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
Circumnutation is a helical pattern of organ movement that is widespread among plants. It was described in detail by Charles and Francis Darwin in their book "The Power of Movement in Plants" but is still poorly understood. Circumnutation Tracker is software that allows multiple parameters of circumnutation to be extracted semi-automatically from time-lapse videos, so facilitating the analysis of this fascinating aspect of plant behaviour - and providing a novel tool for investigations of the underlying processes (e.g.gravitropism, the biological clock and membrane transport).
The authors describe an exciting new method for transient expression that expands the potential applications of the technique to include the analysis of gene function. The AGROBEST technique has been validated by showing how a transiently expressed MYB transcription factor was able to activate the expression of a target gene and by demonstrating the circadian regulation of a transiently expressed GIGANTEA reporter gene.
DNA methylation is a key process in the epigenetic control of gene expression, but conventional methods for studying it have limitations and are technically challenging - or beyond the reach of the small laboratory. The authors describe here a set of optimized step-by-step protocols for DNA methylation analysis that are aimed primarily at labs with little or no previous experience in epigenetics or bioinformatics.
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