenges and best practices in contemporary higher science education.

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