Posts Tagged ‘New Phytologist’

Effector Wisdom

January 20th, 2013

30th New Phytologist Symposium: Immunomodulation by Plant-associated Organisms

Meeting Report by Amy Huei-Yi Lee, Benjamin Petre, David L. Joly

Many organisms such as bacteria, fungi, oomycetes, nematodes and insects grow, feed and/or reproduce in close association with plant hosts. To establish such intimate interactions, symbionts (either mutualistic or parasitic) secrete effectors into host tissues, which are molecules that modulate plant cell structures and processes (Win et al., 2012a). This last decade, advances in genomics have revealed that symbionts possess dozens to hundreds of effectors. Currently, the field is moving rapidly from effector identification towards effector characterization, which provides a better understanding of how these effectors promote the establishment of a successful relationship with host plants. The 30th New Phytologist Symposium clearly illustrated this theme, as an international panel of c. 150 scientists was brought together to discuss current efforts to decipher effector functions within a wide range of biological systems. The remote location of the meeting in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, USA, promoted lively discussions between participants during and after the sessions, but also via social networks (the whole conference was covered by a twitter feed, #30NPS tag, available on Read more …

A New Phytologist feature dedicated to Bioenergy Trees

February 4th, 2012

The New Phytologist feature dedicated to Bioenergy Trees (an outcome of the 26th New Phytologist Symposium) is provisionally scheduled for vol 194, issue 1, which will be published online at the beginning of February. The cover page below will highlight the feature. The Symposium was great and the series of review and research papers are exciting.

30th New Phytologist Symposium

January 30th, 2012


The deadline for students and early-stage career scientists (researchers in their first post-doctoral position) applying for travel grants to the New Phytologist Trust is 18 May 2012 for the 30th New Phytologist Symposium. I would be grateful if you could forward this information to members of your research group who may be planning to apply for a grant.

Root hair development

October 30th, 2011

The root epidermis of Brachypodium distachyon and Oryza sativa comprise hair (H) cells and nonhair (N) cells (imaged using cryo-scanning electron microscopy). The morphology of cells in the root hair zone of (a, b) B. distachyon and (c, d) O. sativa is shown. Blue and red colours highlight H cells in B. distachyon and O. sativa, respectively. Bars, 100 μm.

Liked the paper by Chul Min Kim & Liam Dolan (2011) Root hair development involves asymmetric cell division in Brachypodium distachyon and symmetric division in Oryza sativa. New Phytologist DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2011.03839.x



26NPS Bioenergy Trees … follow up

June 17th, 2011

26 New Phytologist Symposium ‘Bioenergy Trees’

Following the Bioenergy Trees NPS meeting last month at Nancy, we have a number of updates now on the website (, including: Photos from the Symposium, Podcast interviews with the Poster Prize Winners and copies of the winning posters, Podcast interviews with lead organiser Francis Martin and Poster Prize Judge, Steve Strauss, Feature article written by New Phyt’s intern Karina Vanadzina, giving an overview of 2nd generation biofuels and the contribution of the Symposium to this research.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (@NewPhyt) for updates about this and other New Phyt symposia and for information about the journal.

Our colleague, Berthold Heinz, is now inviting you to the forthcoming meeting that is being held in Vienna, Austria and which will be relevant for many of you working on bioenergy trees.

The Future Role of Bio-energy from Tree Biomass in Europe – 6-11 November 2011 – Europahaus, Vienna/Austria

Meeting Website:

Photo: Populus trichocarpa ‘Fritzi Pauley’ © F Martin

Upcoming New Phytologist Symposia

March 26th, 2011

26th NPS: Bioenergy trees

INRA Nancy, France: 17–19 May 2011

• Organisers: Francis Martin, Andrea Polle, Gerald Tuskan, Gail Taylor, Michele Morgante

27th NPS: Stoichiometric flexibility in terrestrial ecosystems under global change

Biosphere 2, Arizona, USA: 25—28 September 2011

• Organisers: Rich Norby, Amy Austin, Gaius Shaver, Yiqi Luo, Jeff Dukes, Travis Huxman

