Editorials

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  • Technological advances have demonstrated the possibility of chemical synthesis of a multicellular plant genome. What does this mean for humans and how should we prepare for this breakthrough?

    Editorial
  • Metaphors are excellent tools for explaining complicated concepts. But sometimes the concepts can become driven by the metaphors.

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  • Drought is a serious threat to global food security. In upstream research, crop drought-tolerant traits are often studied under extreme drought conditions, which can seem irrelevant in the eyes of breeders.

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  • Research on apoplastic diffusion barriers may help to better understand sensitivity to drought and salinity, two of the most pressing problems in agriculture.

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  • The destructive consequences of catastrophic wildfires, which are capable of destroying homes and livelihoods, frequently hit the front pages of newspapers worldwide. But scientific attention is increasingly turning towards understanding changes in wildfire regimes.

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  • Forests are fascinating ecosystems that have accompanied our history and are part of our collective tales. Let’s protect them!

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  • As we approach the end of the year, plant sciences have been placed front and centre of initiatives to ameliorate the effects of climate change.

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  • John Donne famously said that nobody “is an island entire of itself”. This month sees the opening-up of a new ‘continent’ for plant scientists.

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  • Herbarium collections give snapshots into the history of plant life. But their future usefulness relies on their equity and accessibility.

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  • Forty years ago, Barbara McClintock — an exceptional plant scientist — was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine; only the third woman to win a Nobel prize without collaborators.

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  • The proposal by the European Commission for new rules on gene-edited plants aims to align legislation with new developments in biotechnology. Yet concerns remain that have to do not only with biology.

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  • A plethora of methods is available to study plants, from the humble northern or western blots to recent high-throughput single-cell and spatial transcriptomics. But seeing is believing, and researchers worldwide have always had a weakness for specific genetically encoded biosensors that can isolate and visualize one precise response in living plants at cellular resolution.

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  • Model organisms are powerful research tools for exploring fundamental biological questions, but no one model can encompass the full diversity of plant life.

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  • The ‘listicle’ has been a staple of internet content since the earliest days of the world wide web. But a recent example in New Phytologist has rather more significance than ‘The top 50 theremin players of all time’.

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  • This month’s Nature Plants is issue 100. A lot has happened in the hundred months since issue 1, and yet much that concerned us then continues to concern us now.

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  • The wild relatives of our modern crops are of inestimable importance. Their domestication promoted the rise of civilizations and shaped cultures, and they are treasure troves for maintaining food security. However, shrinkage of their populations worldwide demands better conservation to retain their valuable biodiversity.

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  • Although the resurrection of extinct species may seem like the stuff of science-fiction, it could have practical benefits for conservation. But first we must secure the genetic diversity that we have left.

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  • Marine algaculture has strong potential to mitigate the effects of climate change. What do we do with the seaweed? We could sink it or eat it.

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  • Plants are not only fascinating but also photogenic. At Nature Plants we try to reflect both of these aspects.

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  • It’s time once more for the announcement of the winners of the Nobel Prizes, which again fail to include any researchers who work on plants. However, that does not mean to say that the prizes have no relevance to plant biologists.

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