Plant Methods is an open access, peer-reviewed, online journal for the plant research community that encompasses all aspects of technological innovation in the plant sciences.
- Brian G Forde, Lancaster University
Mapping of DNAse-I hypersensitive sites is an important technique for understanding chromatin structure and identification of cis-regulatory elements. DNase-seq combines sensitivity to the non-specific endonuclease DNase I with high throughput sequencing to identify hypersensitive sites on a genome-wide scale. The application of this technique in plants is challenging. One solution is the ‘INTACT’ method for purification of biotinylated nuclei, which requires production of transgenic plants to allow suitable preparation of nuclei. The method presented here by Cumbie and colleagues provides an approach that avoids the requirement to create transgenic plants, expanding the ability to perform DNase-seq on a much wider range of species.
Confocal microscopes are primarily used for high-resolution fluorescence microscopy, but they are also equipped with detectors for transmitted light. The author discusses novel ways in which this under-utilised component of the confocal microscope can be exploited for the live imaging of plant cells. These non-confocal transmitted light images can be recorded concurrently with the confocal images to provide cellular context for the fluorescence optical sections.
The fern family of plants is extremely diverse; as well as being of intrinsic scientific interest it also includes species with significant commercial and industrial potential. Stable genetic transformation is a key research tool for any plant species and the lack of a reliable technique has previously hindered progress in exploring this important plant lineage. This paper describes a detailed step-by-step protocol for the efficient transformation of the model fern species, C. richardii, which should provide new and exciting opportunities for fern researchers.
Brian G. Forde is currently Professor of Environmental Plant Biotechnology at the Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, in the UK.
“We launched Plant Methods in 2005 with the aim of providing a high-profile, open access platform that would help to stimulate the development and dissemination of novel techniques and research tools in plant biology.
By the end of 2013 we had published over 270 papers, which have now collectively been cited over 2500 times. Remarkably, the 100 most accessed of these have been viewed online a total of more than 1.5 million times - most visits coming from the US, but with India and China close behind in 2nd and 3rd places, respectively.
These figures are encouraging evidence that Plant Methods is achieving its goals of providing international impact for our authors and open access for the plant science community to a diverse and ever-expanding range of innovative techniques and resources. To keep up to date with what Plant Methods is publishing - and other news - why not sign up to our Twitter feed using the link below?”
Brian G. Forde
A simple and efficient method for genetic crossing in Medicago truncatula
Plant Methods 2014, 10:11