28th NPS: Functions and ecology of the plant microbiome

Hotel Aldemar, Rhodes, Greece: 18–21 May 2012

• Organisers: Paul Schulze‐Lefert, Jeff Dangl

29th NPS: Stomata

Manchester, UK, July 2012

• Organisers: Alistair Hetherington and Ian Woodward

30th NPS: Immunomodulation by plant‐associated organisms

California, USA, 17—19 September 2012

• Organisers: Sophien Kamoun, Brian Staskawicz


Unearthing the truffle genome

February 5th, 2011

np‘The ‘black diamond’, the ‘mysterious product of the earth’, the ‘ultimate fungus’ and ‘la grande mystique’ are some of the common names describing the delectable Périgord black truffle (Tuber melanosporum Vitt.). The culture, harvesting and marketing of this highly prized ectomycorrhizal fungus is a world that retains some of the secrets and intrigue of the past. Truffle cultivation is notoriously difficult, in part because of its cryptic life cycle as an underground symbiont, in which the fungus trades nutrients with oak-tree roots. By the end of the 1960s, there had been some success in devising new methods for producing truffle-infected seedlings under controlled conditions in glasshouses by inoculating plants with truffle cultures and spores. After successful plantation in orchards, reliable information on truffle yields and production is very difficult to obtain as a result of under-reporting of harvests, under-the-table marketing practices and a lack of administration records. It appears, however, that the production of truffles, as with other mushrooms, is erratic from year to year (depending on the weather conditions) and tends to decline as a result of global climate change. Decreasing supply and rising market prices have provided a strong incentive for research on truffle cultivation.’ (from my edito)

The February issue of New Phytologist (189: 3) includes a Special Feature dedicated to the Perigord Truffle genome with 7 papers discussing the transcriptome, the repertoire of transcriptional factors, the carbohydrate metabolism, the aroma biosynthesis and the molecular ecology  of sex of this ultimate fungus. Another raft of companion papers have been published in Fungal, Genetics & Biology.

To date, genomes of two mutualistic fungal symbionts, the basidiomycete L. bicolor and the ascomycete Tuber melanosporum, have been sequenced.  Based on their symbiosis-induced gene networks, evolution of the ectomycorrhizal lifestyle appears to be quite divergent (Plett & Martin, 2011).  To better understand the differences between symbiotic lineages and types of symbiosis, our JGI project is aiming to sequence 25 mycorrhizal fungi from different orders.  As of today, genomic DNA from Amanita muscaria, Cenococcum geophilum, Hebeloma cylindrosporum, Laccaria amethystina, Oidiodendron maius, Piloderma croceum, Paxillus involutus, Pisolithus microcarpus and P. tinctorius is currently being sequenced using next generation sequencing platforms. Sequencing of Boletus edulis, Cantharellus cibarius, Coltricia cinnamomea, Cortinarius glaucopus, Gymnomyces xanthosporus, Lactarius quietus, Meliniomyces bicolor, Paxillus rubicundulus, Ramaria formosa, Rhizoscyphus ericeae, Scleroderma citrinum, Suillus luteus, Sebacina vermifera, Tomentella sublilacina, Tricholoma matsutake, Tulasnella calospora and Terfezia boudieri will follow in 2011.

Parlez vous ‘Effectors’

July 19th, 2010

roc du mulinetBack Home after two weeks in the Alps and a visit to Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee. During my flight back to CDG, I finalized the draft of the editorial I wrote for the New Phytologist special issue dedicated to Effectors in Plant-Microbe Interactions (22nd New Phytologist Symposium, Versailles INRA Center, Paris, 13-16 September 2009). I outlined the draft when hiking along the alpine paths of the Vanoise National Park. The blooming meadows help me to find the inspiration. Here is the introduction:

[In the high valley of the Arc river in Haute Maurienne, glacier rivers and threatening seracs make loud roaring sounds, the snow is slowy retreating from the alpine meadows and hundred of plants are rushing to generate their seeds in these highlands were Winter lasts eight months.  In walking through this colorful cornocupia of flowering plants, enchanting forests of dwarf willows and rock lichens competing for light and nutrients – a peaceful struggle for life – it is hard to realize that a war is taking place in the entangled vegetal crowd.  Necrotic spots, blisters, yellow pustules are the visible testimony of the invasion of plant leaves and stem by bacterial and fungal deadly parasites …].

Photo: Roc du Mulinet – Glacier des Sources de l’Arc (Haute Maurienne, France) © F Martin