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
Apoplastic pH changes are associated with various processes during plant growth and development, and in response to stress. Geilfus et al. describe here the use of a recombinant green fluorescent protein from Ptilosarcus gurneyi (Pt-GFP), which can be infiltrated into plant tissues as a fluorescent pH reporter. PtGFP is useful for pH determinations in the near-neutral range, and is highly photostable, allowing ratiometric pH measurements over hours.
Determining the spatial pattern of expression of a gene in plant tissues has always been a technically challenging task. Here the authors present detailed protocols for detecting RNA in tissue sections using in situ PCR. The protocol has been shown to work with multiple tissue types and plant species.
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).
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