Monday, September 24, 2007

The first days of the newly born...

Dear colleagues,

Many thanks for your output in what concerns this blog and the forum on plant flow cytometry. Since the publicity made last Friday, we've seen a considerable increase of visits to the blog (please see the world map in the right column) and more than 10 new user registration's to the forum. I hope that both tools are of your interest.

So, the next phase to which I encourage you all, is to interact with both web platforms, i.e. to comment the posts of the blog (you can do this by clicking on the link below each post) and to post any interesting topics on the forum.

Also, I ask all of you if it is possible to forward the e-mail message of the post below, to the people of your list of contacts that may be interest on the topics covered in the blog and in the forum.

Finally, if you want to see a link to your laboratory webpage in the right column, please send me the details (i.e., name and head of laboratory, link), either by e-mail ( or by posting them in the comments to this post.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The day zero

May this be the day 0 of this Blog and of the Forum of Plant Flow Cytometry. Today I sent an e-mail to more than 390 corresponding authors of publications concerning plant flow cytometry and included in the FLOWer database, publicizing the blog and forum. Despite many of those e-mails came back with errors (possibly due to e-mail updates since appearance in publications), I believe that in many cases they arrived at the author's mailboxes with success. As a result, we've seen many visits to the blog and some registrations in the Forum, with the first non-jloureiro topic being posted. So, I must say that I am quite happy with the impact that the e-mail had today and I hope that it continues in the following days.

I encourage all of you to contribute either with comments to these posts or/and with topics in the forum. I also stimulate you to make as much publicity as possible, to see if we can gather a huge amount of researchers to this on-line community. Please remember that these new web resources will only work if you participate actively on them.

Below follows the e-mail that was sent today:

Dear colleagues,

It is with great pleasure that I announce the first forum and blog on plant flow cytometry. These two new platforms are at your disposal to discuss general topics in plant flow cytometry, to post any doubts or questions related to (the analysis of plant cells using flow cytometry) PLANT FLOW CYTOMETRY, to announce upcoming congresses and courses, etc.

Such platforms are only valuable if you participate actively and if there is a regular number of new posts and comments. Therefore, I invite you to register in the forum and use it on your best interests. The blog can be a very informal way of communicating and posting new and interesting information on plant flow cytometry, and you are encouraged to comment on the various topics that will be regularly posted.

You can access the forum at the following address: and the blog at: .

These (two) new tools of communication appeared first as a companion to the FLOWER database (the Plant DNA Flow Cytometry Database:, but are now directed to plant flow cytometry in general. Please consider that the FLOWER database is still in its beginning (beta version), and thus it still presents some flaws.

With best regards,

João Loureiro

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

New paper on Nature Protocols

The Central Europe plant flow cytometry triangle team, i.e., Jaroslav Dolezel (Olomouc), Johann Greilhuber (Vienna) and Jan Suda (Prague), has just published another very interesting manuscript on the estimation of nuclear DNA content in plants using cytometry. This review and step-by-step protocol has just been published in Nature Protocols the online resource for protocols of the Nature Publishing Group.

The article is very carefully written and presents step-by-step protocols for the analysis of nuclear DNA content in plant tissues, with the underlining of the procedure's critical steps. A very useful troubleshooting table is also provided, with the possible reasons and solutions for the most common problems that may appear upon analysis of plant tissues using flow cytometry. Therefore the article is utterly recommended not only for beginners but also for more experienced users of the area of plant FCM.

Below follows the abstract and the link to the online version of the manuscript.

Flow cytometry (FCM) using DNA-selective fluorochromes is now the prevailing method for the measurement of nuclear DNA content in plants. Ease of sample preparation and high sample throughput make it generally better suited than other methods such as Feulgen densitometry to estimate genome size, level of generative polyploidy, nuclear replication state and endopolyploidy (polysomaty). Here we present four protocols for sample preparation (suspensions of intact cell nuclei) and describe the analysis of nuclear DNA amounts using FCM. We consider the chemicals and equipment necessary, the measurement process, data analysis, and describe the most frequent problems encountered with plant material such as the interference of secondary metabolites. The purpose and requirement of internal and external standardization are discussed. The importance of using a correct terminology for DNA amounts and genome size is underlined, and its basic principles are explained.

Author for correspondence: Jaroslav Dolezel; e-mail:

Online version

Friday, September 07, 2007

First diploid sequence for Homo sapiens

At the turn of the millennium, the first reports of mapping the human genome—a data mosaic from numerous individuals—heralded an era of personalized medicine based on individual human genomes. But so far, the full genomic sequence from a single human being has not been formally published.

This has now come to reality with the publication of the first diploid genome sequence for Homo sapiens in PLoS Biology. The chosen one, or should I say fortunate one, was J. Craig Venter, the founder of the Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) and considered one of the most influential people in the world list of Time magazine 2007.

An interactive and impressive poster of the sequenced genome is also made available by PLoS Biology. Be free to fly in to this nice animated flash poster.

Levy S, Sutton G, Ng PC, Feuk L, Halpern AL, et al. (2007). "The Diploid Genome Sequence of an Individual Human". PLoS Biology 5 (10).

Adapted from PLoS Biology

Thursday, September 06, 2007


Welcome to the Plant Flow Cytometry blog. This new way of communicating will be used to post any news concerning the application of flow cytometry to plant cells, with the FLOWer database getting particular attention. Other science news that deserve further attention will also be matter of our interests.