SPPS Newsletter May 2008

Index of Issue I 2008

Download the application form and travel for free to Tampere!

SPPS offers travel grants to support active participation in the XVI FESPB Congress, which takes place 17-22 August 2008 in Tampere, Finland. Just download the application form (in Word-format or alternatively in PDF-format), fill it out and return it to SPPS no later than 1 July 2008.

The form can be returned by mail to spps@life.ku.dk or by post to:

SPPS office
Att. Cherry Nielsen
Thorvaldsensvej 40
1871 Frederiksberg C

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The President of both FESPB and SPPS, Jan K. Schjørring, invites you to join the XVI FESPB Congress in Tampere, Finland. Photo courtesy of SPPS.

Dear Member of The Scandinavian Plant Physiology Society,

Registration for the XVI Congress of the Federation of European Societies for Plant Biology, which takes place 17-22 August in Tampere, Finland, is progressing well. To date, approximately 900 participants have registered at www.fespb2008.org. Deadline for Abstract submission is 1st April 2008.

If you have not already registered for the FESPB Congress I will strongly recommend you to do so. The scientific programme covers a broad range of hot topics in plant biology with key lectures given by the world’s leading scientists. This will provide excellent opportunities for getting updated on the exciting new developments within plant biology – not only in your own field but also in related areas.

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Registration is now open for ABIC 2008. Photo courtesy of ABIC.

The Agricultural Biotechnology International Conference (ABIC 2008) will be held in University College Cork, Ireland from August 24-27 2008 and is open for registration. The ABIC website provides full details of the conference sessions and the ~ 75 international speakers that are confirmed to date (see web link for details of speakers and bios for each speaker) who will be presenting the latest advances in agricultural biotechnology over the three day event. There will be an associated poster session and also a trade exhibition open to companies and other exhibitors.

Read more about the conference at the official homepage.

It is still possible to register for Brassica2008. Photo courtesy of ISHS.

The Norwegian University of Life Sciences is pleased to invite scientists with an interest in horticultural brassicas and in crucifer genetics to participate in the Symposium Brassica2008. The symposium will take place in the charming small Norwegian town Lillehammer from 8th to 12th September 2008. The meeting is organized by the International Society of Horticultural Science (ISHS) and the Crucifer Genetics Co-operative.

Read more about the symposium at the official homepage.

Not all cucumbers should be kept in the fridge according to a study by Chinese scientists at Shandong Agricultural University. They have studied how antioxidants help to protect two cultivars of cucumber from cold induced ultrastructural damage to cellular and organelle membranes. The aim was to find indicators for chilling resistance that can be used in breeding programs, and glutathione, glutathione reductase and catalase seemed to be good candidates. Relative to the chilling-sensitive cultivar, Jinyan no. 4, activities of the first two increased during cold stress in the chilling-resistant cultivar, Xintaimici, while catalase activity was only moderately decreased. Changes in antioxidant activities between the two cultivars also correlated with differences in ultrastructure.

Read full article here: Xu et al. (April 2008) Physiologia Plantarum 132: 467-478

The beautiful scent of roses arose from Chinese varieties that breeders have crossed with hardy but non-scenting European strains. French scientists now report that the Chinese varieties have contributed with a duplicated and slightly modified gene, which operate on the chemical orcinol. The two encoded enzymes, OOMTs, differ by only a single amino acid and allow them to perform two sequential methylation reactions to the substrate, thereby converting it to the pleasantly smelling phenolic methyl ether 3,5-dimethoxytoluene (DMT). Without the duplicated gene, the European varieties can only perform a single methylation reaction so the fragrant molecule is not produced.

Source: Scalliet et al. (14 April 2008) PNAS 15: 5927-5932

A previously unseen mode of attack by the pathogenic bacterium Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae has been described by an international research team led by Markus Kaiser and Robert Dudler. The team discovered that the virulence factor, SylA, enters the host plant cells and inhibits the proteasome. This is a complex protein structure responsible for breaking down other, unwanted proteins. Proteasome inhibitors are known to be promising anti-cancer drugs as they perform a similar action in human cells, so the plant pathogen might turn out to be key for a novel human cancer therapy.

Source: Groll et al (10 April 2008) Nature 452: 755-758